Southwest Chicken Salad

If you enjoy flavor-filled main dish salads, you will love this Southwest Chicken Salad, with marinated grilled chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado, atop romaine lettuce and drizzled with a creamy, low fat, Southwestern seasoned, lime cilantro salad dressing.Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You'll love this Southwest-inspired salad with marinated chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce, topped w/ a creamy lime cilantro dressing!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it not only sounded HEALTHY, but DELICIOUS!  The original recipe serves 4, but I very slightly modified it to make two servings, for my husband and I to enjoy! OH MY GOODNESS… the salad is amazing… like “we ate every single bite” amazing!

I made the marinade early in the day, and let the chicken “bathe” in it for hours, to soak up great flavor! When I was ready to fix dinner, all I had to do was grill the chicken on my stove top and assemble the salad. EASY!  Here’s how to make it:

In a medium sized bowl, combine all the marinade/salad dressing ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE YOGURT! Mix together until all are well blended. Pour HALF of the marinade (set aside the other half) into a rimmed dish and add the chicken. Turn pieces over, to coat well. Cover chicken and place in refrigerator for 2 hours (or more, if time allows). Cover remaining marinade and refrigerate until ready to use.

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When ready to assemble salad for your meal, remove reserved marinade from refrigerator. Blend in the Greek yogurt, until completely incorporated and creamy.

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After chicken has fully marinated, remove it from refrigerator.  Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet or on a grill on medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking.  Sear chicken on first side until bottom is golden brown and crispy, then flip and cook other side until chicken is fully done (reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees).  I used an indoor cast iron grill and it took about 10 minutes per side.

Once done, remove chicken, and let it rest, so juices can redistribute internally. After chicken rests 5 minutes, cut each piece into thin slices. Discard chicken marinade.

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When you are ready to assemble salad, fill individual bowls or plates with chopped romaine. Divide corn, beans, and cherry tomato halves between servings. Top with avocado and chicken slices (fanning them out slightly, for a decorative look). My husband wanted an entire half an avocado sliced on his salad, as you can tell from the photo below… ha ha!

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drizzle the salad with the prepared cilantro lime salad dressing. Serve, and enjoy this absolutely amazing tasting meal!  (*NOTE: I made 2 large entree sized salads for us. If making 4 salads, increase chicken to 4 pieces, and double the amount of corn, beans, cherry tomatoes, and add additional lettuce. You will not need to double the marinade).

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We absolutely LOVED this salad; we were very full and completely satisfied after eating!  The grilled chicken had great flavor, thanks  to the lime cilantro marinade, and the low fat flavor-filled dressing made this dish shine!  I sincerely hope you will consider trying this recipe… it is totally delicious, filling, and very colorful! Have a fantastic day!

Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: Karina, at https://cafedelites.com/southwestern-chicken-salad/

Southwest Chicken Salad
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
 
Category: Dinner
Servings: 2 main dish servings
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 2 large chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
For Marinade/Salad Dressing:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (approx. 2 large limes)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (THIS IS USED FOR DRESSING ONLY!!!)
For Salad:
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce (torn or chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1/2 avocado , thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans (drained, rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup canned whole kernel corn (drained, rinsed)
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all marinade/salad dressing ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE YOGURT! Mix together until well blended. Pour HALF of the marinade (set aside the other half) into a rimmed shallow dish and add the chicken. Toss to coat well. Cover chicken and place in refrigerator for 2 hours (or more, if time allows). Cover remaining marinade and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. After chicken has fully marinated, remove it from refrigerator. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet or on a grill on medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Cook chicken on first side until bottom is golden brown and crispy, then flip and cook other side until chicken is fully cooked throughout. (I used an indoor cast iron grill and it took about 10 minutes per side). Once done, remove chicken, and let it rest so juices can settle internally. After chicken has rested for 5 minutes, cut each piece into thin slices. Discard chicken marinade.
  3. When ready to assemble salad, remove reserved marinade from refrigerator. Blend in the Greek yogurt, until completely incorporated and creamy.
  4. To assemble salads, fill individual bowls or plates with chopped romaine. Divide corn, beans, and cherry tomato halves between servings. Place avocado and chicken slices decoratively on top of salad. Drizzle each salad with reserved creamy cilantro lime dressing. Serve, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes
*NOTE: I made 2 large salads for us. If making 4 servings, increase chicken to 4 pieces, and double the amount of corn, beans, cherry tomatoes, and add additional lettuce, as desired. (Use same amounts written for marinade/dressing).

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Southwest Chicken Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You'll love this Southwest-inspired salad with marinated chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce, topped w/ a creamy lime cilantro dressing!

You'll love this Southwest-inspired salad with marinated chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce, topped w/ a creamy lime cilantro dressing!

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