You’ll love this Southwest chicken salad with marinated chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce, topped w/ a creamy lime cilantro dressing!
If you enjoy flavor-filled main dish salads, you will love this Southwest Chicken Salad. It is a wonderful main dish salad, full of flavor!
I found this recipe for Southwest chicken salad 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- this delicious salad is amazing, and I mean it is “we ate every single bite” amazing! Here’s how to make it.
Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of the Page
Making The Marinade
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!
To make the marinade, combine the marinade/salad dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, 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 pieces of chicken.
Marinate The Chicken
Turn the pieces of chicken over in the dish, to coat all sides of the meat well. Cover the chicken and place the dish in a refrigerator for 2 hours (or more, if time allows).
Cover the remaining half of the marinade and keep it refrigerated until it’s ready to be used.
When you’re ready to assemble the salad for your meal, remove the reserved marinade from refrigerator. Blend in the Greek yogurt, until it’s fully incorporated and the sauce is creamy.
Cook The Marinated Chicken
After the chicken has fully marinated, remove it from the refrigerator. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet or on a grill on medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking.
Sear the chicken on the first side (without moving it in the pan) until the bottom is golden brown and crispy. Flip the chicken over and cook other side until it is fully done (internal temp. of 165°F).
I typically use an indoor cast iron grill to cook the chicken, and it takes about 8-10 minutes per side. If the chicken pieces are very thin, your cooking time may be less.
Once done, remove the chicken from the dish (and discard the chicken marinade). Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes so the juices can redistribute internally, then cut each piece into thin slices,.
Assemble The Southwest Chicken Salad
When you are ready to assemble salad, fill individual bowls or plates with cold, chopped romaine lettuce. Divide the corn, beans, and cherry tomato halves between servings.
Top each Southwest chicken salad with avocado and chicken slices. It looks quite decorative if the chicken and avocado are fanned out slightly..
My husband wanted an entire half an avocado sliced on his salad, as you can tell from the 2nd photo below… ha ha!
Time To EAT The Southwest Chicken Salad
Drizzle the salad with the prepared cilantro lime salad dressing. Serve, and enjoy this absolutely amazing tasting meal!
NOTE: I made 2 large entree size salads for us. If making 4 large 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.
We absolutely LOVED this Southwest chicken 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 and trust you’ll love it as much as we do! Southwest Chicken Salad is totally delicious, filling, and very colorful!
Thanks for stopping by, and I invite you to come back again soon for more family-friendly recipes. Take care, and have a fantastic day!
Looking for More MAIN COURSE SALAD Recipes?
You can find ALL my recipes in the Recipe Index, which is located at the top of the page. I have a nice variety of main course salads you might want to check out, including:
- Southwest Steak Salad with Avocado & Cilantro Dressing
- Grilled Ham Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese
- Chicken Taco Salad Bowl
- Cobb Salad
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Recipe Adapted From: Karina, at https://cafedelites.com/southwestern-chicken-salad/
↓↓ PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW ↓↓
You'll love this Southwest chicken salad with marinated chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce, topped w/ a creamy lime cilantro dressing!
- 2 large chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
- 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!!!)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- When ready to assemble salad, remove reserved marinade from refrigerator. Blend in the Greek yogurt, until completely incorporated and creamy.
- 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!
*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!