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Southwest Chicken Salad

Blossom Lady
Jan 26, 2024 12:08 PM
Southwest Chicken Salad

Chili lime marinated chicken, cilantro lime dressing, and a heap of veggies come together to make this hearty and savory Southwest Chicken Salad. Perfect for meal prep and healthy dinners!

The flavors in this healthy and filling salad are redefining what classic Southwest Chicken Salads should taste like! We’re going above and beyond by marinating the chicken in a load of spices and lime juice, making our own creamy cilantro lime dressing, and layering on the best toppings, like black beans, corn, avocado, and juicy cherry tomatoes.

Instead of cooking the chicken in a southwest sauce, we’ll first marinate it for a minimum of 30 minutes to ensure the smokey, spicy, and tangy flavors absorb into the meat. This results in a much juicer and tender chicken with a delicious crust on the outside. Sliced and topped onto a bed of lettuce and veggies, it’s the real star of this dish and helps transform the salad into a substantial meal.

Tossed in a creamy cilantro lime dressing, this southwestern chicken salad recipe packs a punch and doesn’t skip on the flavors. It’s a fresh and healthy choice you can make ahead of time for weekday lunches and dinners.

For the chicken and marinade
  • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, for the marinade
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice (about the juice of 2 limes)
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder (if you don’t have ancho chili powder, just use regular)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, for cooking chicken

For the salad
  • 4-6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (canned is perfect)
  • 1 cup cooked corn (canned is perfect)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado sliced

For the cilantro-lime dressing
  • 1 cup cilantro, packed
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about the juice of 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup water

Prep Time:
30 minutes
Cook Time:
24 minutes
Total Time:
54 minutes
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