My Southwest Chicken Salad recipe truly rivals all of the fast-food versions! With juicy seasoned chicken, roasted corn, black beans, fresh avocado, and crispy tortilla strips, this makes a healthy and balanced lunch or dinner that will easily fill your family up!
Hey, #CoinedCrew – I’m here with another delicious salad recipe – this time, a hearty Southwest Chicken Salad! Just in time for your post-Thanksgiving detox…
I first tried a southwest chicken salad back when I was working at Chick-fil-A and have been hooked on this type of salad ever since. They are essentially taco salads, and anything taco-related gets a win from me. Imagine crisp romaine lettuce, taco-seasoned chicken, avocados, tomatoes, & corn + black beans – omg! The crispy tortilla strips add a great crunch on top. Don’t forget about a creamy salad dressing to tie it all together.
- Seasoned Chicken – I cooked the chicken in my new air fryer for the first time. It turned out really well – very juicy, with a slightly charred crust! If you don’t have one, you can always grill it in a skillet or grab a rotisserie chicken for easy prep.
- Romaine Lettuce – You can probably tell by now that I’m a huge fan of Romaine… Feel free to sub this out with your favorite greens blend.
- Roasted Corn – I like to roast my corn in the oven for some extra flavor. Fresh or canned corn will work for this recipe.
- Tortilla Strips – The salad aisle of your local store will have a bag of these by the croutons. You can also make your own if you prefer.
- Other Toppings – Black beans, sliced tomatoes, fresh avocado slices, Colby Jack shredded cheese, and tortilla strips are my go-to ingredients for a southwest chicken salad that rivals Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, or Panera.
The best part of a salad is… it’s customizable! Use toppings you love and skip the ones you don’t.
How to Meal Prep a Southwest Chicken Salad
Similar to my Green Goddess Shrimp Salad, this is a quick and tasty meal prep option. Simply prepare all of your ingredients and store the lettuce away from any “wet” foods (like the tomatoes or the dressing.) When you’re ready to eat, assemble your salad and you have a tasty meal that comes together in minutes.
For air fried chicken, I like to slice huge chicken breasts in half and then season generously with taco seasoning. Add to the air fryer and cook for about 11 minutes at 390°F. Remove, and let the chicken cool so all of the juices settle beautifully.
Some variations I like to use to switch it up: using an avocado-lime ranch dressing, subbing steak or shrimp instead of chicken, or adding cilantro-lime rice à la Chipotle-style.
Let me know in the comments: how often do you include salads on the menu? What other salads would you love to see on the blog? A traditional Caesar? A hearty cobb? Something Whole30?
Other Healthy Meal Ideas!
Southwest Chicken Salad
- 12 oz. chicken breasts or fully cooked chicken!
- 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 oz. sweet corn fresh or canned
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 4 oz. cherry tomatoes
- 2 ct. avocado
- 6 oz. black beans fresh or canned
- 3 cups chopped Romaine
- ¾ cup tortilla strips
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Season the chicken breasts with taco seasoning and olive oil on both sides.
- If air frying, cook on 390°F for 11 minutes, then set aside. If grilling, cook in a greased skillet on medium heat for about 12 minutes, then set aside.
- While the chicken is cooking, line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
- Toss your corn with the tsp. of olive oil and the listed seasonings. Add the corn to the aluminum foil, then roast it for about 10 minutes until fragrant and slightly charred.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes and avocados. Rinse the black beans thoroughly, then set aside.
- Season the chopped romaine with a pinch of black pepper. In a bowl, assemble your salad with the lettuce mix, corn, black beans, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado.
- Top with tortilla strips. Either pour your favorite dressing on top or leave it on the side.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
The Coined Breakdown
- Total Cost per bowl: $3.33
- Total Cost (2 bowls): $6.65
- Those Other Guys: $9.45 per bowl