Lunch Meal Prep Soups/Salads

Southwest Chicken Salad

southwest chicken salad

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.

For this recipe, I tried using chicken in my air-fryer for the first time. It turned out really well! Still juicy, but with a nice browned crust. And of course, the cooking/clean up portion was a breeze. If you don’t have one, you can always grill it in a skillet. When I’m in a hurry, I actually buy a rotisserie chicken and use that as my protein – no cooking required!

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.

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?

overhead shot of southwest chicken salad with ranch drizzle

Southwest Chicken Salad

Shani W.
A quick & easy version of tacos – but in a salad. Could you ask for anything better?
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Servings 2 bowls


  • 8 oz. chicken breast grilled or fried
  • 3 cups chopped Romaine
  • 3 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 3 oz. black beans fresh or canned
  • 3 oz. sweet corn fresh or canned
  • 2 ct. avocado
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup tortilla strips


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Toss the corn with olive oil and seasonings (I like salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and cumin for a spicy kick.) Roast the corn for about 10 minutes until crispy and fragrant.
  • While the corn is roasting, season your chicken with taco seasoning. Either air-fry according to your fryer's settings (mine cooked fully in about 15 minutes on 395°F), or grill in a skillet on medium heat for about 15 minutes until fully cooked.
  • Season the chopped romaine with a pinch of black pepper. Seasoning your lettuce is the key to great homemade salads that taste like the expensive ones you buy from restaurants!
  • Slice cherry tomatoes and cube avocados.
  • In a bowl, assemble your salad with the lettuce mix, corn, black beans, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado. Top with tortilla strips.
  • Either toss with dressing or leave on the side.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Keyword Meal Prep, Soups/Salads
overhead shot of southwest chicken salad with ranch drizzle

The Coined Breakdown

  • Total Cost per serving: $3.33
  • Total Cost (2 bowls): $6.65
  • Those Other Guys: $13.99 per bowl

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