Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad is a hearty main dish that is the ultimate flavor bomb! Perfectly seasoned chicken breast get tossed together with romaine lettuce, black beans, fresh vegetables, and pumpkin seeds. We tie it all together with a generous helping of chipotle ranch dressing!
Southwest recipes have a special place in my heart and here on Wholesomelicious! This is probably why I find myself making Mexican Slaw or an easy dinner like Chicken Tortilla-less Soup all the time. As a nutritionist, making healthy recipes with tons of flavor is of utmost importance! I love to combine healthy fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants in all of my simple meals.
That is exactly what we are doing here with this Chopped Southwest Chicken Salad! Crispy chopped romaine lettuce combines with juicy seasoned chicken breast, black beans, chopped fresh cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, and more! I especially the creamy and smoky chipotle ranch and crunch pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to top it off.
You will love that this easy hearty salad comes together very quickly in less than 20 minutes. It also makes a great option for meal prep and will hold up well in the fridge!
How to make Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad
Here is what you need to make the salad:
- Chicken breast
- Seasonings: Paprika, cumin, sea salt, garlic powder (or use a store bought taco seasoning!)
- Avocado oil
- Romaine lettuce hearts
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Black beans
- Bell pepper (orange, yellow, or red)
For the dressing, you can use a store bought ranch like Tessamaes with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or make your own chipotle ranch. Here is what you will need:
- Buttermilk or coconut milk
- Lime juice
- Dried parsley, chives, and dill
- Onion and garlic powder
- Sea salt
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Season the chicken breast and heat a medium skillet to medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil and chicken. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through and juicy. Set aside.
- Prepare the salad by finely chopping the romaine. Chop the red onion, bell pepper, avocado, tomatoes, avocado and chopped fresh cilantro. Combine in a large bowl with the romaine lettuce.
- Add in the black beans, pepitas, and corn. Toss to combine.
- Slice up the chicken breast and add to the salad.
- Make the dressing by using a food processor and blending all of the ingredients. Pour over the salad and serve with additional cilantro and tortilla chips (optional)
Tips and adaptations
- As mentioned above, for a shortcut, you can use store-bought ranch dressing and add the chipotle pepper and a splash of lime juice to jazz it up!
- For the chicken, you can also use pre-cooked chicken as a shortcut to this recipe.
- Want to add a different protein? My Chipotle Flank Steak or even Chili Lime Salmon are great options!
- Feel free to omit the black beans and corn for a Paleo and Whole30 option!
- Looking for a vinaigrette? My Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette is also a great option for this salad!
You can store this salad in the fridge for a few days without the avocado. I would suggest only adding to individual servings! After a few days, the salad will being to wilt.
Other delicious and easy meals you will love!
- Chicken Avocado Salad with Bacon
- Tequila Lime Shrimp Bowls
- Instant Pot Mango Chipotle Chicken Tacos
- Chipotle Enchilada Meatballs
Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad
15 minutes and a skillet is all you need for this simple Southwest Chopped Chicken Salad! You'll love the zesty chipotle ranch to top it off.
For the Salad:
- 2 Chicken breast
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 large heart of romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup black beans (can) (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn (defrosted)
- 1/2 chopped orange bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 small avocado (diced)
- 1/2 cup pepitas
For the Chipotle Ranch:
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup buttermilk or full fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried chives
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and sea salt. You can also use 1-2 tbsp store bought taco seasoning! Rub the seasoning on both sides of the chicken.
Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side until browned, and cooked all the way (but still juicy). Do not overcook! Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, chop the romaine lettuce finely. Chop any remaining vegetables that aren't already prepped.
In a large bowl, toss together romaine lettuce, cilantro tomatoes, red onion, corn, black beans, bell pepper, and avocado.
Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. You can also use a store bought ranch, and blend with the chipotle pepper and lime juice for a shortcut.
Pour the 3/4 cup dressing on top of the dressing (you may have extra dressing). Using tongs, toss the salad until everything is combined well. Now sprinkle in the pepitas and sliced chicken.
Serve with additional cilantro (optional), and season with salt and pepper as needed. You can also add tortilla chips!