Alright, so this isn’t your typical southwest chicken salad recipe. Most other southwest chicken salads have corn and black beans in them. Well, since I can’t stand beans (I know I’m weird) and I didn’t have any corn on hand, I came up with this delicious and filling salad!
The star of this salad is hands down the chicken. Letting the chicken marinate in the lime juice and other seasonings for 10-15 minutes is all you need to make some of the best chicken ever! This time around I decided to cook my chicken in a skillet, but you can totally grill it too! Either way will get you a nice flavorful outside and a delicious juicy inside.
I opted to go for some favorite salad toppings this time that definitely give it a southwest flair. Chopped jalapenos- yes please! Red onions and tomatoes- you bet! Avocado- of course! Cilantro- no brainer! Olives- yum!
I whipped up some avocado dressing and then called my husband in from working on the cars. He sure was hungry and he said this southwest grilled chicken salad was awesome! Win! I’m so glad he likes what I cook!
When making the chicken, I made sure to pick out medium/small chicken breasts. They cooked quickly and were super juicy. Everything else was as simple as chopping up and putting in a big bowl!
You can use any dressing for this salad. If you do happen to make the avocado dressing, I like to add extra olive oil to make it a little less thick and I’ve noticed the flavor gets even better if I make it the night before and let all the ingredients get settled together.
If you like this southwest salad recipe check out my green chile stew recipe! It’s as southwestern as you can get (I should know I live in NM!). Or whip up some of these easy cheddar biscuits as an easy side and this yummy caramel apple cake for dessert!
Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe
For the Chicken:
- 2 medium chicken breasts
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 tsps garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp chile powder
- 1 tbs olive oil
For the Salad:
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 ripe avocado sliced
- ½ cup olives chopped
- 1 medium tomato diced
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 jalapenos seeds removed and diced
For the dressing
- I used our delicious avocado dressing (see link below!) but I add 4 more tablespoons of olive oil to the original recipe (making it a total of four tablespoons of olive oil).*
For the chicken:
Mix together lime juice, garlic powder, salt, chile powder and olive oil. Coat chicken in mixture and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, preheat your grill or skillet.
If you are grilling your chicken, place chicken on the preheated grill and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side (time will vary based on how big your chicken pieces are) and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
If you are using a skillet, preheat it to medium/high heat. Use a little olive oil to grease the skillet and then place the chicken in the pan. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side until browned (time will vary based on how big your chicken pieces are). The internal temperature should reach 165°F.
For the salad:
Wash and dry the romaine lettuce. Cut the lettuce into large pieces and place in a large bowl.
Add the avocado, olives, tomato, cilantro and jalapenos and cooked chicken.
Add the dressing and mix (mixing is optional- since it makes a very pretty presentation if you leave it unmixed!).
For the dressing*:
Check out our Avocado dressing here!
*This dressing is super yummy but it can be pretty thick. Sometimes I add more olive oil to thin it out.