This Healthy Southwest Salad is filled with nutritious ingredients like peppers, tomatoes, corn, and black beans, topped with grilled chicken tenders for a punch of protein. The salad is finished off with a drizzle of homemade greek yogurt chipotle sauce that is so creamy and full of flavor.
About this Salad
A southwest salad is a go-to restaurant order of mine, but even though it is salad, when ordered out, it’s often filled with some not so healthy ingredients. So, to mimic the fun flavor combinations, I decided to create my own healthier version at home.
This Healthy Southwest Salad has plenty of nutritious ingredients. Fiber rich black beans, and plenty of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and onions lay the foundation for perfectly seared chicken tenders.
And what I think may be the best part of this salad is the Homemade Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce. Using greek yogurt in dressing is magical because it helps achieve a super creamy consistency, but is packed with protein. Adding a few other southwest ingredients make a dressing that truly tastes restaurant worthy.
And if you love this salad, I think you should try this Southwest Couscous Salad, this Nacho Taco Salad, this Healthy 7 Layer Salad, or this Guacamole Steak Salad, too.
- Chicken Tenders - You can use chicken breasts too! I just like that the tenders are already the perfect size with no cutting required before cooking.
- Black Beans - A classic ingredient in a southwest salad. Beans help bulk up the salad a bit too for some extra staying power.
- Veggies - This salad has corn, cherry tomatoes, onion, cilantro and bell peppers.
- Tortilla Chips - Included for crunch factor! Want to make your own tortilla chips? Just slice a tortilla into triangles, heat a touch of oil in a skillet and fry until crispy!
- Plain Greek Yogurt - As the base of our dressing, it creates a super creamy texture. You could also substitute sour cream
- Chipotle Adobo Sauce - This is what will make our sauce “chipotle” flavored. I just used the sauce, but there are peppers in the can as well you can finely dice and add to your dressing if you want to tick up the heat.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Prepare the chicken first since it will take the longest. You can grill, bake, or pan fry it. I cooked the chicken on a skillet over medium heat. Heat a skillet to medium heat and coat with cooking spray or 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
2. Season the chicken with Chile Lime Seasoning and add the juice of one lime to the pan while it cooks. Cover the skillet with a lid to speed up the cooking process. Regardless of cooking method, your chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
3. While the chicken is cooking, wash and dice the veggies. Rinse and drain the beans. Cook the frozen corn. Dice the tomatoes, red onion, and bell peppers.
4. Then, prepare the dressing. In a glass measuring beaker or small mixing bowl, combine all Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce ingredients. Whisk together until smooth. If you like your dressing thinner, add more olive oil and a splash of vinegar. If you like it thicker, add more yogurt or mayo.
4. Once everything is prepared and done, assemble the salad. Start with the spring mix and build everything on top of that: beans, corns, peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and crushed chips. Slice the chicken (if not already small enough) and add that on top.
5. Drizzle your Healthy Southwest Salad in the Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce, toss and enjoy!
This Healthy Southwest Salad is fabulous for meal prep! Store assembled in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Keep the chips and dressing separate until ready to enjoy.
I also like to double batch the dressing and use throughout the week on other dishes like grilled chicken, tacos, over beans and rice, etc. Store the Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce in a glass, air-tight container for up to one week.
This Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce is so easy to make and definitely healthier than store-bought dressing, so I highly recommend making it from scratch. BUT, I do understand if you’re looking for a quick, convenient option instead.
Store bought chipotle ranch is a great option (many brands make this - Hidden Valley, Chosen Foods, Skinny Girl). Or try Bolthouse Greek Yogurt Salsa Ranch, which I love too!
This Healthy Southwest Salad is super customizable and can fit most any dietary needs. Also, any ingredient you don't like? Just leave it off! Want to add some leftover grilled veggies, do it!
- Dairy Free: Just use a plant-based yogurt in your dressing!
- Gluten Free: Just double check you have GF Corn tortilla chips. No other gluten containing items in this recipe!
- Vegetarian: Leave off the chicken and add some extra black beans, a can of chickpeas, or some seared tempeh!
More Recipes You'll Love
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Healthy Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
- cutting boardq
- glass beaker
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Meat Thermometer
For the salad:
- 5 oz spring mix, one small container
- 2 lbs chicken tenders, raw
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp chile lime seasoning
- 1 can black beans
- 10 oz frozen corn, 1 package
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup crumbled tortilla chips
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
For the Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce:
- 1 ½ cups plain greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
- 3 tbsp chipotle adobo sauce, from the can
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 lime, juiced
- Prepare the chicken first since it will take the longest. Heat a skillet to medium heat and coat with cooking spray or 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Season the chicken with Chile Lime Seasoning and add the juice of one lime to the pan while it cooks. Cover the skillet with a lid to speed up the cooking process. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- While the chicken is cooking, wash and dice the veggies. Rinse and drain the beans. Cook the frozen corn. Dice the tomatoes, red onion, and bell peppers.
- Then, prepare the dressing. In a glass measuring beaker or small mixing bowl, combine all Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce ingredients. Whisk together until smooth.
- Once everything is prepared and done, assemble the salad. Start with the spring mix and build everything on top of that: beans, corns, peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and crushed chips. Slice the chicken into strips (if not already small enough) and add that on top.
- Drizzle your Healthy Southwest Salad in the Greek Yogurt Chipotle Sauce, toss and enjoy!
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If you're using MyFitnessPal, search 'A Paige Of Positivity' and find HEALTHY SOUTHWEST SALAD calories and nutrition facts. Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved or just say hi!
Courtney Paige says
I made this for my family and they all loved it! Super flavorful and an easy southwest salad.
Sydney Van Acker says
This salad is tasty, but the dressing is everything and more!!!! I've made it so many times now. Chipotle yogurt sauce + sweet potato fries TRY IT