Southwest Chicken Salad

By Rena |

This Southwest Chicken Salad is the perfect salad that can be enjoyed all year long. Loaded with protein, fiber, nutrients, and it’s full of flavor. Tossed with a simple garlic lemon marinade, it is easy to make and perfect for lunch or dinner.

top view of southwest chicken salad in a white bowl

Salads are delicious and simple to put together and can get as creative as you like. We really loved putting together this simple grilled chicken salad with a southwest kick to it. It is loaded with fresh veggies and beans, then topped with tender and juicy chicken. The southwest salad is tossed in with a simple lemon garlic marinade and can be enjoyed for lunch or a light dinner.

Why you will love this easy chicken salad recipe

  • Easy to make: This southwest chicken salad is easy to make with simple ingredients that can be put together in just 15 minutes.
  • Fresh and delicious: the ingredients used to make this chicken salad are fresh and the salad is just so flavorful and delicious.
  • Healthy: This salad is so healthy and just the perfect guilt-free meal. Also, it’s loaded with nutrients, with the right amount of carbs and protein.
top view close up chicken salad

Ingredients you will need

For chicken and marinade:
boneless skinless chicken breasts
olive oil
lime
cilantro leaves
garlic cloves
cumin
chili powder
salt and pepper

For salad:
romaine lettuce or one head of lettuce
cherry tomatoes
black beans
canned corn
red onion
avocado
cilantro

Dressing:
olive oil
one lime
garlic
salt and pepper

ingredients to make southwest salad

How to make this chicken salad from scratch

  • First, marinate the chicken: Place the chicken in a shallow dish and add the oil, lime juice plus zest, garlic, and seasonings. Rub the chicken well, then cover the dish and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes over the counter. If time allows, you can marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • Make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Next, cook the chicken: Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow the chicken to slightly cool, then slice it.
  • Assemble salad and serve: While the chicken cools, add all the salad ingredients to a bowl. Top with juicy chicken and drizzle the dressing over. Finally, toss to combine then serve. Enjoy!
top view close up chicken salad

Recipe notes and tips

  • Chicken: using lean chicken breast is ideal, but you may use boneless chicken thighs. Want to sway the chicken with salmon or shrimp go right ahead.
  • Lettuce: we used romaine but you can use head lettuce or a combination of greens.
  • Use fresh vegetables for the best flavors. 
  • Swap olive with avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
  • you may sub the lime with lemons.
  • You may use an outdoor grill to cook the chicken
  • To store the salad, do not add the marinade until ready to serve.
top view of southwest salad in a white bowl

Frequently asked questions

Is grilled chicken salad good for you?

If the chicken is grilled and topped over a salad bowl, it certainly is healthy and good for you. It is packed with lean protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients.

Is it OK to eat salad every day?

If your salad is well balanced with the right amount of protein, carbs, and vegetables, it is perfectly ok to have a salad every day. The key is to make your own healthy dressing at home to avoid high fat and unhealthy store-bought dressing that is loaded with preservatives and sugar.

How to store grilled chicken salad?

To store your grilled chicken salad that’s already mixed in with the dressing, simply place it in a tightly sealed container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. It is best to not mix the dressing in with the salad and store them separately so they last longer and the salad doesn’t wilt and get soggy.

close up chicken salad in a white bowl

Other salad recipes to try

top view of slice grilled chicken over a bed of greens salad in a white bowl

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top view of southwest chicken salad in a white bowl

Southwest Chicken Salad

Tender and juicy chicken breast served over a variety of fresh vegetables, and tossed with a simple garlic lemon marinade, it is easy to make and perfect for lunch or dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Low Fat
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 571kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

For chicken and marinade:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 lime juiced, and zested
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

For Salad:

  • 4 cups packed romaine lettuce or 1 large head chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 8 oz black beans one can, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz corn one can, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

DRESSING:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime juiced and zest
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place the chicken in a shallow dish and add the oil, lime juice plus zest, garlic, and seasonings. Rub the chicken well, then cover the dish and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes over the counter. If time allows, you can marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow the chicken to slightly cool, then slice it.
  • While the chicken cools, add all the salad ingredients to a bowl.
  • Top with juicy chicken and drizzle the dressing over.
  • Toss to combine then serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Chicken: using lean chicken breast is ideal, but you may use boneless chicken thighs. Want to sway the chicken with salmon or shrimp go right ahead.
  • Lettuce: we used romaine but you can use head lettuce or a combination of greens.
  • Use fresh vegetables for the best flavors. 
  • Swap olive with avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
  • you may sub the lime with lemons.

Nutrition

Calories: 571kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 1028mg | Potassium: 1381mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4952IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 4mg
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