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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.
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


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


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


  • Place the chicken in a shallow dish and add 1 tbsp of 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 and add the other 1 tbsp of oil. 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!


  • 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.


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