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Healthy Southwest Chopped Salad

Fresh and flavourful, this Southwest Chopped Salad is quick, easy, and delicious! It’s loaded with fresh veggies and a hearty drizzle of a creamy homemade Southwest Ranch dressing that your whole family will love! Enjoy it as a side to Chili Lime Chicken Kabobs with Veggies, or add chicken to the salad to make it a hearty meal.

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White salad plate on a wooden cutting board with a colourful salad featuring romaine lettuce, kidney beans, black olives, corn, red onion, cheese and tortilla chips with a creamy southwestern ranch dressing.

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Why I love this healthy chopped salad

This Southwestern Chopped Salad is a delectable mix of red onions, kidney beans, grape tomatoes, corn, avocado, cheese, and cilantro, that’s been tossed with a creamy homemade dressing! Southwest Chopped Salad is great for meal prepped lunches. I love it on a big bed of chopped romaine lettuce, or in a hearty wrap. You can even make this as a mason jar salad by putting the dressing at the bottem, then layering in the rest of the ingredients.

This is an incredibly delicious salad with a southwestern bite!

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RELATED: Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

White salad plate on a wooden cutting board with a colourful salad featuring romaine lettuce, kidney beans, black olives, corn, red onion, cheese and tortilla chips with a creamy southwestern ranch dressing.

Ingredients for this Southwestern Chopped Salad

For the Southwest Chopped Salad you will need:

Ingredients needed to make southwestern chopped salad: kidney beans, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, corn, red onion, avocado, black olives, cheese, and cilantro
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Red onion
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Kidney beans
  • Black olives
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Nacho cheese chips (Nacho Cheese Doritos are my favourite)

For the Creamy Southwestern Salad Dressing you will need

White plate with all of the ingredients needed for making southwest salad dressing on it: Mayonnaise
Sour cream
Tomatoes
Distilled white vinegar
Pickled jalapenos
Chopped red onion
Fresh parsley
Dried dill
Ground cumin,
Hot sauce,
Salt,
Black pepper,
Garlic powder, and
Paprika.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Tomatoes
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Chopped red onion
  • Fresh parsley
  • Dried dill
  • Ground cumin
  • Hot sauce
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Milk, depending on thickness desired

For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

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How to make this hearty chopped salad

To make this Southwestern salad I recommend that you start by making the Southwestern dressing first. That way the salad dressing flavours can marinate together in an airtight container in the fridge while you chop all of the remaining salad ingredients.

To make the Creamy Southwestern Salad Dressing

  1. Place all of the ingredients EXCEPT the milk into a blender.
  2. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Add the milk a little at a time, blending between each addition, until desired thickness is achieved.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the Southwestern Chopped Salad

  1. Arrange all of the salad ingredients in a bowl EXCEPT the nacho chips (if using).
  2. Dish out salad to plates
  3. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Crumble nacho chips (if using) and sprinkle over salad as a garnish.

Make this Southwest Chopped Salad Recipe, then check out my Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad, Instant Pot White Chicken Chili, and Healthy One Skillet Mexican Inspired Rice and Beef Casserole and more of my healthy mexican inspired recipes.  

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Tips for making this the best ever Southwest Salad

Read on for tips and ideas on how to make this recipe, and how to avoid making it a disaster.

  • Black beans or pinto beans can be substituted for the kidney beans.
  • Light mayonnaise and/or light sour cream will work well in the dressing but it might require less milk.
  • To lighten it up even more use greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and thin out with skim milk.
  • If you do not have a blender for the dressing, finely chop the vegetables and whisk together until completely mixed.

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How to store this salad

Store dressing separately in an airtight container (such as a mason jar) and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Store leftover salad in a separate airtight container also for up to 4 days. Do not store salad veggies with the nacho chips as the chips will get very soggy.

I like to store my leftover salad in a glass container with a snap on lid, like these glass containers from amazon:

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Close up of a spoon with southwest ranch dressing on it and a clourful southwest chopped salad in the background.

Other salad recipes to try

  • Spring Salad with Homemade Green Goddess Dressing – A delicious Spring Salad with mandarin oranges, cashews and avocado paired with a healthy Green Goddess dressing that is so easy to make, crazy delicious and can pull triple-duty as a dressing, dip or a sauce!
  • Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad – Chipotle seasoned chicken tossed with all your favorite southwestern fixings in an edible crispy taco bowl. An incredibly delicious salad with a south western bite!

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If you’re looking for a healthy summer salad then look no further because I’ve got a DELICIOUS recipe for you!

Close up of a white plate with southwest chopped salad on a wooden cutting board showing a cut avocado in the background.

Southwest Chopped Salad Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Fresh and flavourful, this Southwest Chopped Salad is quick, easy, and delicious! It's loaded with fresh veggies and a hearty drizzle of a creamy homemade Southwest Ranch dressing that your whole family will love! Enjoy it as a side to Chili Lime Chicken Kabobs with Veggies, or add chicken to the salad to make it a hearty meal.

Ingredients

For the Chopped Salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 2 ripe avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crushed nacho cheese chips, optional

For the dressing

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 to 3 slices pickled jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, depending on thickness desired

Instructions

To make the dressing:

  1. Place all of the ingredients EXCEPT the milk into a blender.
  2. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Add the milk a little at a time, blending between each addition, until desired thickness is achieved.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the salad:

  1. Arrange all of the salad ingredients in a bowl EXCEPT the nacho chips (if using.)
  2. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
  3. Crumble nacho chips (if using) and add to salad.
  4. Mix well.


If you loved this southwest salad be sure to check out my Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad.

Notes

For tips, substitutions, storage and serving info be sure to read the full Southwestern Chopped Salad post.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 669Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 1060mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 13gSugar: 9gProtein: 19g

The provided nutrition information is an estimate and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information.

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Close up of a mason jar with a spoon sticking out of it with southwestern ranch salad dressing in the jar with text overlay that says :Southwest Ranch Dressing".
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