Southwest Chicken Salad

Introduction

Indulge in the flavors of the Southwest with this delicious Southwest Chicken Salad recipe. Packed with vibrant colors and bold seasonings, this salad is a perfect balance of protein, veggies, and zesty dressing.

Why Make This Recipe

This Southwest Chicken Salad is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken and transform it into a fresh and flavorful meal. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a filling for wraps, a topping for greens, or on its own as a protein-packed salad.

How to Make Southwest Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
  • 1 14.5 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or canned)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (used Franks)
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
  2. Add dressing and remaining salad ingredients to a large mixing or serving bowl and toss well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Chill covered for at least an hour before serving. When ready to serve, stir and enjoy!

How to Serve Southwest Chicken Salad

Serve this flavorful Southwest Chicken Salad on a bed of lettuce, in a wrap, or as a topping for nachos. Garnish with additional cilantro and a wedge of lime for an extra burst of freshness.

How to Store Southwest Chicken Salad

Store any leftover Southwest Chicken Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Give it a stir before serving to redistribute the dressing and flavors.

Tips to Make Southwest Chicken Salad

  • Use rotisserie chicken for a quick and easy shortcut.
  • Customize the salad by adding avocado, cherry tomatoes, or shredded cheese.
  • For a lighter version, use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in the dressing.

Variations

For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and add extra beans or grilled tofu for protein. You can also swap the sour cream for avocado or Greek yogurt for a creamier dressing.

FAQs

  1. Can I use canned chicken instead of cooked chicken? Yes, canned chicken can be used as a convenient substitute.
  2. Is it necessary to chill the salad before serving? Chilling allows the flavors to meld together, but you can serve it immediately if preferred.
  3. How spicy is the salad with the hot sauce? The heat level can be adjusted by adding more or less hot sauce according to your preference.

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