This Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad with fresh vegetables, tender chicken and yummy cheese is an energizing and filling meal! Perfect for any time of year, this easy to make entrée salad recipe is so versatile and leaves you feeling great!

Big serving bowl of Southwest chicken chopped salad.

Creamy, crunchy, zesty, big bold salads featuring lots of fresh produce with a boost of protein feel like a breath of fresh air in the summertime! 

This Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad has everything you need for a satiating meal that brings you energy while keeping it cool. 

Delicious goodies like Spring greens, corn, black beans, chicken, cheddar cheese, avocado, tomatoes and onion come together with a delightful creamy chipotle dressing to level up your salad game.

One of my favorite parts about salad recipes like this is they are so versatile.

You can add in your favorite vegetables, take anything out and toss in all sorts of goodies like chopped nuts, fresh fruit, or dried fruit.

In addition, you can pick your favorite chicken recipe or use store-bought pre-cooked chicken.

I love my Baked Chili Lime Chicken Breasts in this salad, as well as my Grilled Chicken Thighs, Baked Honey Lime Chicken Thighs and Greek Chicken Breasts in this salad.

For those of you who don’t eat beans or corn, you can easily leave them out. I personally don’t eat either on a regular basis but I do love them in big entrée salads like this from time to time.

While the ingredients list seems long, all of the ingredients are straightforward and easy to find at any grocery store.

Plus, you may already have some of them on hand!

Two blue bowls of Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad, ready to eat.


Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for this delicious Southwestern Chicken Salad.

Ingredients for Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad:

Salad Ingredients:

Spring greens, cooked chicken (pick your favorite cooking method and type of chicken, or use store-bought cooked chicken), black beans (or kidney beans), sweet corn, tomatoes, ripe avocados, red onion, grated cheddar cheese, and cilantro.

All of these ingredients come together in a beautiful medley of color, flavors, and textures. 

Salad Dressing Ingredients:

To add a southwest flair to the salad, we whip up an easy creamy chipotle salad dressing made with Greek yogurt, avocado oil (or olive oil), rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), lime juice, chipotle chilis in adobo sauce for a little kick, pure maple syrup for a little sweetness, garlic, sea salt and pepper.

If you like using mayonnaise in your salad dressings, you can easily replace the plain Greek yogurt with mayo.

For a mild salad, use your favorite salad dressing or vinaigrette in place of the chipotle dressing.

Looking for ways you can change up this southwest chicken salad? Here are some ideas for customizing this delicious Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad.

Recipe Adaptations: 

  • Use any type of leafy greens you like instead of Spring greens, such as baby spinach, romaine lettuce, or kale.
  • Rather than using cherry tomatoes, you can use roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
  • Use your favorite method for cooking the chicken, such as grilled chicken, baked chicken, or use store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Incorporate any of your favorite salad ingredients, such as heirloom tomatoes, grated carrots, sprouts, celery, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts or pecans, etc.
  • Swap out the shredded cheddar cheese for feta cheese, cotija cheese, or blue cheese crumbles.
  • Use any type of salad dressing you like in place of the chipotle salad dressing. Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette, ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, and Homemade Italian Dressing are all great options.
  • Add in some fresh blueberries or strawberries if you love fruit in your salads.
  • Omit the black beans and/or corn if you eat grain-free or bean-free.
  • Mix in some tortilla strips or corn chips for a little crunch.
  • Add bell peppers such as green peppers or red bell pepper if you like them.
  • Swap the red onions for green onions for a little less onion bite.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients, let’s make this delicious salad recipe!

How to Make Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad:

Prepare the Dressing:

Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a small blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth.

If you don’t have a small blender, you can mix everything together in a small bowl.

Just be sure to finely chop the chipotle chilies first. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

Make the Salad:

If you’re cooking the chicken ahead of time, choose your favorite method for preparing the chicken. Prepare the chicken the day of, or up to 5 days in advance.

Add all of the ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl.

Ingredients for Southwest chicken chopped salad in a mixing bowl.

Add in your desired amount of dressing and toss until everything is well coated in dressing.

Serve salad in big bowls and enjoy!

Southwest chopped salad with dressing drizzled on top.

You can toss in some crushed tortilla chips and/or serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Salads are best when eaten fresh, but you can stretch leftovers until the next day if you’re okay with leftovers.

If you’re using this as a meal prep recipe in a big batch, pack the salad ingredients separately from the dressing and toss salad in dressing just before consuming it to avoid soggy salad.

Big bowl of southwest chopped salad with serving spoons, ready to serve.

The next time you’re craving something filling, nourishing, and relatively clean, this Southwestern Chicken Chopped Salad is here for you!

This hearty meal is perfect for work lunches and weeknight meals because it is nice and filling but won’t send your blood sugar through the roof, preventing the afternoon slump.

With minimal prep time and tons of flavor, this southwest chopped salad is a huge hit!

If you love big, filling salads like this one, also try some of these reader favorites.

More Healthy Salad Recipes:

Enjoy this amazing southwestern chopped chicken salad on regular rotation!

Big serving bowl of Southwest chicken chopped salad.

Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad

5 from 1 vote
A big, filling entrée salad recipe the whole family will love, this Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad is loaded with flavor! Mix it up with different add-ins and dressings to customize it to your liking!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 5 ounces spring greens chopped
  • 4 cups cooked chicken chopped into cubes*
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-oz can whole corn kernels, drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 large ripe avocado diced
  • cup red onion thinly sliced (about ½ a red onion)
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • cup fresh cilantro chopped

For the Dressing:

Instructions

Prepare the Dressing:

  • Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a small blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. If you don’t have a small blender, you can mix everything together in a small bowl. Just be sure to finely chop the chipotle chilies first. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

Make the Salad:

  • If you’re cooking the chicken ahead of time, choose your favorite method for preparing the chicken. See blog post for chicken recipe suggestions, or use store-bought pre-cooked chicken such as rotisserie chicken.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl. Add in your desired amount of dressing and toss until everything is well coated in dressing. Serve salad in big bowls and enjoy! You can toss in some crushed tortilla chips and/or serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.
  • Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  • Salads are best when eaten fresh, but you can stretch leftovers until the next day if you're okay with leftovers.

Notes

*Use your favorite method for cooking 1 pound of chicken breasts or chicken thighs. My preference is my Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe. You can also use store-bought pre-cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken to keep it easy!
**Base the amount of chilis you use on how spicy you like your food. For a mild dressing, use 2 teaspoons of chili powder instead of the chipotle chilies.
If you're using this as a meal prep recipe in a big batch, pack the salad ingredients separately from the dressing and toss salad in dressing just before consuming it to avoid soggy salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 4) · Calories: 657kcal · Carbohydrates: 39g · Protein: 67g · Fat: 25g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g · Cholesterol: 145mg · Sodium: 1061mg · Fiber: 13g · Sugar: 7g
Author: Julia
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken salad recipes, chopped salad recipes, entrée salad recipes, filling salad recipes, healthy salad recipes, southwest chicken chopped salad, southwest chicken salad, southwest chopped salad
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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