Southwest Chicken Salad has chicken, black beans, corn, green onion, tomatoes, cilantro, tortilla strips, and the best cilantro lime dressing.

Full of flavor and easy to prepare in less than 20 minutes, get ready to devour my favorite summer salad.

CHOPPED SOUTHWESTERN SALAD Wooden salad spoon, glass bowl

I love those chopped salads; you know, the ones I am talking about in the produce section at the grocery store? They are typically cabbage based, some with kale, and come with dressings and garnishes. They are a quick, easy meal when the kids and I head to the pool. The only downside is that they usually are only enough for Jake and I. Nothing for the kiddos, so we pack them up sandwiches or something else. When our boys were into baseball, these salads were also a massive hit for the nighttime games, making an easy & delicious picnic.

The only other thing about these bagged salads is the dressings. Not all of them are good. So there is only one salad in that we use the sauce, and that’s the Chopped Asian Salad; for the rest of the salads, we usually will make our dressing or not have any dressing at all, which is a desperate move.

I decided to make homemade versions of these salads, which have been a huge hit. My Chopped Asian Salad has been one of my most popular summer recipes. But this Chopped Southwestern Salad is my favorite and it is all because of the dressing. It is simply divine.

CHOPPED SOUTHWESTERN SALAD Glass bowl, wooden spoon

I love adding tortilla strips to this salad and some diced avocado. But if I am taking this somewhere, I leave those two ingredients out as the chips get soggy and the avocado turns brown.

My one tip when making this salad is not to add the dressing until you are going to eat it. If you want leftovers, only add the dressing to your serving, not the whole salad. Otherwise the next day you will have a soggy salad and no one wants that.

CHOPPED SOUTHWESTERN SALAD White bowl, white table

I would love to know your summer to-go-to meals; share them below in the comments.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Coleslaw or mixed greens
  • cooked chicken
  • Green onions
  • Cilantro
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet corn cooked
  • Black beans

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Jalapeno
  • Garlic
  • Minced fresh ginger root
  • Lime juice
  • Honey
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Cilantro leaves

If you are looking for some other summer salad inspirations, check these out:

Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board for later.

Chopped Southwestern Salad

Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 2041 kcal
Chopped Southwestern Salad – shredded green cabbage, black beans, corn, green onion, tomatoes, cilantro, tortilla strips, and the best cilantro lime dressing. Full of flavor and easy to prepare in less than 20 minutes; get ready to devour my favorite summer salad.


  • 8 cups coleslaw
  • 4 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • 5 green onions chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn cooked
  • 14 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves


  • Cut up chicken, into cubes. I grilled mine, but a store-bought rotisserie chicken works well too.
  • Cut up all the vegetables.
  • In a large mixing bowl add coleslaw mix, chicken, black beans, corn, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro.
  • Make the dressing.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Finely chop 1/2 jalapeno pepper, garlic clove, cilantro, and ginger, add to a small mason jar. Add in the lime juice, honey, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Twist on lid to mason jar and vigorously shake until well combined. Shake up again right before serving.
  • Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add tortilla strips and toss again. Serve immediately.
  • If you’re not serving immediately – you can add everything in a large bowl except the tortilla strips and dressing and then add those right before you are to serve. This is a great salad to make ahead.


Calories: 2041kcalCarbohydrates: 194gProtein: 153gFat: 79gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 425mgSodium: 1723mgPotassium: 3340mgFiber: 22gSugar: 129gVitamin A: 4375IUVitamin C: 296.7mgCalcium: 372mgIron: 13.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

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  1. 5 stars
    My boys gave this recipe a 13 out of 10! We ate it as a side with chicken tortilla soup, so omitted the chicken from the salad. They asked me to keep this recipe, so that means it’s a keeper in our home.

  2. 5 stars
    This is our absolute favorite recipe this year. I’ve given out the recipe three times this week!! Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m always looking for salads to level up to a full meal by adding chicken. This recipe did not disappoint! I used some leftover pre-cooked chicken & it made the perfect meal prep for lunch. The cilantro lime dressing is to die for! I keep some in my fridge all the time now. Thanks for this!

    1. Thanks for letting me know, the recipe card was deleted for some reason, it is now back. Thank you!

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