Southwest Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

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This Southwest Chicken Salad has the best baked chicken on a bed of lettuce, beans, corn, tomato, avocado, and onion. Top it with my super popular cilantro lime dressing!

This post is sponsored by Klarbrunn.

Meet your new favorite easy and healthy dinner – Southwest Chicken Salad!

The chicken is so dang amazing. Seriously.

It’s marinated in taco seasoning and yogurt, then it’s baked at a high heat for a short amount of time to lock all the juices and flavor in. You could also grill the chicken if that’s your preference – grilling and baking both are fantastic options here! If you’re looking for the perfect easy chicken recipe – this is it.

You might be wondering “Why is a Southwest inspired chicken recipe marinated in Greek yogurt?” I chose to marinate the chicken in yogurt because it contains calcium and lactic acid. When those are combined, they help break down the protein in poultry – meaning you get super tender and moist chicken without much effort!

I decided to pair it with my super popular Cilantro Lime Dressing and the flavor combo is unreal! The only difference in the sauce is that I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream (since the chicken marinade calls for Greek yogurt, so it just seemed less frivolous to use common ingredients across different aspects of the recipe).

I like to shred the lettuce and toss everything together so it’s like a chop salad, but you could cut the lettuce bigger and have a more standard salad, too. It’s delicious either way!

Southwest chicken salad on a white plate with a silver fork next to a can of Klarbrunn sparkling water.

I’m so happy to partner up with Klarbrunn to bring you this seriously delicious, healthy, and easy weeknight dinner recipe. For the perfect flavor combo, try pairing this Southwest Chicken Salad with an ice cold can of their Lime Sparkling Water, too!

I’m partial to all of their flavors – but there’s something about the lime that just tastes so unreal and amazing. You can find out where to buy Klarbrunn’s sparkling water here.

An image of southwest chicken salad in the background and a can of lime Klarbrunn sparkling water in the foreground.

Optional Add-Ins and Substitutions

In addition to the lettuce, black beans, corn, tomato, avocado, onion, and chicken, these flavors would pair SO well with this salad!

I think the best tasting options would be:

  • Substituting the cilantro lime dressing with a lime vinaigrette or a chipotle dressing.
  • Adding quinoa to make it more filling.
  • Using kale instead of lettuce.
  • Adding BBQ sauce to the marinade for a sweet and smoky flavor.

If you’re serving this as a side salad, zucchini boats or a quesadilla would round this out so well to make an incredible meal.

Southwest chicken marinade ingredients in individual containers and labeled (ingredients include Greek yogurt, taco seasoning, cumin, salt, and olive oil).
A process collage showing the marinated southwest chicken breasts before and after baking.

Taco Salad in a Jar

This recipe would be great for meal prep! The key to storing this salad in a mason jar is to layer the ingredients from wettest to driest. That helps keep all of the ingredients fresh and stops unfortunate situations like soggy lettuce that’s been swimming in sauce.

I would layer it with the cilantro lime sauce first, then the tomatoes, then the corn, black beans, and onions, and finish off with the lettuce and chicken.

Cilantro lime dressing ingredients in individual containers and labeled (ingredients include cilantro, olive oil, Greek yogurt, avocado, salt, garlic, green onion, lime juice, and water).

How Many Calories in a Southwest Chicken Salad

According to Cronometer, this recipe has roughly 558 calories, 36.1 carbs, and 21.6 net carbs per serving.

An image of of southwest chicken salad on a white platter with the ingredients segmented.

What You’ll Need

Like so many of my favorite recipes, you only need a few standard kitchen tools to make this meal.

The first is either a food processor or a blender. You don’t need anything fancy to make this sauce, but having an appliance blend it up for you is super helpful.

Second, you’ll need a good quality baking sheet. The quality of your baking sheet really makes all the difference in your daily kitchen tasks, so this is somewhere I’d recommend investing in quality.

Third, you’ll need either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. They both work beautifully, but the silicone baking mat will give you a crispier bottom!

Yield: 4 servings

Southwest Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Southwest chicken salad in a platter with the salad ingredients mixed together.

This Southwest Chicken Salad has the best baked chicken on a bed of lettuce, beans, corn, tomato, avocado, and onion. Top it with my super popular cilantro lime dressing!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • ⅓ cup Greek yogurt

Cilantro Lime Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ ripe avocado (peeled and pitted, save remaining half for salad)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • ¾ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt

Salad:

  • 1 head shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 ½ ripe avocados (sliced)
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • ¼ red onion (diced)

Instructions

Chicken:

  1. Wash and dry the chicken breasts. Pound to an even thickness.
  2. To a large ziploc bag, add the Greek yogurt, taco seasoning, cumin, sea salt, olive oil, and chicken breasts. Close the ziploc and squeeze to move the chicken around and evenly coat in the yogurt marinade. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 F. The high temperature is important to lock the juices and flavor in.
  4. Bake the chicken for 15 - 18 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reads 165 F on a meat thermometer.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a plate. Tent loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Cilantro Lime Sauce:

  1. While the chicken is baking, make the sauce.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the cilantro is mostly blended, but visible bits remain. This sauce is better if it isn’t completely pureed.

Salad:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, avocado, tomato, black beans, corn, and red onion.
  2. Add your desired amount of Cilantro Lime Sauce and toss to coat.
  3. Plate and serve with chicken strips on top.

Notes

There will likely be leftover dressing. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1/4

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 558Total Fat: 30.1gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 103.3mgSodium: 552.6mgCarbohydrates: 36.1gNet Carbohydrates: 21.6gFiber: 14.5gSugar: 6.8gProtein: 40.2g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. This was calculated assuming all of the dressing was used.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments or on Instagram! @keytomylime #keytomylime

Be sure to pin this recipe for later!

A Pinterest pin image with a photo of southwest chicken salad and title text.

Try this Southwest Chicken Salad the next time you’re looking for a delicious easy weeknight dinner!

Southwest chicken salad in a platter with the salad ingredients mixed together.

2 thoughts on “Southwest Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing”

  1. Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will Share your Rrecipe with my friends. Hope they will love it too.

    • Hi Hema, So happy to hear you and your family loved the Southwest Chicken Salad! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave feedback. -Alexa

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