Southwest Chicken Salad

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This healthy and incredibly tasty Southwest Chicken Salad is sure to make its way into your lunch rotation time after time. In just a few minutes, you’ll have lunch prepped for the week that is bursting with flavor and will keep you full for hours.

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

A FLAVORFUL, HEALTHY LUNCH OPTION

For those times when you want a meal that’s healthy and light but also fast and super easy, this Southwest Chicken Salad is going to become one of your favorite lunchtime staples. The best part? It’s not just good for you; it tastes good too! In fact, everyone in the family will love this recipe.

Chicken salads are a great way to prep lunch for the week ahead. When you have something in the refrigerator that is ready to grab and go, you’ll be thanking yourself for taking a few minutes to assemble this dish. The great news is that you don’t need any cooking experience to create this delicious chicken salad. If you can use a knife, you’re good to go!

This Southwest Chicken Salad is not only good for lunchtime meal prep; it’s also the perfect option to take to a picnic, potluck, or barbecue with family or friends.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD

  • It is delicious, healthy, and fresh.
  • This dish is versatile and can be served as an appetizer or as a main course.
  • You can make it ahead of time.
  • This recipe is a great choice when you’ve got a crowd to feed.
  • It also serves as an excellent dish to meal prep.

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD

EQUIPMENT

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Microplane grater
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spoon

INGREDIENTS

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • Chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts and cook them in the crockpot overnight; then in the morning I shred them to use as the base of this chicken salad. Alternatively, you could bake or poach some chicken breasts and dice them once they have cooled. In addition to chicken breasts, you can use chicken tenderloins or even rotisserie chicken from the deli section of your local grocery store.
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt: I use Fage 0%, but any type will do.
  • Light mayonnaise: My favorite brand is Hellman’s; you really don’t notice that it’s a lighter alternative!
  • Grape tomatoes: Feel free to use any type of tomato you have on hand! Cherry, roma, and beefsteak are also great options.
  • Red onion: While I like using red onion for an additional pop of color, any type of onion will do. If you don’t like raw onion, you can use onion powder instead.
  • Corn: Fresh, frozen, or canned all work fine! For additional flavor, consider using fire-roasted corn. I find mine in the frozen section at Whole Foods.
  • Black beans: Any type of canned bean can be used in this recipe; just make sure you drain and rinse them well. Pinto beans or kidney beans would be excellent options.
  • Lime: Using the juice and zest of a lime gives a nice fresh burst of flavor to this dish. If you don’t have any limes, you can use a lemon instead. 
  • Fresh cilantro: This is another ingredient that adds to the freshness factor. Dried cilantro works as an alternative as well. If you don’t like cilantro, you can omit entirely.
  • Seasonings: I use my homemade taco seasoning that I use for my Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas and One Pan Steak Fajitas, which is a blend of chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You can also use store-bought taco or fajita seasoning as well, or you can experiment on your own to see what you like the best!
  • Optional: If you want some added heat, you could add some canned diced chilies or chopped fresh jalapeno peppers.

HOW TO MAKE SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Shred or dice the chicken.
  • Using a knife and a cutting board, quarter the grape tomatoes and dice the red onion. Juice and zest the lime. Chop the fresh cilantro.

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients well and store in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.

    Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve in tortillas, pita bread, or naan bread; with tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers; with celery and carrot sticks for dipping; on top of a bed of lettuce or even in leaves of romaine or butter lettuce to make lettuce wraps or lettuce cups.

VARIATIONS TO THIS RECIPE

There are many substitutions and variations to this recipe. For example, you can try…

  • Swapping out the chicken breast for another type of protein that you prefer, such as turkey breast or pork loin
  • Using regular plain yogurt instead of nonfat plain yogurt
  • Using regular mayonnaise instead of light mayonnaise
  • Omitting the cilantro if you don’t like it
  • Using a lemon instead of a lime if you don’t have one on hand

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • For an appetizer or snack, I really like pairing this Southwest Chicken Salad with celery or carrot sticks. They are perfect for dipping and add some crunch!
  • I also love turning this dish into a wrap. I simply add some of the filling into a tortilla for a quick “grab and go” lunch.
  • Southwest Chicken Salad also goes well with tortilla chips or crackers, or even on top of a bed of lettuce, depending on your preference.
  • This dish is great for meal prepping. Meal prepping is a powerful tool for your health and fitness goals. While it takes some planning ahead, it’s an incredibly helpful way of creating healthy habits.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CAN YOU PREPARE THIS SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?

You can make this Southwest Chicken Salad ahead of time as long as you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can last for up to five days in the refrigerator. After that, you can serve it alongside any type of accompaniments you’d like to have.

WHAT CAN YOU SERVE WITH CHICKEN SALAD?

This Southwest Chicken Salad can be paired with a wide variety of options, ranging from tortillas, pita bread, naan bread, tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, celery, carrots, or even lettuce.

You can also serve it as a sandwich alongside a hearty soup to make a filling meal.

IS THIS CHICKEN SALAD HEALTHY?

In addition to being delicious, chicken salads like this one are good for you. It’s loaded with protein and fiber, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals. High protein dishes such as this Southwest Chicken Salad help you feel fuller longer, thus reducing cravings later in the day.

HOW LONG CAN YOU LEAVE CHICKEN SALAD OUT FOR?

Following the advice of the USDA, you should not leave this dish out at room temperature for more than two hours to avoid any bacteria from starting to grow. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to store any leftovers in an airtight container as soon as you are done serving this dish. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

STORAGE, REHEATING, AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STORE LEFTOVER CHICKEN SALAD?

The best way to extend the life of your chicken salad is to store it in the refrigerator immediately after serving. Chicken salad should be stored in a tightly sealed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants once it has been made and ready to serve.

SHOULD YOU REHEAT THIS DISH?

This Southwest Chicken Salad is meant to be served cold, so there’s no need to reheat it.

CAN YOU FREEZE SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD?

I have never tried to freeze chicken salad, so I honestly don’t know. If you try it out and want to report back about how it goes, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

This Southwest Chicken Salad makes 4 servings at 1 cup each. Each serving comes out to 259 calories.

Go here to calculate your own WW PersonalPoints™ for this recipe.

MORE CHICKEN RECIPES

If you’re a chicken lover and want to discover more recipes, be sure to take a look at…

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or post a picture and tag me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter with @cookingwithfudge or #cookingwithfudge.

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

Southwest Style Chicken Salad - Cooking With Fudge

Southwest Chicken Salad

This healthy and incredibly tasty Southwest Chicken Salad is sure to make its way into your lunch rotation time after time. In just a few minutes, you'll have lunch prepped for the week that is bursting with flavor and will keep you full for hours.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Black Beans, Chicken, Chicken Salad, Cilantro, corn, Grape Tomatoes, Lime, Red Onion, Southwest
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 259kcal
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 40 votes
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Adjustable Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Microplane grater
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¾ cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes quartered
  • ½ cup red onion diced
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon oregano
  • ¼ tablespoon paprika
  • ¼ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Shred or dice the chicken.
  • Using a knife and a cutting board, quarter the grape tomatoes and dice the red onion. Juice and zest the lime. Chop the fresh cilantro.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients well and store in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.
  • Serving suggestions: Serve in tortillas, pita bread, or naan bread; with tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers; with celery and carrot sticks for dipping; on top of a bed of lettuce or even in leaves of romaine or butter lettuce to make lettuce wraps or lettuce cups.

Notes

This Southwest Chicken Salad makes 4 servings at 1 cup each. Each serving comes out to 259 calories.
Recipe URL: https://cookingwithfudge.com/southwest-chicken-salad/

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 742mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookingWithFudge or tag #CookingWithFudge!

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