This loaded Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad is packed with flavor, texture and nutrition. This easy salad recipe is a delicious choice for a stress-free, wholesome meal.
I crave salads the same way that others might crave pizza or mac and cheese. Okay, pizza and mac and cheese sound pretty good right about now, but a great big salad is my ultimate comfort food. I think it’s fair to say that not everyone in my house shares in my enthusiasm.
In order to pass off salad night on the the rest of my family, I’ve come up with a collection of hearty salad recipes, like my copycat version of CPK’s BBQ Chicken Salad and this Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad. It’s loaded with protein from lean chicken and black beans and is topped with a creamy semi-homemade Southwest Caesar Dressing.
When I’m feeling over-indulged, exhausted, or short on time, this easy Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad is one of my favorite things to add to the menu.
Why this Recipe Works
- Rotisserie chicken makes it fast and easy and you don’t have to turn on the stove or oven.
- It takes about 20 minutes to make, from start to finish.
- The flavorful dressing is made with store-bought dressing and a few simple ingredients.
- It’s loaded with protein and fiber to fill up your hungriest eaters.
For the Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad
- Romaine – I use romaine hearts which are just the center portion of a head of romaine lettuce. These leaves are lighter in color, sweeter, and and have the perfect crunchy texture for Caesar salad.
- Mixed greens – Any spring mix or mixed baby greens will do the trick. Run your knife through the greens before tossing it with the Romaine.
- Black beans – A can of black beans, rinsed and drained well.
- Corn – Quickly thaw some frozen corn by placing it in a colander and running cold water over it, tossing with a spoon or your hands, until thawed.
- Tomatoes – Halved cherry or grape tomatoes add a bright pop of color, flavor, and nutrition.
- Cilantro – Always an option but we love it!
- Cheese – Shredded sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack or pepper Jack for a little kick.
- Avocados – Healthy fat, irresistible flavor.
- Chicken – You can use your own fully-cooked chicken but go with rotisserie chicken to make this salad incredibly easy to put together.
- Tortilla strips or chips – I like to set these out for people to add to the top of their serving for a nice crunch.
For the Southwest Caesar Salad Dressing
- Caesar salad dressing – You can use your favorite store-bought dressing or mix up a batch of my Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing.
- Sriracha – Something magical happens to Sriracha when you add it to a creamy base. Add just enough to add amazing mild flavor or add more for a spicy kick.
- Cumin/coriander – These warm, wonderful spices turn regular Caesar dressing into a creamy Southwest-inspired dressing.
- Lime juice – Brightens up the dressing with a nice citrusy flavor.
How to Make Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad
- Scatter the chopped greens over the bottom of a large, shallow bowl or platter.
- Top with the remaining salad ingredients, placing them in rows or piles with a little separation between each.
- You can drizzle the salad with dressing or serve the dressing on the side with tortilla strips or chips for topping.
How to Make Southwest Caesar Salad Dressing
- Combine prepared Caesar dressing with a little Sriracha, cumin, coriander, and fresh lime juice.
- The dressing can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge until you are ready to serve. For the best quality, I recommend using the dressing within 1 week.
More Hearty Dinner Salad Recipes
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
- Easy Chicken Cobb Salad
- Mediterranean Chicken Chopped Salad
- Tuna White Bean Salad
- Cowboy Steak Salad
Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad
For the Southwest Caesar Dressing
- ¾ cup homemade Caesar Salad Dressing or good quality store-bought, I like Litehouse brand
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha, to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ½ lime, juiced
For the Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad
- 4 cups chopped romaine hearts,
- 2 cups roughly chopped mixed baby greens,
- 2 cups chopped or sliced fully cooked chicken, I use rotisserie chicken
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 or 2 avocados, sliced
- tortilla strips or chips, for garnish, optional
Make the Southwest Caesar Salad Dressing
- Combine the dressing, Sriracha (to taste), cumin, coriander, and lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Assemble the Salad
- Scatter the chopped greens over the bottom of a large, shallow bowl or platter. Top with the remaining ingredients, through the avocado, placing them in rows or piles with a little separation between each.
- Top individual servings with the dressing and tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.