Put a twist on your normal chicken salad recipe by making this Southwest chicken salad! This salad is made with corn, beans, Greek Yogurt, shredded chicken and Mexican flavored seasonings. No lettuce required!
Southwest chicken salad may quickly become your new favorite meal. It tastes just as good a couple days after making, as it does the first day. I love to make a big batch and snack on it throughout the week. There’s so many different ways to eat it (dip, sandwich, taco) that it never gets old.
Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve made this! I’d love to hear how it was!
- Shredded Chicken Breast: Use boneless, skinless shredded chicken breast. The crock pot is an easy way to make tender, shredded chicken. Another alternative is to cook the chicken in the oven or Instant Pot, and then shred using two forks.
- Bell Peppers: Choose any color- red, yellow, orange or green. Peppers add nutrition and some extra crunch.
- Black Beans: Use canned, drained black beans. If concerned about sodium, look for beans labeled "No Salt Added".
- Corn: Use canned, drained corn. Another alternative is frozen corn that has been defrosted in the microwave until tender and all water is drained.
- Cilantro: Chop into small pieces. Adds extra flavor!
- Green Onions: Adds excellent flavor to the dish
- Greek Yogurt: Traditional chicken salads call for mayo, however this dish uses Greek yogurt as a healthier alternative that is lower in fat and calories. Look for plain Greek yogurt that is non-fat.
- Spices: taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder & chili powder. All spices add excellent flavor to the dish. Adjust to your liking.
- Hot Sauce: Use your favorite hot sauce. This is optional. Increase or decrease the amount used to alter the spice level.
There’s a variety of different ways that this dip can be eaten. While typical chicken salad is eaten cold, it can also be heated and eaten warm. The best part about this meal is that you can eat it in a variety of different ways, which helps to keep the leftovers interesting.
- Serve between 2 slices of bread; cold or warm.
- Serve on a corn tortilla topped with salsa.
- Make it a dip: tortilla chips, Fritos, pretzels, crackers or veggies. Tastes great hot or cold.
- Top your salad- Place it atop a bed of romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, carrots and avocados.
- Make a bowl: place on top of a bowl of rice or quinoa and serve warm
This dip does not require any additional toppings. But, if you are into toppings and want that extra kick, here’s some ideas:
- Salsa or Pico de Gallo
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Shredded Cheese
- Extra hot sauce
This dish is relatively mild. Make it extra spicy by adding extra hot sauce. Also, top it with medium or spicy salsa for additional spice.
Southwest chicken salad can easily be made gluten free. While most ingredients are naturally gluten free, always double check the labels. Taco seasoning can sometimes contain wheat, so make sure to check the package!
Serve this in a gluten-free way by making a sandwich with gluten free bread, serving on corn tortillas or by dipping with tortilla chips or pretzels.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This dip holds up very well and tastes just as good when eaten a few days later, as it did the first day. It is not recommended to freeze this dish.
1 serving of Southwest chicken salad is ~½ cup. There are 110 calories/serving and 10 grams of protein/serving.
Southwest chicken salad is made with Greek yogurt, which makes it lower in fat than your normal chicken salad that’s made with mayo. Also, this salad is packed with protein! The beans, chicken and Greek yogurt all provide great protein.
One more thing to note—this salad has lots of fiber (3.6 grams of fiber). The beans are an excellent source of fiber. (More about fiber here!)
More Healthy Dinner Ideas
Southwest Chicken Salad
- 12 oz cooked chicken shredded
- 2 red or orange bell peppers chopped
- 2 cans (15.5 oz cans) black beans drained
- 1 can (15.5oz) corn drained
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- ¾ cup green onions chopped
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt nonfat
- ¼ cup taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked shredded chicken, bell peppers, beans, corn, cilantro and green onions. Mix until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine Greek yogurt, taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and hot sauce. Mix until combined.
- Add the Greek yogurt mixture into the chicken. Mix until combined.
- Serve on bread, tortillas or as a dip with chips/crackers. This can be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy!