Southwest Salad with the Best Homemade Creamy Chipotle Dressing

This recipe for my Southwest Salad includes colorful, nutrient-dense ingredients that are every bit delicious! Included you will also find my recipe for a creamy Chipotle Dressing that is full of spice and bursting with flavor!

Prepared southwest salad topped with corn, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, avocado slices, chicken and crisp tortilla strips.

Let’s Talk Ingredients

While these are the ingredients that I like to use for my version of a southwest salad, this is a very make-it-your-own kind of recipe. If you don’t like an ingredient just don’t add it! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

β€’ Romaine LettuceπŸ₯—: The star of the show. You couldn’t really call this a salad without the romaine (or any other type of greens). Romaine lettuce has long, firm, crisp green leaves. Make sure you wash your lettuce well to remove dirt. Romaine will stay good for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

β€’ Corn🌽: You can use either fresh corn cut off of the cob or canned corn. Fresh corn tastes better and offers more flavor in my opinion, however, canned corn is quick and easy and can always be on hand if you keep a well-stocked pantry.

β€’ Black Beans: Save money by using dried black beans. Dried beans are much cheaper than canned beans. However, canned beans offer convenience as dried beans can take quite some time to cook and are often soaked overnight which requires planning. With canned beans, you simply drain, rinse and you’re ready to go!

β€’ AvocadoπŸ₯‘: Aaah.. the beautiful avocado. Avocados have a creamy butter-like consistency and a wonderful slightly nutty flavor. If your avocados are unripe simply store in a paper bag at room temperature to speed up ripening. But don’t forget about them! Check on your avocados often as they can quickly go from under-ripe to over-ripe. They are ready when they are no longer hard, and give to slight finger pressure. To prepare: Using a large knife, cut the avocado in half lengthwise around the pit. Gently twist the two halves in opposite directions and remove the pit. Sprinkle with lemon juice to avoid browning.

β€’ Red OnionπŸ§…: Red onions are best eaten raw and add a beautiful color and sharp bite to the salad. Simply dice to prepare.

β€’ Tortilla Strips: Cut tortillas in half then into strips. Toss with oil. Bake at 350ΒΊF for about 15 minutes until crisp and slightly browned. Adds a yummy crunch to salads and soups.

β€’ TomatoπŸ…: Quickly dice up a fresh tomato or use canned diced tomatoes if you don’t have fresh on hand.

β€’ Cheddar CheeseπŸ§€: No salad is complete without a good sprinkle of cheese. I like to use cheddar but really any cheese will taste great on this southwest salad.

β€’ ChickenπŸ”: I prefer using grilled chicken breast, but any chicken will do. Or if you don’t want meat you can leave it out. The choice is yours!

Prepared southwest salad topped with corn, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, avocado slices, chicken, and crisp tortilla strips.

How to Make Creamy Chipotle Dressing:

Simply place all ingredients (found in the recipe card below) in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. This chipotle dressing/sauce is perfect for more than just salads. I like to use it on rice bowls, quesadillas, tacos, and burritos just to name a few!

Ingredients used to make the chipotle salad dressing. These include: Lime, Cumin, Oregano, Chili Powder, Sour Cream, Mayonnaise, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chipotle Peppers, Salt, Pepper, and Buttermilk.

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Southwest Salad with Homemade Chipotle Dressing

This recipe includes colorful, nutrient-dense ingredients that are every bit delicious! Included you will also find my recipe for a creamy chipotle dressing that is full of spice and bursting with flavor!
Course Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes


Chipotle Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 (7 ounce) can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 1/2 Lime juiced
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Salad Ingredients

  • Romaine Lettuce chopped
  • 1 cup Corn
  • 1 cup Black Beans
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • 1 small Red onion diced
  • Baked Tortilla Strips
  • 1 Tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 pound Chicken Breasts cooked


To Make the Chipotle Dressing

  • Place the canned chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, juice of 1/2 a lime, sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a high powered blender.
  • Blend the ingredients together until smooth.
  • Pour into a jar and seal with a lid. Store in the refridgerator until ready to use.

To Make the Salad

  • Thoroughly wash and dry the romaine lettuce. Tear by hand into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Layer all of the ingredients in a large salad bowl. Top with a drizzle of the creamy chipotle dressing. Enjoy!


*If you are using canned corn or canned black beans, be sure to drain and rinse the ingredients.Β 
**To make the crispy tortilla strips: Cut tortillas in half, then into strips. Toss in oil until fully coated. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Strips should be crisp and lightly golden.
***Cook your chicken breasts ahead of time. I like to place mine on the grill or in the oven.Β 

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