Southwest Chicken Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing

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Crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, crisp corn, and black beans combine with an easy BBQ Ranch Dressing in one of our favorite salads.

This Southwest Chicken Salad with Spicy Ranch is a great way to get a light, fresh, and filling meal on the table in just a few minutes. My family has been enjoying this salad for lunch and dinner for several years now.

Southwest Chicken Salad

With the convenience of pre-cooked roast chicken that you can make ahead of time and stash in the fridge, the Southwest Chicken Salad comes together in about fifteen minutes. Alternatively, you can simply pick up a rotisserie chicken for an extra simple meal.

Want an alternative to chicken? You can use the Best Ever Taco Meat, Pulled Pork, or Steak Bites as the protein for this salad. Not a meat eater? Try hard boiled eggs on this salad!

If you’re looking for more great options for summer salads, don’t miss my eBook for How To Eat A Salad Everyday.

Spicy BBQ Ranch Dressing

We especially like the spicy ranch dressing with this salad. It is made simply by combining Ranch Dressing and Spicy Barbecue Sauce; the Spicy BBQ Ranch Dressing is a family favorite that is served regularly in our home.

My friend, Sandra, introduced me to her version of this salad shortly after we moved to Phoenix. It became a family favorite from that first meal.

SW Chicken Salad

How To Make Southwest Chicken Salad

The ingredients are simple and are always on hand in my house. When it gets hot outside, this is a quick and easy dinner that doesn’t require any time spent in a hot kitchen.

All of the ingredients are easily adjusted for each member of the family. If I’m serving a large number of people; I often set out each of the salad ingredients in separate bowls and let people build their own salads that way.

Otherwise, layer ingredients onto plates and drizzle with the dressing right before serving. Alternatively, you can layer all of the salad ingredients in a bowl or on a large platter as pictured.

Southwest Chicken Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe

  1. Layer lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, corn, beans, and chicken on a large platter or in a bowl.
  2. Top with cheese, pine nuts, and tortilla strips.
  3. Combine 1 cup of ranch dressing with approx 2 -3 tbsp of barbeque sauce in a small jar. Whisk or shake well and chill until ready to serve.
  4. Drizzle the salad with Spicy BBQ Ranch Dressing.
  5. Toss well and serve immediately.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Spicy BBQ Ranch Dressing

Salad Recipes

For more great salad recipes, check out How To Eat A Salad Everyday, this Avocado Chicken Salad, and the amazing Bacon, Bleu Cheese, Shrimp, and Bacon Salad.

This Make Ahead Eight Layer Salad by Wishes and Dishes is loaded with meat and pasta, making it a hearty meal for lunch or dinner. And this Tortellini Pasta Salad by Rachel Cooks is loaded with great flavor and a great make-ahead meal too.

The ingredients for this recipe are adjustable for one serving or for a crowd. I’ve written the measurements for a large single serving, but it can be multiplied as needed.

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Everyone loves this Southwest Chicken Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Southwest Chicken Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Loaded with plenty of fresh flavors, this Southwest Chicken Salad is a keeper!
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 1

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups Lettuce chopped or torn (I used green leaf, romaine and spring mix)
  • 1/3 cup Grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup Cucumbers seeded and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Bell pepper seeded and cut into bit size pieces (colored varieties are my favorite)
  • 2 tablespoons Corn frozen or canned, served at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Beans whichever type is your favorite (I use pintos or black beans for this most of the time)
  • 1/3 cup Cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, cut into matchsticks or shredded
  • 1 tablespoon Toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup Tortilla strips the miniature ones are great with this salad
  • DRESSING OPTIONS:
  • 1 cup Favorite Ranch Dressing
  • 2-3 tablespoons Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Instructions

  • Layer lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, corn, beans, and chicken on a large platter or in a bowl.
  • Top with cheese, pine nuts, and tortilla strips. Drizzle with Spicy BBQ Ranch Dressing. Toss well and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Spicy BBQ Ranch Dressing

  • Combine 1 cup of ranch dressing with approx 2 -3 tbsp of barbeque sauce. Stir well and chill until ready to serve. The dressing will keep nicely in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Notes

The ingredients for this recipe are adjustable for one serving or for a crowd. I've written the measurements for a large single serving, but it can be multiplied as needed.
The ingredients in this salad are easily adapted to each person's tastes. If I'm serving a large number of people; I often set out each of these ingredients in separate bowls and let people build their own salads that way. 

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal · Carbohydrates: 23g · Protein: 19g · Fat: 11g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 35mg · Sodium: 154mg · Potassium: 821mg · Fiber: 6g · Sugar: 9g · Vitamin A: 2160IU · Vitamin C: 39.3mg · Calcium: 69mg · Iron: 3mg
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{originally published 5/24/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/5/20}

SW Chicken Salad with Spicy BBQ Ranch - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Barefeet In The Kitchen says

    Even though, cucumber seeds are edible, I still like to remove the seeds from certain types of cucumbers. To do that, I slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and then in half lengthwise once more. Then it is very easy to just scoop out or slice out the seeds. I rarely remove seeds from European, Persian and Japanese cucumbers. Those varieties tend to be slightly sweeter with much less noticeable seeds.

  2. Linda says

    Giving this 5 Stars on how pretty it looks and how good it sounds! My husband is not a fan of ranch or any creamy dressing. What other dressings would you suggest for this salad? Made the mistake of letting hubby go to Sam’s alone and now we have tons of chicken in the freezer, so I can’t wait to make this. Wish I had seen your Beer and Garlic Grilled Chicken recipe before we froze all the chicken. It would be great to have the chicken frozen in the marinade. Oh, well, there’s always the next time he goes to Sam’s!5 stars