Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing

 Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing the perfect dinner

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This post has been sponsored by Foster Farms Simply Raised, which is locally grown in the Pacific Northwest.

How many of you serve a large salad as an entrée for dinner? My husband and two boys are total meat and potatoes guys, so when I started adding main course salads into our dinner routines, I was initially met with a little resistance. I think they thought they were going to starve.

However, my family quickly realized salad night meant a satisfying and filling meal, packed with protein. Salads are also a nice deviation from the normal, weeknight dinner routine, regardless of the time of year. And nothing could be easier than combining some of my favorite ingredients, in fresh ways, to create healthy and nutritious dinners. It’s a win-win for everyone.

In order to keep calories in check, making a healthy meat choice to include in our salads was key. I find chicken to be one of the most versatile meats to use in this type of meal and the perfect blank canvas for all of my favorite seasonings and flavors.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing the seasoning 1
My homemade southwest seasoning is a flavorful blend of many spices used in southwest cooking. It’s an absolute star when used to season chicken. Even my pickiest eater loves chicken seasoned in this way. It really is fantastic.

And while flavor and delicious food are important to the overall eating experience, buying and consuming local foods is something I aspire to as often as possible. As a small farmer myself, I understand what consuming local products really means and buying food from small, family farms is very important to me.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing thin sliced

Top 5 Reasons Why I Buy Local

1. Local food tastes and looks better…always. Crops are picked at the peak of ripeness, farmstead products are handcrafted and livestock are processed in nearby facilities, which means your local farmer likely has a direct relationship with the processors and can oversee quality.

2. Local food is better for me. Nutrients are not lost while traveling across the country to get to my table.

3. Local food supports local families. The ability to sell food locally helps reduce costs and helps farmers stay on their land.

4. Local food is safe. Farmers take their job seriously, as well as the relationships they have with their consumers. I love looking farmers from my community in the eye and having that direct relationship with them. I trust they are doing their best to put food on our tables.

5. Local food is an investment in my future. Supporting a local farmer today, means there will be farms in my community later on.

These reasons are why I choose to buy Foster Farms Simply Raised Chicken. Foster Farms works with 32 family farmers in Washington and Oregon who raise locally grown chicken. Not only is this chicken produced locally to me, it also has no added hormones, steroids or antibiotics. The chicken is always fresh and 100% natural. I have been using this chicken since it first appeared in my grocery store and I have been so happy with it. Right out of the package the high quality is obvious and I feel good knowing it did not travel far to get to my family’s table. All Foster Farms fresh chicken is American Humane Certified.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing pieces
I use thin-sliced breast fillets for this recipe. The chicken is nicely trimmed and I slice it half one more time after I seasoning it. This allows the chicken to cook as quickly as possible and the seasoning does not burn in the frying pan.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing cut up chicken
It only takes a few minutes to cook and it looks beautiful once finished. The chicken is a meal in itself! It also tastes wonderful the next day, which is not a surprising when starting with such a fresh product.

.Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing
The dressing is homemade and can be prepared up to two days prior to serving. I might even suggest making a double batch to keep on hand. It’s one of our family favorites.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing chicken
The chicken is juicy, succulent and delicious, not to mention versatile in so many recipes. This seasoned chicken is also great in tacos…hint-hint.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing so delicious

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing is the best
I hope you enjoy this wonderful meal, my family asks for it again and again.

Print Recipe

Southwest Chicken Salad with Homemade Southwest Dressing

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 4


Southwest Seasoning Mix:

  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons chile powder
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Southwest Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon creamy horseradish
  • juice of two limes
  • 1 teaspoon Southwest Seasoning mix (from above)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Southwest Salad:

  • 1 cup dry, red or white quinoa
  • vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2-2 lbs Foster Farms Simply Raised Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) sweet corn, drained
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2-3 heads romaine lettuce, depending on size, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves


  • For the seasoning mix, add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until fully combined. Set aside.
  • For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
  • Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to let cool down.
  • Season raw chicken with southwest seasoning, making sure to cover the whole breast. Slice each chicken breast in half, allowing for a faster cooking time.
  • In a large, nonstick skillet add vegetable oil (a few Tablespoons) and cook chicken in batches over low heat. (This will keep the seasoning from burning. You might have to add some extra oil to each additional batch.) Cook thin-sliced breasts about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper lined tray. Let the chicken rest about 10 minutes before slicing into smaller pieces for the salad.
  • To serve, you can either add all ingredients (lettuce, spinach, corn, black beans, avocado and chicken) to a large bowl and toss together, or make individual salads in separate bowls for each person. Drizzle dressing over the top of salad.

Disclosure: I am sharing this post in conjunction with my partnership with Foster Farms. Thank you for continuing to support brands I work with, which allows me to create unique content and recipes for you to enjoy. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Other Salad Recipes You Might Enjoy:
20 Big Bowl Salads that Will Change Your Life

Post a Comment

15 Comments and 7 Replies

  1. Liz 1

    What a superb entree salad! The spiced up chicken, the quinoa, the homemade dressing—-what’s not to love???

  2. This is my ideal lunch salad – hearty and packed with flavor and protein!

  3. My family would love this salad. How great to use the thin sliced chicken so it’s chicken to make too.

  4. Alida 7

    What a fantastic salad! The chicken is seasoned to perfection, the dressing, the black beans, the avocado…just wonderful!

  5. That looks like my kind of salad, I’m sure it’s very tasty!

  6. Derek 11

    The skin on this chicken looks so delicious. I’ve been craving a good salad, and I think this is the one I’ll be making!

  7. I could (and do) eat salad all year long. Love the flavors you have going on in this one!

  8. My favorite thing to pig-out on (yes, pun intended) is salad. I think I could eat this salad everyday of the week and not get tired of it. Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  9. Oh man this salad is pretty darn delicious looking! Love that homemade dressing…yum!

  10. Kristyn 16

    This looks so fresh and delicious! Also so easy to customize! Thanks for sharing!

  11. What a great looking salad! I love all the flavors and the mixture of lettuce and spinach :)

  12. Wow! I love all that seasoning on the chicken! This salad is a winner, it has so many great flavors.

  13. Mary @ Best Food Processor Guide 19

    I made this last night adding mushrooms to the mix. It was soooo good I can’t wait for lunch and leftovers today!! Thank you for your recipes.

  14. vivarais jene 20

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe, I’m sure I will be using it frequently:)

  15. Pingback: Chicken Pear and Avocado Salad

  16. We made this salad for dinner this week and that southwest seasoning blend is perfection!! Hubby was sprinkling it on everything!


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