This fresh, easy and flavorful salad has a spicy southwestern flare. Grilled corn, pico de gallo and guacamole make this a healthy meal for lunch or dinner! It’s November, and that signals the beginning of lots and lots of eating! Don’t get me wrong, I love comfort food and holiday food but somewhere in between all of the stuffing, candy, pie, and cookies I just need a salad! This one is great any time of year with plenty of textures and flavors that come from easy to find ingredients. I have an eight-year-old granddaughter who loves salad, who has frequently been known to say that she just wants a big cool salad! Well, here’s her answer…a big, cool, flavor-packed salad!
If you have a craving for a fresh salad and the weather outside is frightful, just cook your chicken breasts inside in a grill pan or skillet! Place your corn in a skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil and let it get slightly charred.
Healthy and fresh!
This yummy salad also tastes great with a little dollop of sour cream. It’s incredibly easy to put together and makes a great lunch or dinner. I use a jalapeno in mine, but if you want the crunch without the heat a colorful bell pepper or a more mild chile pepper will work nicely. Top Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad with some yummy and easy guacamole, then pour a bit of your choice of salad dressing over the top. A balsamic vinaigrette if my favorite, but Ranch is another tasty option! I’m a caterer turned food blogger and when I was catering this was easily my most requested salad.
How to grill chicken that’s always tender and juicy:
Here’s my secret to moist and flavorful grilled chicken I trim the breast and place it on a cutting board between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound it with the smooth edge of a meat mallet. Pound just enough so that the thickness of the breast is relatively even. The chicken will be tender, and it won’t dry out as quickly because you have an even thickness. Next, I smear some olive oil on the chicken and season it. For this recipe, I use Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and then put the chicken on for a few minutes and turn the heat to low. Continue to baste the chicken with more olive oil while it cooks until the juices run clear. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes then dice or slice, and it’s all ready for your salad.
- 2 cups grilled chicken; chopped *see notes for making moist grilled chicken
- 8 cups salad greens (I like to use about 2 cups of greens per salad.)
- 2 ears corn; grilled and removed from cob
- 1/2 cup cilantro; chopped
- 2 tomatoes; diced
- 1 jalapeño or mild chile; diced small
- 2-3 Tablespoons Zesty Italian salad dressing
- 2 ripe avocados, mashed
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- dash of garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil (to grill the chicken)
- Balsamic vinaigrette, or salad dressing of your choice.
- Place approximately 2 cups salad greens on each plate
- Top with 1/2 cup chopped grilled chicken
- Make pico de gallo by combining diced tomatoes, cilantro,jalapeños, grilled corn and Zesty Italian salad dressing.
- Layer this on top of your salad.
- Make guacamole by smashing avocados, then add Kosher salt, a dash of garlic powder and lime juice.
- Top salad with guacamole.
- I like to serve with any type of balsamic vinaigrette.
- *There’s a secret to moist, flavorful grilled chicken breast…I trim the breast and place it on a cutting board between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound it with the smooth edge of a meat mallet. Pound just enough so that the thickness of the is fairly even. The chicken will be tender, and it won’t dry out as easily because you have an even thickness. Next, I smear some olive oil on the chicken and season and grill.
If you enjoyed this, check out these yummy recipes:
Spicy Grilled Chicken wings with Pineapple Salsa