Southwest Chicken Salad

I love discovering new salads. The flavors in this salad really come together nicely-the slight heat from the chicken, the tangy dressing and creamyness of the avocado make for delicious bite after delicious bite.

When the chicken is cooking is a great time to prep the veggies and cheese and make the dressing and then it’s just a matter of chopping the chicken and putting it all together on a plate.

You can serve this as a lunch, a light dinner or a side salad.  The original recipe included fried tortilla strips but I omitted them and replaced with the crispy noodles.


Southwest Chicken Salad


  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 ozs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • kernels from one ear of corn cooked (or 1/2 cup frozen or canned kernels)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly graded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup crispy lo mein noodles


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425. In a small bowl combine the first 4 ingredients above and mix to form a paste. Place the chicken in a small baking dish and coat the chicken with the spice paste. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked completely.
  2. While the chicken is cooking prep the veggies and cheese and set aside. Then make the dressing (recipe below) and set aside.
  3. When chicken is cooked remove it from the oven and set aside for  a few minutes until it’s cool enough to touch. Then cut it into small cubes.
  4. Toss the lettuce, tomato, and corn with most of the vinaigrette (set a little aside to drizzle over the chicken).  Put the veggies on a plate, top with the avocado, crispy noodles, cheese and chicken. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and serve.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette


  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 red onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  1. Place all ingredients into a small food processor and pulse until it becomes a fine paste.  Add the olive oil and turn on until emulsified.

Slightly adapted from for this month’s swap of lunch foods graciously hosted by Sarah from  See the rest of the recipes in the swap here:


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ashley
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 11:55:02

    The crispy noodle variation sounds great. Thanks for the french dip recipe! yum!


  2. katie
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 12:16:52

    I am glad you enjoyed it, it is a favorite of mine.


  3. The Home Cook
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 13:14:29

    This looks great! I love a good dinner (or lunch) salad.


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