Southwest Salad with Cilantro Chipotle Dressing, the perfect summer salad! A little bit spicy, a little bit tangy, creamy and cool, this dressing is the perfect foil to this flavorful southwestern salad!
A weekend at the cabin never fails to reinvigorate me. It’s always nice to spend time with those I love the most without the constant interruption of all of our busy schedules. A part of that reinvigoration is always finding ways to nourish my soul…and my body. So with that said, I was really in the mood for some fresh food this weekend. Southwest Salad with Cilantro Chipotle Dressing fit that bill nicely!
I tend to like foods that I can double and then repurpose-making separate dishes out of the extras. My full time job necessitates that I do some multi tasking when it comes to getting the family fed. When I make this salad I double the chicken portion of the recipe and put it away for another meal. Don’t worry, I’ve got more ideas for this particular chicken coming for you soon! (Spoiler alert: if you see a thai basil plant (different from regular basil) while you are choosing plants for your gardens, buy it, nurture it and stay tuned!)
This Southwest Salad with Cilantro Chipotle Dressing bursts with bold flavors and pops of color. It showcases a variety of textures. The dressing is creamy and tangy and can be made as spicy or bland as desired by altering the amount of chipotle added. This is also a great salad for those who are a little more particular, my family members just took the things they liked and put those in their bowl, instead of having to pick out certain elements.
Southwest Salad with Cilantro Chipotle Dressing
- CILANTRO CHIPOTLE DRESSING:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup scallions chopped
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 chipotle pepper + 1 teaspoon of chipotle sauce
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 package salad mix
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- 2 avocados sliced
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups corn
- 2 cups croutons
- Sliced chicken from above
- Cilantro Chipotle Dressing from above
TO MAKE THE CILANTRO CHIPOTLE DRESSING:
Place garlic, cilantro, scallions, lime juice, chipotle and chipotle sauce in food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.
Add greek yogurt, mayonnaise, buttermilk, cumin, salt, and dill weed, process until smooth.
Transfer to a glass jar or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
TO MAKE THE CHICKEN:
Mix brown sugar, cumin, garlic powder, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper in a gallon sized ziplock bag.
Add chicken breasts and coat with rub.
Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add canola oil.
When canola oil is hot, add rub-coated chicken breasts and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Keep heat on the lower side as the sugar in the rub will burn if too hot. (Don't worry if it blackens, that is OK)
Remove chicken and allow to sit for 5 minutes
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
In a large shallow bowl, spread out the salad mix
Arrange the toppings (chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn, avocados, croutons) like pieces of pie around the bowl.
Serve with dressing.
If you like to make your own croutons here is a good recipe, it is a great way to repurpose stale bread!