Simple Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

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This Simple Southwest Salad is a perfect light lunch! You’ll be addicted to the creamy (yet light!) chipotle dressing!

Simple Southwest Salad in a bowl with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

I love me a good salad….but it CANNOT BE BORING!!! I need texture, crunch, creaminess…and of course an AMAZING dressing! Yep, if I’m going to eat of bowl full of veggies, I need it ALL!!!! Salads l like this Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette and this Quinoa Arugula Salad with Chicken check all the boxes!!

This Simple Southwest Salad is one I have on rotation over and over. I make it a bit differently every time, adding or omitting certain things depending what I have on hand, but this recipe is just a base. One thing you can never omit though, is the Creamy Chipotle Dressing!!!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • It’s super simple and can be customized in so many ways.
  • It’s a fantastic blend of leafy greens, veggies, healthy fat and a little carbs making it a healthy, balanced meal. You can easily add in protein (such as chicken), too!
  • You can easily meal prep this salad. Just add in the avocado the day you plan to eat. The dressing can be made several days in advance and keeps for up to 7 days in the fridge.
  • The Creamy Chipotle Dressing!!!!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

Ingredients to make a Simple Southwest Salad

INGREDIENT NOTES

Corn: If you happen to grill some corn or have roasted corn on hand, AMAZING! If not, I love using frozen sweet corn. Trader Joes even has a frozen roasted corn that is awesome!

Pepitas: Pepitas are a traditional Southwest ingredient and add the perfect salty crunch to this salad. Pepitas, believe it or not, are not pumpkin seeds or hulled pumpkin seeds. They actually come from a specific type of pumpkin. They seeds are very similar in taste and texture to a sunflower seed, although slightly larger. You can definitely substitute sunflower seeds for the pepitas in this salad.

A Batch of Creamy Chipotle Dressing: Smokey chipotle peppers, lime and cilantro are all at the forefront of this awesome dressing. That also doubles as a sauce for just about anything!

Creamy Chipotle Dressing in a jar with a spoon

HOW TO MAKE THIS SIMPLE SOUTHWEST SALAD

Step 1: Whip up the dressing! My Creamy Chipotle Dressing is super simple and you can make it in 5 minutes!

Step 2: Add all other ingredients to the bowl, top with dressing, toss and chow down!

ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

I have made some form of this salad so many times and I think every time, I add or omit something different. However, the Chipotle Dressing stays constant and is a MUST!!! Some great additions:

  • Black Beans
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Ground Taco Meat
  • Bell Pepper
  • Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
  • Scallions
  • Red Onion
  • Cheese!
  • Cilantro

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I substitute a store bought dressing?

You CANNNNN…yes! But I HIGHLY recommended taking 5 minutes to whip up this Creamy Chipotle Dressing! The store bought dressings I would recommended would be the Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado Dressing (in the produce section) or the Brianna’s Chipotle Ranch.

What are pepitas?

Pepitas are a traditional Southwest ingredient and add the perfect salty crunch to this salad. Pepitas, believe it or not, are not pumpkin seeds or hulled pumpkin seeds. They actually come from a specific type of pumpkin. They seeds are very similar in taste and texture to a sunflower seed, although slightly larger.

Pepitas are high in antioxidants and contain a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc.

You can definitely substitute sunflower seeds in this salad if you can’t find pepitas.

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Simple Southwest Salad in a bowl with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

OTHER SALADS YOU’LL LOVE

I hope you love this Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Simple Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Casey Rooney
This Simple Southwest Salad is a perfect light lunch! You'll be addicted to the creamy (yet light!) chipotle dressing!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, southwest, Tex-Mex
Servings 4
Calories 238 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup frozen corn canned works too!
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pepitas See Note 1
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Chipotle Dressing Recipe Linked Here

Instructions
 

  • To a large bowl, add all salad ingredients.
  • Toss with Creamy Chipotle Dressing (see recipe link above) serve immediately.

Notes

Note 1: Pepitas come from pumpkins are a traditional Southwest ingredient and add the perfect salty crunch to this salad. You can substitute sunflower seeds if you can’t find pepitas. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 2cupsCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 26.1gProtein: 4.8gFat: 14.6gSaturated Fat: 2.3gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 516mgPotassium: 511mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10.7gCalcium: 19mgIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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9 Comments

  1. This is exactly what I’ve been craving! I haven’t ever seen pepitas here, but I can find sunflower seeds easily. Thanks so much for making my lunch something to look foward to!