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Southwest Salad Recipe

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I’ve been finding myself with MAJOR salad cravings lately, hence this southwest salad recipe today! This salad craving is a good thing for all of us, because I’m on a quest to create as many awesome salad recipes as I can! This one does not disappoint.

One of my criteria when it comes to meal salads is that they’ve got to be filling enough to not leave me scrounging for snacks an hour later. This chicken salad with black beans and corn is packed with protein, fiber, and complex carbs for the ultimate meal salad. (And I’ve included some tips below if you want to add even MORE toppings.)

southwest salad in bowls

This combination of protein, fiber, and complex carbs (and I always like to throw in some fats in there too) is the combination that keeps us nice and satisfied until our next meal. Leave one of them out? You may find yourself hungry. And if you’ve ever tried to cut out a food group before, you might remember how it left you feeling!

southwest salad in two bowls

How to Make a Southwest Salad:

This healthy southwest salad recipe is so easy, which is how I prefer my meal prep meals! The chicken is baked with bbq sauce, and the rest of the ingredients require minimal prep.

I used to spend hours prepping salads for the work week, but then I had kids and my priorities shifted a bit. I don’t think in a bad direction, but just a different one. And no matter how you like to spend your weekends, I think we all can appreciate maximizing our time in the kitchen.

So when I prep salads like this southwest chopped salad recipe, I want to make them as quick and easy to make as I can! Goal achieved!

southwestern salad meal prep bowls

Southwest Salad Ingredients:

This southwest green salad has a pretty basic ingredient list:

  • chicken thighs (that we’ll bake with bbq sauce)
  • lettuce
  • black beans
  • corn
  • cucumbers
  • ranch dressing (I used a store bought ranch, but if you want you can make your own or mix together sour cream and salsa for a creamy salsa dressing)

If you want to add a few extras to your southwestern salad, I recommend sliced tomatoes, diced avocado, and crushed tortilla chips.

How to Store Southwest Salad:

This southwest chicken salad recipe keeps pretty well in the fridge. When I’m prepping salads to last a few days, I like to layer them in a very specific way so that the greens don’t get soggy. You can use any glass or plastic container – here are the glass ones that I have and love.

For this green salad recipes with chicken and other toppings, layer in this order (bottom to top):

  • protein / hard veggies / cheese (chicken, black beans, corn)
  • soft veggies (cucumbers)
  • salad greens (romaine lettuce)
  • store the dressing on the side until ready to serve

*And if you’re adding avocado, don’t dice and add the avocado until right before you eat it!


More Meal Prep Lunch Recipes:

If you’re looking for more meal prep lunch ideas, check out the recipes below!

southwest salad for pinterest
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southwest salad

Southwest Salad Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southwest
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This southwest salad recipe is perfect for meal prep lunches! No fast food needed here, learn how to make this EASY southwestern salad at home!


  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 3 heads romaine
  • 3 cups frozen corn (roasted if possible)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans
  • 3 small cucumbers
  • ranch dressing 
  • optional extras: avocado, tomato


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Brush chicken with 1/4 cup bbq sauce, coating both sides. Bake for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining 1/4 cup bbq sauce and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prep salad ingredients.
    Wash and chop romaine lettuce.
    Thaw frozen corn.
    Rinse and dry black beans.
    Dice cucumber.
    Dice tomatoes if desired.
  4. Divide ingredients in containers: layer beans and corn on the bottom, followed by cucumber, tomato, and lettuce on the top. If you want to heat the chicken before serving, store in a separate container, otherwise the chicken can go on the bottom. Store dressing separately and if including avocado, don’t cut until you are ready to eat.


  • Nutrition facts include 2 tablespoons ranch dressing per salad. 


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 616
  • Sugar: 26.9 g
  • Sodium: 1484.2 mg
  • Fat: 25.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 78.3 g
  • Fiber: 21 g
  • Protein: 27.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 64.2 mg

Keywords: southwest salad, southwest salad meal prep, lunch

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