Chock full of summer vegetables, spicy chicken, cheese, and dressed in a lime, cilantro vinaigrette, this Southwestern Chicken Salad will make a healthy meal for the whole family!

A Healthy Salad Recipe with Chicken is light and refreshing, even on the hottest summer day!

Southwestern Chicken Salad in a white ceramic salad bowl

A Healthy, Seasonal Southwestern Chicken Salad

I would rather endure scorching 110º temps day after day than have another bitterly cold winter like we experienced in 2014. You should have seen my get-ups during the worst of it.

I often sat at the computer donned in layer upon layer of clothing, my Uggs, and a scarf. Brrrrrr.

But spring, then summer finally arrived. I ditched my coats, started making frequent visits to my favorite source for fresh produce down the street, created lighter meals, like this Southwest Chicken Salad recipe, and enjoyed evening walks through the neighborhood with my family. I adore everything to do with summer.

Southwestern Chicken Salad ingredients on a white rectangular platter

A Healthy Salad Recipe with Chicken

I’m a huge fan of an entree salad, utilizing greens like lettuce, arugula, or spinach plus the best of the summer veggies and a topping of protein, be it meat, cheese, or both. And purchasing seasonal veggies makes this Southwestern Chicken Salad an economical meal. In fact, you may have many of these ingredients right in your own garden.

I was hoping I could convert the hubby with this spectacular recipe, but it was a no-go. I can usually predict these things. He’s a Mr. Meat and Potatoes kind of guy, so I had some flour tortillas available for him to make a manly wrap using my salad ingredients. He was a big fan of his version.

I’m a huge fan and proponent of entree salads, especially this salad recipe with chicken. This Chicken Greek Salad is tempting me with its Mediterranean flavors and I’d never say no to this Thai Beef Salad, either. And this Chicken Souvlaki Salad is another Mediterranean winner! Some of my favorites from the blog include this Mexican Chopped Salad, Ramen Noodle Salad with Chicken, and this Shrimp and Orange Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette. And if you’re hankering for grilled chicken, these Mustard, Garlic, Lime Marinated Chicken Breasts are incredibly delicious!

Overhead view of Southwestern Chicken Salad

This Tex-Mex Entree Salad is Perfect for a Healthy Fit Lifestyle

We always attempt to eat healthier despite our busy schedules. I love stocking up on-sale items, buying loads of chicken breasts when they’re on sale, and packing them in family-sized portions for my freezer. Hit your farmers’ market for deals on fresh fruits and veggies. Bring your family along and let them help pick out new items to try each week. Having even a small vegetable garden, which the family can all tend to, is another way to introduce new healthy foods into your menus.

I wouldn’t hesitate to add any veggie from my garden to this salad. Freshly picked and steamed green beans or peas would be divine! Besides being economic, tending a garden gets the family outside and off the couch. We always had our children help with digging the shallow trenches, planting the seeds, and watering. They were thrilled to see the first fronds of green peeking through the soil. And they were great little harvesters, too. Keeping active can be fun! This Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe is the perfect excuse to use some of your garden harvests!

More Salad Recipes with Chicken

Ramen Noodle Salad with Chicken

Homemade Chicken Salad

Fruity Chicken Salad

Caprese Salad with Chicken

More Chicken Recipes

More Salad Recipes

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings

A lovely vegetables salad with a lime cilantro vinaigrette, chicken, cheese and some Tex-Mex heat!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For spice rub:

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano


  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons, chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon minced jalapeno or a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Salad (these are just suggestions. Use whatever vegetables you'd like):

  • 1-2 Romaine lettuce hearts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, veins removed and sliced or diced
  • 2 ears of fresh sweet corn, grilled or steamed, then kernels removed
  • ½ onion, sliced and grilled, then chopped
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Queso fresco (or cheese of your choice), cut into cubes or crumbled


  1. Mix salt and spices together in a small bowl. Rub onto chicken breasts, then grill, cool, and shred.
  2. Mix all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. In a glass jar or measuring cup, mix together dressing ingredients, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour dressing over salad, mix, and serve.


To make ahead, chop all salad ingredients, grill chicken, and make dressing up to 2 days before. Keep refrigerated. Bring the dressing to room temperature, shred chicken and "compose" your salad when ready to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 519Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 738mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 46g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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