I want to introduce you to my new favorite salad: Southwestern Chopped Salad, loaded with tons of veggies, juicy and flavorful chicken, and topped off with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® brand)! It’s a salad, side dish, and dinner all in one – depends on how hungry you are!
And so easy-to-make – only 30 minutes from start to finish: just chop up all the veggies, cook the chicken in Mexican-style spices, and spice everything up with a delicious dressing! Super flavorful, colorful, healthy, this recipe is packed with fiber (vegetables) and protein (chicken)! And did I say it is gluten free?!
You’ll love this salad! What’s even better, your kids will love it too, especially when they taste the dressing! What a great and easy way to serve tons of veggies to your kids. We all know that the best and easiest way to take the salad from boring to flavorful is the right dressing! In this recipe I am using Hidden Valley® Buttermilk Ranch – and it’s not called America’s Favorite Ranch for nothing!
It’s delicious, versatile, and makes everything taste better: the vegetables and the chicken! Add the Mexican-style spices, and you’ll have one of the most delicious (and healthy!) meals you’ve ever tried! I love how colorful the vegetables are in this recipe! Colored vegetables are so good for you – they are packed with a variety of essential nutrients.
I love the Buttermilk flavor, and the Original Ranch dressing will work great here too! By the way, did you know that both Hidden Valley® Buttermilk Ranch dressings are gluten free?! It’s always a huge plus in my book since I HAVE to follow a gluten free diet.
I very much respect the companies that take the time and effort to ensure their products are gluten free and label them as such. It makes life so much easier for us gluten-free folks. One thing less to think about!
Without further ado, let’s start cooking! Generously season chicken breast with salt, ground cumin, mildly spicy chili powder, and cook in olive oil on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large chicken breast (about 1 lb), sliced in half horizontally
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (mild, not overly spicy kind)
- salt, to taste
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn from the can, rinsed and drained
- Hidden Valley® Buttermilk Ranch dressing
- Generously season the chicken breasts with salt, on both sides. Also, season both sides of chicken breast with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder (reserve the remaining 1.5 teaspoon of each cumin and chili powder for later).
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat until hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil – it should sizzle immediately. Add the chicken breast, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, on medium-high heat. Remove the skillet from the heat, cover with lid, and let the chicken sit, off heat (it will continue cooking off heat) until the chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 10-15 minutes. Slice the cooked chicken into stripes or cubes. Set aside.
Assembling the salad:
- Make sure lettuce, bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, and green onions are all finely chopped.
- Rinse and drain canned black beans and canned corn.
- Add all salad ingredients, 1.5 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1.5 teaspoon of chili powder to a large bowl and toss with the desired amount of Buttermilk Ranch dressing.
- Taste the salad, and definitely add some salt, to taste.
- Adding just the right amount of salt at this point will really bring out all the flavors! Top each salad serving with cooked chicken (cubed or sliced into stripes).
You can find complete recipes of this Southwestern Chopped Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing in juliasalbum.com