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Southwest chicken salad with healthy avocado buttermilk dressing

Nicole is the author, recipe developer and photographer behind the food blog Cooking for Keeps. She believes you can eat anything in moderation, so her blog focuses on a varied hodgepodge of indulgent and healthy recipes alike. When she’...

Zesty flavors for your salad

Having salad for dinner isn't boring when it's full of Southwest flavors and creamy avocado dressing.

Daily Flavor

Southwest chicken salad with healthy avocado buttermilk dressing

Zesty flavors for your salad

Having salad for dinner isn't boring when it's full of Southwest flavors and creamy avocado dressing.

Amp up a chicken salad with plenty of spice and homemade chili croutons. Salad never tasted so good!

Southwest chicken salad with healthy avocado buttermilk dressing recipe

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium-size chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • Canola oil
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped (about 5-6 ounces)
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Avocado buttermilk dressing (see recipe below)
  • Chili croutons (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make four pieces. Sprinkle chicken evenly on both sides with seasoning.
  3. Heat a drizzle of canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until cooked through and slightly blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Let set for a few minutes. Slice into strips.
  4. Pile lettuce onto a serving platter. Sprinkle jalapeño, cheese, tomato, cilantro, corn and black beans on top. Add sliced chicken breasts, then drizzle with dressing and top with croutons.

Avocado buttermilk dressing recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups diced avocado (about 2 small avocados)
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more buttermilk, as needed, if the dressing is too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chili croutons recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups cubed day-old bread
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss bread with oil, salt, garlic powder and chili powder. Spread on to a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 5-8 minutes until crisp and lightly brown. (If you use fresh bread, they will need to be cooked longer.)

More Daily Flavor

Creamy chicken and wild rice soup
Asian-style chicken nuggets
Skinny creamy chicken enchiladas

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