Eating healthy can be hard sometimes. It takes more effort and expense to create meals that consist of a good balance of healthfulness and flavor. I look for healthy shortcuts wherever I can, especially on busy weeknights. Let me show you how this Easy Layered Southwest Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing can fit easily and deliciously into a healthy lifestyle.
What’s in this Southwest Salad
This salad is sort of like those yummy 7-layer Mexican dips that are always a fan favorite for football Sundays and potlucks:
- Crisp lettuce: I like to use iceberg because it’s super crispy and cool
- Tomatoes: smaller tomatoes like grape or cherry tomatoes work well in this salad, but any kind you like will do
- Lean protein: chicken breast is my go-to, but you could also substitute cooked ground beef or turkey
- Avocado: a super-satisfying source of healthy fats
- Black beans: these add a creamy texture along with extra protein and fiber
- Corn: it adds sweetness, which is a nice balance to the other ingredients
- Scallions: sprinkle them on top for a pop of bright green
You can play around with the mix of ingredients and how you layer them all together to make it look really pretty. I love bringing this Layered Southwest Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing to parties because it always gets lots of oohs and ahhs.
The best Southwestern Salad Dressing
The Prince suggested an avocado lime ranch concoction for this salad, and it turned out that the dressing became the best part of this salad! Here’s what you need:
It’s so creamy and zesty and has the coolest shade of green. Make extra and use it as a dip for raw veggies or chicken wings.
Making Healthy Easy
No time to wash and cut veggies? You can buy most of them pre-washed and pre-cut.
Using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and pre-cut vegetables in this Layered Southwest Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing cuts the prep time by 80% and means you can have a healthy meal on the table in under 30 minutes.
How to serve this Southwest Salad
Be sure to drizzle the dressing onto this Layered Southwestern Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing after you’ve divided it among separate serving plates. A dressed salad won’t keep, but if you cover whatever is left of this salad with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge, it will last another day or two.
For more salad recipes, try these:
- Fried Goat Cheese & Cherry Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
- Italian Antipasto Salad with Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing
- Greek Panzanella Salad with Fresh Oregano Vinaigrette
For more Southwestern recipes, try these:
- Easy Black Bean & Corn Salad w/ Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Honey Lime Chicken & Corn Tacos
- Healthy Burrito Bowls
Layered Southwest Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing
- 4 ears of corn or 1 can, grilled and shaved off the cob
- 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch scallions diced
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast diced
- 3 avocados diced
- 2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce shredded
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice + zest of 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp. jalapeños diced
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 avocado pitted, skins removed
- 1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- In a small bowl, combine the corn, lime juice, lime zest, jalapeños and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
- Layer the salad: shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, black beans, corn mixture, chicken and scallions.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.