Southwest Chicken Salad with Whipped Avocado Dressing

Black beans, corn, cheddar and crunchy tortilla chips are the hallmark ingredients of our killer Southwest salad. Serve it in a bowl, or layer it in a glass jar and take it to go.

Brandon Barré
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
40 min


  • High-heat cooking oil (such as grape seed or safflower), as needed
  • 2 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 tsp all-natural low-sodium barbecue seasoning blend
  • 4 1-oz slices all-natural nitrate- and nitrite-free turkey bacon
  • 2 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in half and then into 1/4-inch strips
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels (blanched, if desired)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup cooked or BPA-free canned black beans
  • 2 oz shredded or chopped cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat a grill to medium and lightly oil grates. Rub chicken with barbecue seasoning. Grill for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until cooked through. Remove from heat, cover with foil and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet on medium. Cook bacon for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until browned and crisp. Set aside on paper towels.
  3. Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a single layer, arrange tortilla strips and mist with cooking spray. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, until crisp and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. In a small blender or food processor, blend garlic, avocado, cilantro, yogurt, lime juice, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup water until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, onion, beans and cheese. Chop chicken into bite-size pieces and add to salad. Finely chop bacon and add to salad; toss. Divide salad among serving bowls and top evenly with dressing and tortilla strips. (Alternatively, arrange salad in layers in a glass jar as shown above, starting with dressing and keeping lighter ingredients such as lettuce toward top of jar.)

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 3 1/4 cups chicken salad
  • Calories 362
  • Carbohydrate Content 32 g
  • Cholesterol Content 67 mg
  • Fat Content 14 g
  • Fiber Content 9.5 g
  • Protein Content 29 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 6 g
  • Sodium Content 485 mg
  • Sugar Content 6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 2 g