Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

My poor man. He claims he's okay with the salads I've been making lately, but I know deep down inside he's screaming for a big, juicy, steak. Luckily, he's a really good sport. I'm trying to be more creative with the veggie intake, and sometimes there's nothing like a classic salad loaded with them. Especially with the southwestern flavors at the forefront.

When I saw this beautiful salad on Pinterest, I thought it looked so fresh and colorful. I made it during the daytime for the photo, then we had it later for dinner. I think it tasted even better after chilling! And the green peppers had a chance to almost marinade with the romaine into a really awesome flavor. What? Romaine, you ask? Yes, there's a bed of romaine hidden under the top layer. 

I promise.
Funny story about the "dressing", though. A while ago, I wanted to serve up a few parfaits for Ryan and I on a date/family night. I must have spaced it when I was in the dairy section, because I ended up buying plain yogurt. It tasted horrible, and I wasn't smart enough to spruce it up with some sweetening agents (honey, sugar, nectar, whatever). I felt so lame, and told myself this was a mistake that probably only happens once, right?


After mixing the dressing together for this recipe, and spreading it over a few romaine leaves for tasting, I loved it at first. It delightfully tasted just like the sour cream mixture you would use in traditional 7-layer dip (almost like a sour cream-type deal), then...

...the aftertaste was sweet. VERY sweet.

I'm pretty sure I used normal mayo, and my taco seasoning blend was from scratch, so I knew I hadn't botched it there. I then saw the empty Greek Yogurt cup with the words French Vanilla so tauntingly written on the side.

Yep. I had just used French Vanilla Greek yogurt in my Southwestern salad dressing. I accidentally bought the wrong dang flavor of yogurt. AGAIN. Madness, I tell you. Luckily, I hadn't mixed it in the entire batch before realizing my grave error. Ryan still ate the dressing with the salad. Weirdo.

It's not my fault, right? The yogurt section should be it's own supermarket in itself! There are too many choices/flavors/sizes/styles! How can I possibly make sense of it all?

Then again, I'm pretty sure I learned how to read a very long time ago.

Next time, yogurt section. Next time...
Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad
Makes about 4 whole meal servings, 8 side salad servings


2 cups shredded chicken*
1/2 green bell pepper
1 can black beans
1 can sweet yellow corn, drained
2 plum tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1 head romaine lettuce, cleaned and roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
2 ripe avocados, diced
tortilla chips (I listed this because the original recipe did, and I wished we had some on hand to toss on the salad!)

1/2 C mayo
2/3 C plain Greek yogurt
1 T taco seasoning (you can use packaged, or combine your own taco seasoning ingredients)
2 T lemon or lime juice

1. Prepare all ingredients. In a very large bowl, combine all ingredients for salad. Toss together with tongs or large spoons. 
2. Top with dressing -or- serve salads with dressing on the side (to add as much or little as wanted).

recipe adapted from: greens and chocolate who was inspired by Lauren's Latest. 

*This is how I prepared my chicken: I rubbed 1 raw chicken breast with cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Then I placed it in a glass bread baking dish coated in EVOO, covered in foil. Baked for 45 minutes at 375. Fell apart when I shredded it with a fork :) 


  1. Delicious...especially without the vanilla. lol don't worry, we've all been there done that at one time or another. I love all the ingredients in this salad and will make it soon!

    1. Isn't that crazy? I would have just blamed it on the toddler, but he wasn't with me the last grocery trip when I bought the yogurt. You will LOVE this salad! Thanks again for commenting, you're the best!

  2. Funny story! The salad looks delicious!

    1. I seriously thought I had lost my marbles! At least it wasn't blueberry or something, right? Thanks for stopping by Natalie :)

  3. Haha. I uses to mix up plain and vanilla. There just isn't enough colors on those two to separate them! Your salad looks amazing.

    1. Dang straight! Thank you for the compliment, you're always such a doll on here.

  4. Love how hearty this salad is! My husband would agree to eat this!

    1. He definitely would! The only request my husband made was to add bacon - which is always a good idea!

  5. I am so glad I found your recipe! My hubby and I love a big salad for dinner. I made it tonight and it was everything I hoped it would be!

  6. Did you try this salad left over? I like to make a big salad and bring it for lunch during the week. Would it be better to do some of these things day of? Maybe keep the lettuce and avocados separate?

  7. I'm going to make this for dinner for our womens church group. As for the yogurt, I made macaroni & cheese one time, not knowing we were out of milk. I used my grandson's vanilla soy milk, didn't think it would make a difference. Can you say gross???

  8. Thank you for posting this! I featured your recipe on a roundup of keto friendly dinners! http://tulipsorchids.blogspot.com/2015/01/7-healthy-and-easy-keto-dinner-recipes.html

  9. Do you cook warm the black beans and corn or just eat them straight out of the can?

  10. Do you cook warm the black beans and corn or just eat them straight out of the can?


Thank you for commenting, I love hearing from you!