Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe

This Southwest Chicken Salad is one that is a crowd pleaser with so many contrasting textures and flavors.

  • Author: Maryea Flaherty of Happy Healthy Mama
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: recipes
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Southwest
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 8 cups chopped hearts of romaine
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 (15 ounce) corn kernels
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 2 cooked skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 10 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • salt and pepper

For the Balsamic Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic


  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until it’s crisp on both sides. Remove and allow to cool on a towel-lined plate.
  2. In the same skillet, remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Add the corn, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add the black beans to the same skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Roughly chop the cooled bacon.
  5. Add the chopped romaine and the rest of the salad ingredients to a large bowl*. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix the dressing: add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, and minced garlic to a container with a lid and shake until well-combined.
  7. Drizzle the salad ingredients with the dressing**and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.


*You can also create individual salad servings, but one big bowl is quicker and easier.

**A lot of dressing go well here, so if you want to use your favorite store-bought dressing that’s great. Ranch is fantastic with this as well.


Keywords: Southwest Chicken Salad