Southwest Salad is a deliciously vibrant salad packed with our favorite flavors for an amazing meal!

Perfectly seasoned grilled chicken, corn, avocado, beans, and romaine lettuce are all tossed together in a lime vinaigrette.

I hope to help inspire you guys to create some delicious meals this summer and this Southwest salad is one that the whole family will love!

Overhead shot of Southwest Salad in a wooden bowl

This post has been sponsored by McCormick.

If you asked me for a refreshing summer dish that combines flavors from the grill with the Tex-Mex flavors we know and love, this Southwest Salad would be my number one answer.

Crisp romaine lettuce makes the base of this salad. Next I add in my favorite veggies (grilled corn, tomatoes, avocado to name a few).  Finally a handful of black beans and some quinoa to turn this salad into a full meal!

If you want to change things up, try swapping out the lettuce for some cooked and cooled pasta noodles. Southwest pasta salad for everyone!

This Southwest Salad recipe is topped with a simple homemade lime vinaigrette. McCormick® Grill Mates® Mesquite Marinade is the perfect addition to season the dressing and add tons of flavor!  The tangy lime goes perfectly with the smoky seasonings and brings all of the flavors in this salad together!

McCormick ingredients needed for Southwest Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

The real star of this dish is the grilled chicken we  put on top! My daughter Kailey (who isn’t a meat lover), had one bite of the chicken in this Southwest Salad and asked if there was any more of the chicken. Long story short, my daughter has a new ‘fav chicken’. Score one for Mom!

A drizzle of olive oil and McCormick® Grill Mates® Applewood Rub creates the most delicious grilled chicken, perfectly seasoned with a slightly smoky flavor.

Southwest Salad with Lime Vinaigrette served in a wooden bowl

How To Grill Chicken

I used to be pretty nervous around a grill, but realizing how much flavor you can get out of your meat from grilling it really inspired me to learn to use it well! Here are a few of my favorite tips.

Make your chicken even. With a boneless chicken breast, you’ll notice that one end is much thicker than the other.  I use a meat mallet to gently pound all of the chicken breasts to an even thickness to allow for even cooking.

Season your chicken before grilling.  A dash of olive oil and a deliciously flavorful rub (I used McCormick® Grill Mates® Applewood Rub) means you’ll get loads of flavor.

Use a thermometer. I always use a thermometer to make sure my chicken is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy.  You’ll want to cook your chicken to 165 degrees (I usually take it off just before as the temperature will continue to rise a few degrees while it rests).

Rest your chicken. Resting your chicken breasts for about 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to settle before you slice it up. This will help keep your chicken tender and delicious!

Overhead shot of Southwest Salad in a wooden bowl
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Southwest Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

A delicious blend of our favorite Tex-Mex flavors tossed in a simple lime vinaigrette!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons McCormick® Grill Mates® Applewood Rub
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • ½ cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 4 green onions sliced



  • Prepare dressing by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl until combined.  Set aside.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Pound chicken breasts to even thickness. Drizzle with olive oil and season with McCormick® Grill Mates® Applewood Rub. Brush corn with olive oil & season with salt.
  • Place chicken on the grill and corn on the grill.  Grill 3-4 minutes per side or until temperature reaches 165 degrees.  
  • Allow chicken to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Using a knife, remove kernels from the corn. Slice chicken.
  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Toss with dressing and serve.


5 from 15 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 616 | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 986mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1335IU | Vitamin C: 23.3mg | Calcium: 281mg | Iron: 3.8mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Tex Mex

More Chicken Salads that eat like a meal!

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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    1. Hi Angie, yes! In Step 2 we drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season with the Applewood Rub.

    1. The nutrition information is located just below the recipe and it is for one serving (1/4th of the salad and dressing).

  1. ABSOLUTELY amazing. Thanks so much! So much flavor in every bite. Great date-night meal to prep together!5 stars

  2. Forgot the avocado but made it anyway….absolutely fantastic!!! Bought lime Wonton Strips to put on top! Amazing!!! This is our new go to recipe!!

  3. My husband is a chef and we fixed the Southwest Chicken Salad the other night and it is just the very best and we will fix it again. We look forward to Holly sharing more great recipes like this one. I loved the lime vinaigrette. Thanks Holly and keep sharing more great recipes.5 stars

  4. Hey! I noticed on the dressing recipe you did not include cilantro, but you used it in the video? Maybe it was forgotten in the recipe!

  5. This salad looks absolutely perfect!! I would gobble it right up! I have used that exact mesquite marinade before, too!

    1. Thank you Averie, it was one meal Kailey couldn’t get enough of!! The marinade was perfect for adding flavor to the dressing too!