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Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

This Southwestern grilled chicken salad is a tasty mix of chicken, black beans, corn, red pepper and poblano pepper, topped off with a creamy Avocado-Lime dressing. It makes a tasty dinner or a great dish for a summer barbecue. Serve on lettuce, with tortilla chips or in a wrap. This quick dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes.

This Southwestern grilled chicken salad is a tasty mix of chicken, black beans, corn, red pepper and poblano pepper, topped off with a creamy Avocado-Lime dressing. It makes a tasty dinner or a great dish for a summer barbecue. Serve on lettuce, with tortilla chips or in a wrap. #chickensalad #grilledchickensalad #southwestern

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Summer is the time for fresh and tasty salads using lot of delicious veggies. This southwestern chicken salad is all about fresh, summery taste that you can make on your grill, without using the oven and heating up the house.

closeup look at grilled chicken salad with corn and black beans

I love all kinds of foods made on the grill – like burgers, ribs or pork kabobs. But sometimes I want a summer barbecue meal that is light and fresh, like this grilled chicken salad. You can make this ahead of time and take it to a barbecue or picnic for a healthy dish.

overhead view of grilled chicken salad with avocado lime dressing

When I think of chicken salad I usually think of creamy and mayonnaise covered chicken with some fruit or nuts. This recipe is much different than that! Healthy grilled chicken, peppers and corn are the star of this recipe, and the creaminess comes from avocado, not mayonnaise.

Grilling the Ingredients for the Chicken Salad

All the ingredients for this southwestern chicken salad are cooked on the grill. So you don’t have to fire up the oven and heat up your house – which is always a plus on a hot summer day.

southwestern grilled chicken salad ingredients

In addition, all the ingredients can be cooked at the same time on the grill. You can cook them all in about 15 minutes, making this a quick and easy meal. The ingredients do need different cooking times, so you have to watch them and turn them on the grill as they cook.

Grilling the Chicken

The chicken has the longest grilling time of all the ingredients. I used a chicken breast, which I seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin and chile powder. Then I grilled it until it was cooked through, turning it once. I used my instant read meat thermometer to check and make sure it was done and had reached 160 F.

Grilled chicken on the grill

You could also use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast. This is also a great recipe for using up leftover chicken that you grilled earlier in the week!

Grilling the Peppers

This grilled chicken salad includes two kinds of peppers, a red pepper and a poblano pepper. Both these peppers are roasted on the grill to blacken them and deepen the flavor. Charring the skin off the peppers takes some of the moisture out, which makes them even sweeter.

red pepper and poblano pepper on grill

To blacken the peppers just place them directly on the grill and turn them every few minutes to blacken each side. Grilling the peppers will take 10-15 minutes.

Grilling the Corn

To grill the corn simply husk it and put it right on the grill. There is no need soak it! Just stick it directly on the grill and turn it every few minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to cook the corn

corn on the grill

Making the Avocado Lime Dressing

Once the chicken, peppers and corn are done put them aside and let them cool while you make the dressing. The grilled chicken salad dressing is nice and creamy because of the avocado that is mixed in.

juicing a lime for southwestern chicken salad

I recommend juicing fresh limes for this dressing. Fresh lime juice is just so much better than anything you buy in a bottle! It takes only a few minutes to juice a couple limes, and citrus juicers are small, inexpensive and easy to store.

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After the limes are juiced the dressing is made by combining the lime juice with half an avocado, cilantro, cumin, chile powder and olive oil. Whir it all together in a blender or food processor and this easy dressing is complete.

Assembling the Southwestern Chicken Salad

The final step in making the grilled chicken salad is to chop up the ingredients and mix it all together. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces. Then use a knife to cut the corn off the cob.

cutting the corn off the cob

Once the peppers have cooled slightly the blackened skin should peel right off. You can make peeling them even easier by putting them in a paper bag or covering them with plastic wrap. The skin should come right off when you rub the pepper. And don’t worry if some of the skin stays on, it will taste fine. Once you peel the skin off, chop both peppers into small pieces.

grilled chicken salad ingredients in a bowl

Then mix the chopped chicken, corn and peppers in a large bowl, and add a can of drained black beans. Pour the dressing over the entire salad and mix it well.

grilled chicken salad with corn and black beans in a bowl

How to Serve Grilled Chicken Salad

You can serve this salad warm or cold. I like to add extra avocado slices and stir in a little extra cilantro when I serve it. I also think it tastes a little better if you put it in the refrigerator and let the flavors meld for 30 minutes or so.

This salad is very versatile, so there are many different things you can serve it with. Here are some ideas:

  • Pile it on some lettuce or salad greens for a tasty low carb dinner.
  • Put it in a wrap for a portable lunch.
  • Make it into a southwestern sandwich by putting it on roll.
  • Make it on Sunday and eat it all week long as an easy meal prep lunch or dinner.
  • Double the recipe and take it along on your next picnic or barbecue.
  • Break out a bag of tortilla chips and scoop it up.
southwestern style grilled chicken salad

However you decide to serve this southwestern chicken salad it is delicious! The grilled flavor from the juicy chicken and corn combines beautifully with the roasted peppers and avocado dressing. It is a light and fresh meal that is perfect for summer.

Yield: 4

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

grilled chicken salad with corn and black beans in a bowl

This Southwestern grilled chicken salad is a tasty mix of chicken, black beans, corn, red pepper and poblano pepper, topped off with a creamy Avocado-Lime dressing.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Grilled Chicken Salad

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 ears corn
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained

Avocado Lime Dressing

  • 2 limes
  • 4 Tablespoons cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat a grill on medium high heat.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken breast with the cumin, chile powder and salt.
  3. Put the chicken, corn, red pepper and poblano pepper on the grill. They will all cook simultaneously, but need different grilling times.
  4. Grill the corn until it is tender, about 10 minutes. Turn it frequently so all sides are browned and cooked.
  5. Grill the two peppers for about 15 minutes, turning every 2 minutes or so until the skin is slightly blackened.
  6. Grill the chicken for about 15 minutes, turning once, until it reaches 160 F internal temperature.
  7. As each ingredient finished cooking take it off the grill and set it aside to cool slightly.
  8. To make the Avocado Lime dressing first juice the two limes.
  9. Then combine the lime juice, cilantro, chile powder, cumin, avocado and olive oil in a blender or food processor and mix well.
  10. Once the chicken, peppers and corn are cool enough to handle chop the chicken into small pieces. Then chop the peppers, peeling off the blackened skin if desired. Cut the kernels off the corn cobs.
  11. Put the chicken, peppers and corn in a large bowl. Add the drained black beans and stir to mix.
  12. Pour the dressing over the grilled chicken salad and stir.
  13. Serve garnished with more cilantro and the other half of the avocado.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 487mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Closeup of grilled chicken salad

Find More Grilling Ideas

This Southwestern grilled chicken salad is a tasty mix of chicken, black beans, corn, red pepper and poblano pepper, topped off with a creamy Avocado-Lime dressing. It makes a tasty dinner or a great dish for a summer barbecue. Serve on lettuce, with tortilla chips or in a wrap. #chickensalad #grilledchickensalad #southwestern
By on June 10th, 2019

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