Oftentimes salads get overlooked as a main dish later in the day, but when you want a lighter dinner a loaded salad is a perfect solution!
When I make dinner a salad is usually a common side, but there’s no reason why it can’t be the main course. The best part about making a big salad at home is you can throw as many things in it as you want and even make you own dressing.
I came up with this salad because I made a Mexican dish during the week that I had some extra vegetables from. When I cook leftovers I always try to do them in a way that it completely transforms the meal. My guy isn’t one for eating the same thing over and over so I’ve specialized in reusing ingredients creatively. For throwing something together this southwestern green chile chicken salad turned out pretty darn good!
Salads don’t have to be boring, there are endless possibilities to what you can add to the greens!
First cook the chicken. Heat up some oil in a pan and sprinkle the chicken with some taco seasoning and cilantro. Add in some green chile sauce to keep the meat juicy and give a little extra kick.
I chose to cube the zucchini, squash and sweet potato. Sauté the vegetables separately until almost done and then combine with the chicken. Add extra seasonings if necessary.
While everything finishes cooking together make the dressing separately. I used some remaining green chile sauce to keep with the Mexican flavor, then added a little lime juice and ranch.
Toss everything together and serve! I topped mine with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and queso fresco crumbles too.
Southwestern Chicken Salad
- 8 oz chicken boneless skinless
- 3 cups lettuce
- 1 zucchini small
- 1 squash small
- 1 sweet potato small
- 1/2 can corn
- 1/2 can black beans
- 4 tbsp cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 tbsp queso fresco crumbles
- 1/2 can green chile enchilada sauce
- 2 tbsp ranch
- 3 tsp lime juice
- 2 tsp taco seasoning
- 2 tsp cilantro
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- Heat up some oil in a pan and cook the chicken with some taco seasoning, cilantro and green chile sauce.
- Cube the larger veggies, then sauté all of the vegetables separately until almost done before combining with the chicken.
- Make the dressing separately by mixing some more of the green chile sauce with a little lime juice and ranch.
- Once the meat and vegetables are done remove from heat and toss with the lettuce. Pour the dressing on top and sprinkle on some cheese.
If you make the dressing and store in a small container then this would make a great meal prep for work lunches! A salad like this is filling, satisfies your taste buds and is just the kind of thing I look forward to if I pack a lunch.