Southwestern chicken salad with creamy cilantro dressing is 1000x more delicious, fresher, and healthier than any restaurant salad at a fraction of the price.Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing Spring is just a few weeks away and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m thinking of barbeques, cold drinks, frozen yogurt, and lots of salads. One of my favorite foods to eat during spring is salads because they are light and filling. Plus, they make you feel amazing inside and out.

This southwestern chicken salad is no different. It’s healthy, light and fresh topped with warm spicy chicken and a creamy cilantro dressing. This creamy delicious dressing is beyond this world. It’s made with 3 simple ingredients (sour-cream, cilantro, and lime) yet it packs an explosion of flavor and is the perfect accompaniment to this yummy salad.

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro DressingSouthwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing How do you guys like my husband’s hand modeling? This is his first time helping me photograph food and I think he did a pretty darn good job. Now only if he was around more often so I can take photos of food from this angle! After I finished photographing the dish he sat down and finished the entire salad. I guess it was worth the wait!  Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

4.80 from 24 votes

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

By: Layla
Prep10 minutes
Cook12 minutes
Total22 minutes
Servings 2


  • For the chicken:
  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, reserve other half for dressing
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro for topping
  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup sour-cream, or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro with stems
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • In a medium ziplock bag, place the chicken breasts, taco seasoning, cumin, salt, lime juice and olive oil. Shake until fully combine and chicken is coated. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes or up to 2 days in advance.

  • To cook chicken: heat a heavy skillet to medium/high heat (Be sure the skillet is very hot before adding chicken). Add 1 teaspoon oil of choice to skillet. Place the chicken on a skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Allow chicken to rest in pan for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

  • To make the dressing: Place the sour cream (or greek yogurt), cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse for a few seconds or just until the cilantro is fully chopped.</li>
  • To Assemble: Place the chopped romaine lettuce on the bottom of a salad plate. Top with avocado, chopped tomatoes, black beans, corn, cilantro, and sliced chicken. Top with cold creamy cilantro dressing just before serving. Enjoy!


Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
like this recipe? Rate & Comment below!

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing Nutritional factsSouthwestern chicken salad with creamy cilantro dressing is 1000x more delicious, fresher, and healthier than any restaurant salad at a fraction of the price.Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

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  1. This was amazing! The dressing is delicious – so simple and easy to make yet very flavorful. It would be good with french fries, too, and my husband said he’d like it as a wings sauce. We added chopped green onions and shredded Cotija cheese to our salads. The chicken was so good as well. We will definitely put this in the regular rotation.

  2. The dressing was amazing! I used sour cream. I added some pickled jalapeños, red onion and tortilla strips to my salad and did a vegetarian version without chicken and it was so delicious!

  3. I’m always looking for recipes that can be prepped and then grabbed as I leave for a 12 hour shift. I grilled the chicken on the gas BBQ. Romain, corn and beans when in a snaplock, along with a roma tomato. The chicken into a separate container along with a spoonful of prepared quinoa. Dressing on the side along with a whole small avocado. At lunch time, I warmed the chicken and quinoa and cut up the avocado, and added all to the greens. What a great and satisfying salad! The marinated chicken was so flavorful!

  4. Loved it, the only thing I added was some finely chopped red onion . The dressing was fabulous! A keeper!

  5. My Friend is Diabetic and counts Carbs to stay off his Meds . I am Not sure how you got 50 Carbs Per Serving ? I am coming up with a little over 60 Carbs for the Total Recipe or 30 Carbs Per Serving ? What Guide do you use for Carbs ? I use Fat Secret for Carb Counting .

  6. It looks delicious but packs a whopping 20 points on Weight Watchers!

    1. I’m on weight watchers as well and for the chicken I use Perdue fajitas grilled chicken which is zero points on the blue and and I use bolthouse cilantro avocado dressing which is 3 or 4 points for 4 tbsp. With that my whole salad is 3 or 4 points because of the dressing. I don’t add avocado because it’s in the dressing.

  7. Love it! Making it for the second time in two weekS !

    1. Do you cook your corn and black beans? Or just rinse them and eat them straight from the can?

  8. I Loved it! I instead boilEd the chickEn then only had to put the marinate on a little then i cooked it on tHe skillet for aBout 2 minuteS to get its color. Other then that is was DELICIOUS!!

  9. Am i missing the instructions for the dressinG? I dont see them 🙁

  10. very good and very filliNg. I dindnt make my dressing; however i used chipotle range and a green salad dressing… sooo good!

  11. This salad is delicious! the only thing I did differently was add fresh jalapenos to the dressing. Love it!

  12. This salad is delicious! the only thing I did differently was add fresh japapenos to the dressing. Love it!

  13. This salad is one of the best I’ve ever made! I followed the directions as instructed.

  14. That’s a ton of carbohydrates. I was looking for a diabetes friendly recipe.

    1. Go light on the black beans and corn. Try adding cucumbers and bell pepper instead. You will lose some of the protein value but it will lighten up the carbs.

  15. Looks delicious so I don’t want to end up with dry chicken. After cooking the chicken 4~5 minutes per side, do I turn off the heat then leave the chicken breasts in the hot skillet?

  16. This was absolutely delicious!! I shall be making it often. Thank you for sharing.

  17. First time to make a southwest salad and I loved It! Great recipe. I followed exactly and would totally make it again.

    1. It means not to cut off the ends or any part of the cilantro. Use it as is and pack it into the measuring cup after roughly chopping.

  18. Awesome salad! This chicken is amazing. Thanks a bunch for the recipe!

  19. I made this salad for the first time about a month ago, and I’ve made it every week since.

    I made a HUGE serving of it – added chopped sweet peppers and subtracted the chicken, and took it as a vegan (on its own) or vegetarian (with the dressing) option, and it was a hit. 4 people wanted the recipe for the dressing (which I use full fat Greek yogurt to make.)

    We’ve also discovered that the marinade works fantastic on fish, add sliced peppers and cabbage, cover with the dressing and wrap in a corn tortilla and it’s just PERFECTION.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Super easy and delicious and great as a base for more fantastic meals.

  20. Made this for dinner tonight and I loved it. Wasn’t time consuming to make either. I like to leave out salt of my meals and I found it tasted great. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch.

  21. I made this salad for dinner last night. I used the lowfat Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream. I also added green onion and a little sharp cheddar cheese. My husband and I both absolutely loved it! If I take the time to leave a comment on a recipe it’s definitely a keeper!! We especially love the lime flavor in the dressing. The marinade left the chicken so flavorful! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  22. Love this recipe! I tried it with a chipotle aioli and it was fantastic! My favorite salad ever! ????

  23. Is that correct that it’s 741 calories per serving?

    1. Yes that’s correct. Most of the calories are from the sour-cream and black beans but you can omit those if you want and use non-fat yogurt instead of the sour-cream.

      1. Do you know about how many calories without sour cream and black beans?