I was craving a salad so I looked in the refrigerator to see what we had on hand. There was leftover roasted chicken to use up and a ripe avocado so I decided to make a Southwestern salad. The combination of flavors and textures was excellent, especially the creamy avocado with the nutty pumpkin seeds, sharp cheddar, and tender chicken. This was a quick and easy meal that was hearty and filling.
Southwestern Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar OR red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Baby spinach and spring mix lettuce (half & half)
- Roasted chicken, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 small baby bell peppers – red and yellow, sliced
- 1/2 poblano pepper, seeded & diced
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 2 tbsp raw or toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp sharp cheddar cheese, diced
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, loosely chopped
- Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (recipe below) to taste
In a large salad bowl add mixed lettuce, chicken, green onions, bell peppers, poblano pepper, black beans, pumpkin seeds, avocado, sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh cilantro.
Top the salad with the vinaigrette, to taste; toss until evenly coated then serve immediately. Enjoy!