Southwest Chicken Chop Salad

Southwest Chicken Chop Salad Final 2 Getting naked is all the rage. That is, according to my 3 year old who apparently just realized that she can get completely undressed in 17 seconds flat, get to the couch and jump while screaming “I’m naked!! I’m naked!”

This happened twice yesterday.

And thrice the day before.

It’s shocking, thrilling and quite the show.

Chop salads are also all the rage. At least I think they are. And so do the folks at California Pizza Kitchen. Their bbq chicken chop salad is my absolute favorite thing on the menu next to the chinese chop salad….and all that pizza.

Basically, I want to live there.

Anyways, the other day I thought I’d experiment with some leftover black beans and roasted chicken I had in my fridge. Best decision ever. Crunchy, fresh, salty, sweet, creamy and southwesty…there’s a little something for everyone! Plus, there was no cooking involved! BONUS.

The only downside to chop salads is all that darn chopping. Go figure! For me, this took 30 minutes start to finish. But that was with a toddler hanging onto my right pant leg while I was doing the prep and taking step by step photos. So, you should expect 20 minutes of work time, I’d say. Besides that, you should be good to go. This is a really straight forward recipe and superly awesomly amazing tasting. Here’s how you do it:

sw chop salad 1 Let the chopping begin! Get some chicken and green peppers chopped and in a big bowl along with some black beans.

sw chop salad 2 Add in some corn,

sw chop salad 3 diced tomatoes,

sw chop salad 4 minced green onion,

sw chop salad 6 chopped lettuce and cilantro {not pictured.}

sw chop salad 5 You’re also going to want to slice up some avocados too. Mmm….avocados.

sw dip 1 For the dressing, take equal parts of mayo and sour cream and stir together with

sw dip 2 some taco seasonings, ranch dip mix,

sw dip 3 and pepper and salt to taste.

sw dip 4 Stir it up and voila! Southwest creamy dressing.

sw dip 5 Pour enough dressing over the top to moisten everything and toss.

sw chop salad 7 Once that dressing is mixed in, you can store the salad in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Once you are ready to devour this, stir in some crushed tortilla chips with that ripe avocados.

sw chop salad 8 Once you stir it all together you can see how yummy and colorful this looks! Mmmm….

Southwest Chicken Chop Salad Final 3 Hope you like this one, guys! Have a great weekend!

Southwest Chicken Chop Salad

Yield: 4 servings


2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup black beans
1 cup sweet yellow corn {canned or frozen and defrosted}
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, washed and sliced {white and green parts}
1 large romaine heart, washed and chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
2 just under ripe avocados, diced
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
for the dressing-
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning
1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 tablespoon lime juice {optional}
salt & pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, stir all salad ingredients together, excluding the tortilla chips and avocado. In a small bowl, stir all dressing ingredients together until smooth. When ready to serve, toss salad with dressing then gently stir in avocado and tortilla chips.

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90 Responses to “Southwest Chicken Chop Salad”

  1. #
    Cassie — March 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    This is awesome, chopped salads are definitely all the rage. And as much as I like making homemade taco seasoning, I really love TJ’s. This is perfect!


  2. #
    Genêt — March 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Chopped salads have the best texture and I love the combo of taco seasoning and ranch for the dressing!


  3. #
    Anna V. — March 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    LOOKS GREAT!!!!! :)


  4. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — March 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Oh my goshhhhhhhhh…I LOVE THIS SALAD like I love youuuuuuu..this looks sooo good and it reminds me a lot of the Cheesecake Factory’s salad dressing they use for their bbq ranch chicken salad and this other mexican flavored one jason loves..i’m definitely puttin this on my menu!


  5. #
    From Valerie's Kitchen — March 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Lauren, I’m convinced we were separated at birth! I am crazy for CPK’s salads, especially the Thai Crunch which I just happened to post yesterday! I also love the BBQ Chicken Salad and have had it more times than I’d like to admit! Great job on the dressing – looks great!


  6. #
    Elizabeth — March 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    This looks and sounds delicious, can’t wait to try it!


  7. #
    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — March 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    amazing-that dressing looks perfect for this! I love chopped salads :)


  8. #
    Bev Weidner — March 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Holy God Almighty.


  9. #
    Aimee Berrett — March 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    This one looks absolutely amazing. Unfortunately the hubs never likes salad, so I guess I’ll need to make it for just me. Yum!


  10. #
    Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} — March 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Yum! This looks perfect! I love that you can make it up ahead and have it ready to go during the dinner rush – and it’s cold – so no individually re-heating dinner for everyone. Perfect.
    Ah, only to have the inhibitions of a three year old . . . .


  11. #
    Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser — March 31, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Wow that salad looks incredibly delicious and incredibly easy to make! Can’t wait to try it out.

    PS Your daughter sounds hilarious and adorable. Isn’t is fantastic when they have that much energy? Hahaha I’m sure she keeps you busy.


  12. #
    Suzanne — March 31, 2012 at 6:45 am

    This is definitely a keeper. I have printed it out for dinner during the week. I need these quick simple meals for my family after a hard day at work.


  13. #
    Kathryn — March 31, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I love chopped salads because I’m ridiculously lazy and don’t have to cut anything up – bonus! Great combo of flavours here.


  14. #
    Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin — March 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    My favorite is the chop salad at Cheesecake Factory. And this looks just like it! Can’t wait to make this :)


  15. #
    Anna — March 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    You TOTALLY read my mind and I love it. Not sure why but I was definitely craving a southwesty chopped salad the last couple days and planning on making it for dinner some time this week. I wasn’t really sure what to put in it though except I knew I wanted avocado, so Thank You for reading my mind and posting this Delicious looking recipe!! :)


  16. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — April 1, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Hooo boy, naked is all the rage here too, with my 3 year old and her copycat 1 year old brother! This salad looks like a fantastic distraction…head to the kitchen and leave ’em to it?


  17. #
    Marilyn Brennan — April 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    LOVE, love, love your blogging and tutorials!


  18. #
    Jen @Healthy...with a side of ranch — April 2, 2012 at 2:32 am

    OMG I want to eat this NOW.


  19. #
    Megan Pence — April 2, 2012 at 3:17 am

    This sounds fantastic, especially when an outrageously hot summer decides to make an appearance this year. No cooking – always a win.


  20. #
    Baking Serendipity — April 2, 2012 at 4:03 am

    The two year old across the street is constantly running around naked, yelling “Naked Party!” Clearly she’s in on the naked trend too. I think I’ll go the chop salad route. This looks delicious!


  21. #
    Jolene ( — April 2, 2012 at 4:07 am

    I am going to make this very soon … but I might have to add a couple extra handfuls of cilantro to my portion and leave it out for the hubby :-)


  22. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — April 2, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Your daughter sounds like an adventure to be around!

    As for your salad – wow. It’s chockfull of fun goodies. Will have to try it soon! :)


  23. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — April 2, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I love new salad recipes, and this one looks amazing!


  24. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — April 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Oh yeah, I could totally get down with this. Chopped salads are my favorite! :-)


  25. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — April 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I could eat the heck out of this.


  26. #
    NanaBread (Jeanne) — April 3, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I just kept scrolling down, yelling “YES…. YES…. YES!” You lured me in with that first photo, and it just kept getting better and better. This is the next salad on my “to do” list now. Thanks, Lauren!


  27. #
    Robby — April 4, 2012 at 12:42 am

    This looks wonderful and will be made soon. Just thought I would add that I made something similar (although I might have missed 1 or 2 of your goodies) and simply squeezed a generous amount of lime juice over it and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. That was also quite nice if you’re watching calories.


  28. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — April 8, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Made this tonight….except *someone* forgot to buy the chicken. Oops! Very yummy without it, too! 😉 Thank you!


  29. #
    Sandra — April 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I decided to make this even though I didn’t have sour cream, avocado, cilantro, or green pepper. I added cucumber and boiled shredded chicken breast instead of roasted. Made my own taco seasoning from a little chili, cumin and oregano powders mixed with ready made ranch dressing and a little mayo and chopped jalapeno. What makes it so tasty, colorful with texture and HEALTHY is the black beans and corn drained straight from the can and the dressing. This salad is brilliant! You simply can’t mess it up. The perfect hot weather meal! Can’t wait to try it again.Thank you :)


  30. #
    Lisa Herzlich — April 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    This sounds amazing!!!! Cannot wait to try it. :) Thank you for sharing…..I’ll let you know once I make it, how it turns out. Mmmmm.


  31. #
    Tara Lazar — April 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    This is seriously DANGEROUS because I could eat the entire bowl myself. I omitted green pepper because my husband does not care for it, plus I used Tostitos with Lime tortilla chips (also addictive on their own) which gave it a little extra zing. Thanks for the great recipe. Just started following your blog.

    If you have young kids and like picture books, you should check out my blog.

    Nice to “meet” you!


  32. #
    Tara Lazar — April 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Oh, and I will gladly share with you my rice/black bean/corn salad with lime vinaigrette which is always a huge hit at barbeques–just email me.


  33. #
    Kathy E. — April 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    After finding this on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. Well, we had it for lunch today and it was fabulous!! The only thing I added was a small handful of 2% cheddar cheese and I omitted the avocado (ick). We will enjoy this many times. Thanks, Lauren.


  34. #
    Carrie — April 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I just found your blog and LOVE all things CPK and mexican! Can’t wait to try this, thanks for sharing!


  35. #
    Dina — April 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Lauren I finally made this last night and my whole family LOVED it! I liked that it was healthy too! We ate it all up.Thanks for the great recipe and I’d be interested in a Chinese version of a chop salad also. Keep up the awesome recipes!


  36. #
    Suzanne — April 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    This salad is wonderful. I made it last night for our dinner exchange. Yum! Thanks for another super great recipe, Lauren!


  37. #
    Leslie — May 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Found your recipe on Pintrest…I love CPK’s barbeque chicken salad, too, and you nailed it with this recipe. Will be great for light suppers in the hot summertime!


  38. #
    Kayla — May 11, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Okayyyyyyy. This was awesome. Seriously, so delicious! Even le husband ate it all up. And, bonus, it was a perfect “pantry/fridge clean out” recipe! We’re moving in a few weeks and were looking for something tasty to use up stuff we had, and this hit the spot. Subbed in plain greek yogurt for sour cream (again, fridge clean out!) and it was great.

    Thank you thank you thank you for a delicious, husband friendly salad! I’m sure we’ll be making it again a few times before we move, and I don’t hate it. :)


  39. #
    Amanda Stanley — May 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Just made this for lunch. DELICIOUS!!!! One suggestion is to go a little lighter on the cilantro. Other than that, what a perfect salad!!


  40. #
    Velma — May 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Laura,
    I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and served it when we went camping with family several weeks ago. It was a big hit!! Absolutely delicious. I wanted you to know that I am sharing this recipe on my blog today.


  41. #
    Anne — May 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I made this salad for our Memorial Day BBQ yesterday! It was wonderful and a big hit with everyone! It made a lot- I didn’t measure my chicken or lettuce, just kind of eyeballed it. So, I’m having leftovers for lunch and dinner :) I used the Hint of Lime tortilla chips for fun and that was a great addition. Just the mayo, sour cream and ranch (without the taco seasoning) is a delicious dip or dressing!


  42. #
    Rebecka — June 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!


  43. #
    meatballs & milkshakes — June 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Yum! Always looking for new salad recipes!


  44. #
    Tina — July 13, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for Southwest Chicken Chopped Salad recipes…I am certainly glad that I did! We made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! Only difference is that we grilled chicken breast with a spice rub, then chopped the chicken. Also, of course, had to add shredded cheese to the final product. My husband LOVED IT, and we will definitely have this in our regular rotation. Chopped salads are our FAVORITE and we make them every night during the week; I agree with you that the worst part is all that chopping! Ugh. But totally worth it. :)


  45. #
    Rozlyn — July 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    This was really really good. I just used what I had on hand but I dont think it matters because its the dressing that really does it. I didnt have cilantro, beans, or corn (which I thought I had when I started and will definitely add next time) but I followed everything else in your recipe! SO happy I found your blog.


  46. #
    Madeleine @ teeniebaker — July 31, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Love these flavours! Can’t wait to try!


  47. #
    Halah — October 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Looks yummy , I’ll definitely try it


  48. #
    Laurie — November 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was so good. One to add to the repeat list.


  49. #
    The Better Baker — January 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I am not a big lover of salads, but I SO love this wonderful dish. Great tutorial too. I will be sharing a post at my blog one of these days – with a link back to your recipe here. Thanks so much for sharing…love your sense of humor too.


  50. #
    Michelle in Canada — March 5, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Made this in honour of a fridge clean out and have since made again. We left out the corn and added a few more beans. Found that leaving the lettuce, avacado and chips out before dressing makes it a great lunch the next day as well as nothing is soggy and easy to throw those three ingredients back in. Gives me another reason to buy deli chickens :)


    • Lauren — March 5th, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

      Awesome! Glad you like it!



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