Southwest Chicken Chop Salad

Southwest Chicken Chop Salad Final 2Getting 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 1Let the chopping begin! Get some chicken and green peppers chopped and in a big bowl along with some black beans.

sw chop salad 2Add in some corn,

sw chop salad 3diced tomatoes,

sw chop salad 4minced green onion,

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

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

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

sw dip 2some taco seasonings, ranch dip mix,

sw dip 3and pepper and salt to taste.

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

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

sw chop salad 7Once 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 8Once you stir it all together you can see how yummy and colorful this looks! Mmmm….

Southwest Chicken Chop Salad Final 3Hope 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


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

  3. LOOKS GREAT!!!!! 🙂

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

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

  8. 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 . . . .

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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!! 🙂

  13. 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?

  14. LOVE, love, love your blogging and tutorials!

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

  16. 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!

  17. 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 🙂

  18. 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! 🙂

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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 🙂

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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!

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

  30. 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!

  31. 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. 🙂

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!

  36. 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. 🙂

  37. 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.



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