This Southwest Chopped Salad delivers tons of flavor in every bite with the most amazing crunch from the crisp veggies and crispy crushed tortilla chips!
This time of year I’m all about the chopped salads!
My latest creation has been on repeat behind the scenes for quite a while, so it’s about time I shared the deliciousness of this Southwest Chopped Salad with you!
It’s basically my infamous Black Bean Salsa in salad form but instead of diving into the veggies with a bowl of tortilla chips, we’re serving it all up on a bed of crisp romaine with crushed tortilla chips in every delicious bite.
Yes! Yes! 1000x Yes!
The crushed tortilla chips act like croutons but cover more ground and give this chopped salad a taco crunch vibe that can’t be beat!
This sassy Southwest salad is packed with flavor and texture and just downright tasty sooooo naturally you need to make it. Right? Right!
Chopped Salad Ingredients
The key to making an irresistible chopped salad is to chop all your veggies up super small so you can load up a little bit of everything into each forkful.
My go-to greens for chopped salads are massaged kale and romaine lettuce. Both are easy to chop into itty bitty bites and taste amazing alongside a boatload of veg.
This time around I went with finely chopped romaine topped with…
- black beans
- sweet corn
- bell pepper
- roma tomatoes
You could 100% use chopped cherry or grape tomatoes here as basically any type of ripe tomato will work marvelously. I used green bell peppers but for sure use any color you have on hand. Fresh sliced Jalapeños are great too!
I love mine topped with a little shredded cheese and a sprinkling of crushed tortilla chips for added crunch – YES PLEASE!
When it comes to dressing this scrumptious Southwest Chopped Salad, there are lots of options!
As written, this rockin’ salad is vegetarian and gluten-free. For a plant-based vegan salad simply skip the optional shredded cheese and use your favorite vegan ranch or try this zesty cilantro lime dressing:
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 3 TBSP lime juice (2 limes)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or light olive oil)
- 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro leaves, plus extra for topping
- 2 tsp honey or agave/sugar if vegan
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cumin
For the cilantro lime vinaigrette, combine all the above ingredients in a small mason jar and shake well. For a creamier dressing feel free to blend in a food processor with some fresh avocado. <— doooo it!
Vegetarian Southwest Chopped Salad with Crispy Crushed Tortilla Chips
This salad is crazy flexible so feel free to make it into a singular salad for one or make extra to feed the whole fam!
It makes an excellent healthy addition to taco night and is perfectly amazing on it’s own as a standalone salad for lunch. Love it so!
Southwest Chopped Salad
- 4 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup corn kernels (cooked via favorite method)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped bell pepper (any color)
- 1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2-3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mex blend, pepper jack, etc…)
- 1/4-1/3 cup chopped green onion (whites and greens)
HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 TBSP mayo
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2-3 TBSP fresh chopped chives or scallions
- 1/8 tsp hot sauce like Frank’s Red Hot or Crystal)
- Feel free to use your favorite dressing here. (see notes) To make my classic ranch dressing, finley chop chives/scallions then peel, smash, and mince garlic (or use a garlic press). Combine in a medium bowl and whisk well until smooth. Taste and adjust herbs/seasoning to taste if desired. For a thicker dressing, add a little extra sour cream.
- For the salad, cook corn via your favorite method. You can grill or boil it right on the cobb then cut it off for this salad, or simply steam from frozen.
- Finely chop romaine lettuce and bell pepper, dice tomatoes, and thinly chop/slice green onion. Combine with black beans, corn, crushed tortilla chips, and grated cheese. Toss to combine and serve with choice of dressing.
- Love veggies? Us too! Feel free to add extra vegetables or mix-ins to this salad and rock your plate!
- For a little dressing in every bite, toss salad in a few TBSP of dressing and mix to coat right before serving. Serve with extra toppings/dressing on the size for a custom salad.
If you get a chance to try this tasty vegetarian southwest chopped salad, let me know!
Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!