This Santa Fe Chicken Salad is one of my favorites, mostly because it's heavy on the Santa Fe and easy on the salad. I love Tex Mex flavors and though I love how good dark, leafy greens are for me, I don't usually find them satisfying as a meal.
Does This Count as a Salad?
Absolutely! Using the dictionary definition from Merriam-Webster, a salad is “any of various usually cold dishes: such as … small pieces of food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, or vegetables) usually mixed with a dressing.”
Of course, the same definition goes on to include “or set in gelatin” so technically, fruit stirred into Jello counts as a salad too.
The definition of salad from Dictionary.com is less inclusive and still allows for us to count this Santa Fe Chicken Salad as a salad though. According to Dictionary.com a salad is “a usually cold dish consisting of vegetables … covered with a dressing and sometimes containing seafood, meat, or eggs.
Alternately, it can also be “any of various dishes consisting of foods, as meat, seafood, eggs, pasta, or fruit, prepared singly or combined, usually cut up, mixed with a dressing, and served cold.”
Well, this Santa Fe Chicken Salad contains meat and vegetables that are cut up, and it's served cold, with a dressing. So there you go!
Enjoy your “salad” without worrying about the lack of lettuce involved.
Santa Fe Chicken Salad Ingredients
I wanted to keep this as easy as possible and still capture all of the southwest flavors I love. So, you only need a few simple ingredients to make this Santa Fe Chicken Salad.
For the salad you'll need: chicken, lettuce, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes. And for the dressing you'll need: limes, cilantro, olive oil and more cherry tomatoes. You'll also use some salt and pepper to adjust the flavor to your taste.
Santa Fe Chicken Salad Recipe
Do you prefer specific measurements? If so, here's the recipe to help you figure out exactly how much of each ingredient you'll need.
- 2 cups pre-cooked chicken breast blackened or grilled works best, sliced in strips
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce chopped
- 14 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 14 ounce can corn drained
- 1 ½ cups heirloom cherry tomatoes whole or sliced in half
- Juice of two limes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped heirloom tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients for the salad in a large bowl or serving dish. Toss or arrange ingredients in a decorative pattern.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing. For a chunky dressing, chop the tomatoes and cilantro. For a smooth liquid dressing, combine ingredients in a blender and process.