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Discover a delicious and healthy recipe for Skinny Southwest Chicken Salad that’s packed with flavor and easy to make. Enjoy a taste of the Southwest in every bite!

My favorite thing about this Southwest Chicken Salad recipe is that it is so versatile. Serve it as a dip with tortilla chips or on a bed of lettuce for a low-carb lunch!

Southwest chicken salad in a bowl with a fork.
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Why We Love It

  • Good for you – With healthy, fresh ingredients like chicken, bell peppers, black beans, and Greek yogurt you get a delicious lunch or snack without worrying about the calories or carbs.
  • Customizable – You can really put just about any vegetables you like into this salad. Use up leftovers in your fridge. Shredded carrots, diced celery, chopped broccoli, or cucumbers will all pair nicely with the southwest dressing.
  • Versatile – Whether you enjoy it for a snack, as an appetizer or as a full meal, they are lots of ways to serve this salad!
  • Bold flavor and texture – From the savory taco seasoning to the crunch of the sweet peppers, this salad is like a party in your mouth!

Key Ingredients

  • Chicken Breast – Use leftover chicken, a rotisserie chicken or some quick Poached Chicken. Shred or dice the chicken, depending on preference.
  • Black Beans – Canned beans, drained and rinsed well.
  • Tomatoes – I like Roma tomatoes because they are easy to seed and dice. But heirlooms or cherry tomatoes would be nice too.
  • Sweet Peppers – I used sweet mini peppers but feel free to use larger bell peppers. I like to mini because they are almost no seeds and the sweet flavor pairs well with the spicy and savory flavors of the salad.
  • Green Onions – Chop the whole bunch of onions, whites and greens. You don’t have to use them all, but they add a bit of crunch and heat.
  • Corn – Use whatever you have on hand, whether fresh corn on the cob, canned (drain well) or frozen (and thawed).
  • Greek Yogurt – A fantastic substitute for sour cream, Greek yogurt is lighter in calories and fat with the same tang as sour cream. It is thicker; you can thin it with a little bit of nonfat milk if needed. Or, you can use sour cream instead.
  • Taco Seasoning Make your own using the linked recipe, or buy a packet of pre-mixed. Brands can vary, so be ready to add more seasoning if your dressing needs it, like salt, garlic powder, or chili powder.
  • Lime Juice – This is to taste, and one lime is usually sufficient. If you like it more tangy you may want to add more.

How To Make Southwest Chicken Salad

This easy to make salad is perfect for lunch, dinner, or an afternoon snack. It also makes a great lighter option for game day parties and potlucks.

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, taco seasoning, and some lime juice to taste. Season with salt and black pepper as desired. Set aside to give the flavors time to blend while you chop the veggies.
  2. Add chicken, black beans, and vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the dressing over the chicken and veggies and gently mix until everything is blended and well-coated. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Fresh vegetables, tomatoes, corn, green onions and peppers and chicken in a bowl.
Chicken, black beans and veggies in a bowl with a creamy southwest dressing poured on top.
Southwest chicken salad mixed together in a bowl.

FAQs

Can I customize this salad?

Absolutely! Feel free to add or remove ingredients based on your preferences. I’ve provided some suggestions to make it your own.

What are the nutritional benefits of this skinny chicken salad?

This salad is a healthy choice, rich in lean protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also low-carb and lowfat, depending on how you serve it. It’s a great option for those looking for a balanced meal.

Can I make this salad in advance?

Yes, you can prepare and assemble the salad up to a day in advance. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir just before serving. If the dressing is too thick, add a couple tablespoons of milk to loosen it up a bit.

How can I add more seasoning?

The best way to season is to do it in layers. Sprinkle salt over the veggies and chicken before adding the dressing. Add salt and seasonings to the dressing itself, and add salt after mixing together if needed. You can also add garlic powder, chili powder or more taco seasoning.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve as a dip with tortilla chips or pita crisps.
  • Wrap in a tortilla or in lettuce cups.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce with crispy tortilla strips for a lo-carb lunch.
  • Spread between two slices of toasted wheat bread in a pita pocket for a delicious sandwich.
Southwest chicken salad with veggies and black beans and a tortilla chip.

Additions and Variations

This salad is fully customizable to suit your needs, based on diet or personal preference. Here are some suggestions for additions and substitutions:

Additions – Add diced avocado, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro, red onion or diced cucumbers.

Spicy – Add a kick of heat by including diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Seasoning – In addition to the taco seasoning, add garlic powder, black pepper or more chili powder.

Helpful Tips

  • Do make sure that you season the ingredients with salt in layers. It will help to amplify all of the other ingredients, so if the salad seems bland to you, add salt.
  • If you’re cooking chicken specifically for this recipe, try my Crockpot Chicken Tacos for an added punch of flavor.
  • Use a mix of fresh lettuce and spinach for a vibrant and nutritious base.
  • Prepare the dressing ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Don’t forget to drain and rinse canned beans and corn for a lighter salad.
  • Top the salad with crushed tortilla chips or crispy tortilla strips.
Southwest chicken salad on a bed of lettuce in a bowl with a fork.

More Lightened Up Snacks

Recipe

Skinny Southwest Chicken Salad

4.70 from 13 votes
A delicious and healthy recipe for Skinny Southwest Chicken Salad. Packed with flavor, protein and fiber for an easy snack or low-carb lunch.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Taco seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded or diced boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 1 cup diced mini sweet peppers or 1 large bell pepper (any color)
  • 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can corn drained
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Lime juice to taste
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Instructions
 

  • Mix yogurt, taco seasoning, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside while you prep the rest of your ingredients. *Adjust the salt, pepper and lime juice to your liking – taste as you go.
  • Add chicken, vegetables, and beans in a large bowl. Season with a couple pinched of salt and stir to combine.
  • Add yogurt mixture to the chicken and veggies and gently combine until well mixed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Can be served immediately, but if possible, refrigerate for 1-3 hours to allow flavors to meld together. Can be made up to 24 hours in advance.

Notes

This is great on its own, in lettuce cups, or with tortilla chips for dipping.
If possible, make the salad at least an hour ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve. This will allow the flavors to blend. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 233kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 23gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 539mgPotassium: 623mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1555IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Cindy Jean says:

    Great beginning dip. I did add some cumin, fresh cilantro, and fresh, diced jalapeno for extra flavor and a little pop.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Cindy! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Kim says:

    How do you cook your chicken for this recipe?

    1. Kristin says:

      There are several options – you could boil the chicken for about 20-30 minutes, then shred it.
      Cook it in the slow cooker: https://www.yellowblissroad.com/easy-slow-cooker-shredded-chicken/
      Cook it in the instant pot: https://www.yellowblissroad.com/instant-pot-shredded-chicken/
      Or cook up some of my baked chicken: https://www.yellowblissroad.com/baked-chicken-breasts/
      Or you could go the easiest route, and purchase a fully cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and just shred that.

  3. Whitney says:

    As some of the others said, I found it quite bland as well. I ended up adding a LOT more garlic and onion powder, some more chili powder and even a little taco seasoning. It ended being good and my husband and I both enjoyed it. But if you like flavorful food, just be prepared to add some more spices!

  4. Leigh says:

    Would this be a zero point snack on the WW freestyle program?

    1. Kristin says:

      You’d have to consult the program for that info.

  5. Desiree M. Chambers says:

    I also added cumin to have more flavor,but taco seasoning would be great too.I love it.

  6. Stephanie says:

    How many calories for the skinny southwest chicken dip

  7. Kayla says:

    Do you happen to know how many carbs is in this and the serving size? Thanks!

  8. Boyan Minchev says:

    This recipe looks very delicious, I will try cook this Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip to my girls tonight. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe with us.

  9. Alison says:

    Just made this tonight and it was very bland to me. I had to add a lot more seasoning like Mexican chili powder and chipotle seasoning. I also added avocado and cilantro to add extra flavors. Great concept since you can make it to your own taste but definitely too bland with the original recipe for me.

  10. Heather says:

    I just made this recipe and I agree with comments who said it was bland. It needed some more layers of flavor. Next time I make it I’m going to use drained rote tomatoes in lieu of the Roma tomatoes. I’ll also really season up my chicken. It’s a great recipe to customize and make your own.

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