As the new year sets in, many of us are starting anew–whether it be new jobs, new semesters in school, or approaching familiar situations with new vigor. On the cusp of each year, people everywhere make resolutions related to fitness and health. With that in mind, today’s recipe is a chopped Southwestern salad that is fresh, tasty, simple, and portable. It is perfect for maintaining that New Year’s resolve, and can be taken along on new work, school, or travel adventures. To top it all off, it is very visually appealing, if I so say so myself!
To build this salad, you’ll start with a bed of chopped romaine lettuce. Here’s a good visual on how to chop a head of romaine from start to finish! After that, top the lettuce with tender, flavorful roasted chicken breast. From there, you can add whatever toppings you desire. Here, I’ve used roasted corn, black beans and shredded cheese topped off with a wedge of fresh lime and my homemade quick salsa.
This chopped Southwestern salad is quite customizable: you can follow the recipe to the letter or treat it as an a la carte suggestion list. The use of fresh lime juice and salsa in place of a salad dressing lightens the dish but this salad isn’t lacking in flavor by any means!
I like to prep this salad on Sunday evenings and divide it up between containers to take for lunch each workday. I’ve linked some convenient containers available on Amazon below. Let me know if you have any questions about this recipe or if you try it out and love it. Thanks for reading!
A chopped romaine-based salad with bright and flavorful Southwestern-inspired ingredients like garlicky roasted chicken, red onion, fresh corn, black beans, and salsa
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce
- 1 13.5 ounce can black beans drained
- 2 cups sweet yellow corn
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 medium lime cut into five wedges
- 2 1/2 cups salsa
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into one-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced or chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- cilantro to taste
- sea salt to taste
- Olive oil
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lay chicken breasts on a foil lined pan and drizzle with olive oil then season with black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, parsley, and garlic. Bake for 20 minutes covered in foil and an additional 10 minutes uncovered (or until cooked through). Meanwhile, spread corn on a baking sheet in one layer. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast at the same temperature for about 15 minutes.
While the corn and chicken roast, chop the lettuce by first slicing lengthwise along the veins of each outer leaf then chopping in approximately two-inch sections from the tips of the leaves down to about four inches from the base of the stem...unless you enjoy that part of the lettuce, in which case, go in and let have! A good visual on how to chop the Romaine can be found in the recipe notes.
You are now ready to assemble your salad(s), which can be done in a large bowl or five medium-sized containers if you plan to take them on the go. The layering can be tinkered with but is roughly as follows: chopped romaine lettuce, Monterrey jack cheese, black beans, roasted yellow corn, diced red onion, roasted chicken, salsa
Garnish with cilantro and stick a wedge of lime in the corner of each container to squeeze all over each salad just before eating. This salad keeps for about five days in the refrigerator.
Visual for chopping a head of romaine lettuce here