This is by far one of the tastiest salads I have made. I love southwestern flavors on just about anything! When I saw the Recipe ReDux theme for January is “Start Smoking in the New Year”, I knew I wanted to do another recipe using my beloved chipotle peppers ! So here I bring you…Southwestern Cobb Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing!
Back in September I posted my Smoky Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad (click to check it out!) where I gave some tips on pureeing and freezing a whole batch of chipotle peppers for future use. Well to make this awesome Chipotle Ranch Dressing, all I had to do was grab a cube out of my frozen stash. Easy!
The ingredients in this salad are very simple and easy to prepare. All you need is some shredded chicken, salad greens, corn (fresh or frozen), can of black beans, a bell pepper, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro! And the dressing is simply made of chipotle pepper, lime juice, cilantro, buttermilk (super easy to make yourself in 5 min), Greek yogurt and Mexican spices.
This salad is just bursting with amazing flavor and awesome healthiness. It’s loaded with protein from the chicken, beans, cheese and dressing (greek yogurt!) and high in iron, folate, calcium, vitamin C, A and K, among many other vitamins, minerals, amino acids and healthy fats. It pretty much covers all your bases . Not to mention, all the fiber will help keep you fuller longer and aid in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
I chose to use spinach for my salad base since we always have a container in the fridge, but any kind of leaves will do. Remember typically the darker and greener/colorful it is, the more nutrient packed it will be! A few other excellent choices would be romaine, mixed greens, kale, arugula or red leaf lettuce. I would not recommend iceberg, unless you just want to eat 96% water content and very little nutrition.
I found this cool chart that compares the nutrition of various greens.
Hope you try this dish for your next salad night! Thanks for stopping by.
Check out more recipes on the bottom of this post submitted by other bloggers to see how they have heated up a healthy dish with smoked or spicy flavors.
- 8 c. salad greens
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (or omit if you want vegetarian)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- taco seasoning, to flavor chicken (optional)
- 1 c. corn, fresh or frozen
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 c. low sodium black beans, canned, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 c. cheddar cheese, low-fat, shredded
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1-2 avocados, diced
- 1/4 c. cilantro, leaves pulled off stems
- 1/2-1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, canned (see below for tips to save the whole can for future use)
- 2 tsp. lime juice, fresh squeezed (about 1/2 a lime)
- 1/4 c. cilantro, leaves pulled off stems
- 1 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 c. buttermilk (mix 1/2 c. non-fat milk with 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice, let stand 5-10 minutes)
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves
- salt, to taste
- Cook chicken breasts on a grill pan over medium heat with about a tbsp. of olive oil. I seasoned them with taco seasoning for quick and easy flavor, but you can spice them how you prefer.
- Once chicken is cooked through set aside to cool slightly, then shred or chop into bite size pieces.
- In the same pan, scrape out any leftover bits of chicken then add the corn and cook until soft and toasty. The lovely brown bits and seasoning will get on the corn which will make it really tasty 🙂
- Place salad greens in a big serving bowl and place all of the toppings on top: chicken, corn, peppers, black beans, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. Top with dressing or leave on the side for individual serving.
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and add salt or more chipotle peppers if needed. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week. I put it in a mason jar so it would keep nicely. Makes about 1 1/2 c. dressing.
- * You can use as much chipotle as you prefer, maybe start with 1/2 pepper (~1/2 tbsp pureed) and increase for more spice.
- *To get 1 pureed chipotle pepper, you need to buy a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Puree the whole container then scoop out 1-tablespoon portions into an ice cube tray (or something similar) and freeze. Then combine in a ziplock to store in the freezer. 1 pepper = about 1 tablespoon. Once you have that done, you have plenty of ready to go pureed peppers for future use or other recipes!! I promise it’s really simple to do and totally worth it ☺
Serving size: 1 (2 cups lettuce + ¼ of the toppings) Calories: 490 Total Fat: 20 g Saturated Fat: 5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 108 g Sugar: 6 g Sodium: 142 mg Fiber: 10 g Protein: 50 g Cholesterol: 108 mg
For the dressing:
Serving size: 2 tbsp. Calories: 17 Total Fat: 0 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 2 g Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 20 mg Fiber: 0 g Protein: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg