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Scrumptious Southwest Salad

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This is a very easy and delicious southwest salad recipe with fresh greens, black beans, corn, and a creamy homemade southwest dressing. Gluten-free!

Close shot of a salad with cheese, beans, corn and creamy dressing

❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This southwest salad has all the bold flavors of the Southwest.
  • This is a super easy salad recipe and can be thrown together even when short on time!
  • The homemade southwest dressing used in this recipe ensures BIG flavor!
  • You can very easily customize this recipe to suit your own tastes.
  • Naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, nut-free, and soy-free, with a vegan and dairy-free option.
A ceramic bowl of salad resting next to a wooden salad bowl.

🥬 Ingredients and Substitutes

Mixed greens: Simply use a mix of your favorite salad greens or favorite lettuce (like romaine lettuce). I like to use a mix of baby arugula and spinach.

Black beans: A can of black beans adds flavor, texture, and nice doses of protein and fiber to this salad recipe. If you are not a fan of black beans, feel free to use chickpeas, pinto beans, or butter beans or omit them altogether.

Corn: Fresh corn off the cob, canned corn or frozen corn gets the job done here.

Bell pepper: Red bell pepper, green bell pepper—it all works!

Onion: A white, yellow, or red onion will add the onion flavor you need.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a pop of freshness but if you are not a fan of cilantro, feel free to use a different fresh herb such as parsley or oregano, or even omit it or use a handful of sprouts instead.

Tortilla chips: Simply crush a handful of tortilla chips to add to the salad, or if you have tortilla strips on hand, those work, too!

Cheese: This optional ingredient add additional flavor and texture. If you are not vegan, use a nice sharp shredded cheddar. If vegan or dairy-free, use shredded plant-based cheese, like Daiya.

Southwest salad dressing: Use this southwest salad dressing recipe for this salad for the best results.

Close shot of a silver fork resting a white ceramic bowl of salad.

🥗 How to Make Southwest Salad

A wood salad bowl filled with fresh salad greens.
A wooden salad bowl filled with greens and black beans.
A red wooden salad bowl filled with greens, beans and corn.
A large wooden salad bowl filled with greens. corn, onions and beans.
A large salad bowl filled with various salad ingredients.
A large salad topped with crushed tortilla chips.
A large salad with various salad ingredients topped with tortilla strips and green tongs.
Green tongs tossing a salad in a large wooden salad bowl.
A white ceramic bowl of salad resting next to a large wood salad bowl with green tongs.
  1. Simply combine all salad ingredients, toss with dressing and enjoy!

🍴 Make It Your Own

Once you get this base recipe down pat, feel free to make it your own with some of the following options.

  • For additional protein, add some crispy tofu or tempeh.
  • If not vegan or vegetarian, grilled chicken breast or sliced steak is a classic choice for a southwest salad.
  • Add sliced cherry tomatoes.
  • Add sliced avocado or a dollop of guacamole.
  • Add a dollop of conventional or plant-based sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
  • Add a squeeze of lime juice before digging in.
  • Serve with a side of soft tortillas and enjoy wrap-style.
A white ceramic bowl filled with homemade southwest salad resting next to a clear glass bottle of creamy dressing and large wooden salad bowl.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can you store southwest salad in the fridge?

Like most salads, southwest salad tastes best when made fresh to eat. But you can store the salad sans dressing in an airtight container for about 3 days.

How many calories are in a southwest salad?

There are approximately 459 calories per serving in this southwest salad recipe.

A close shot of a southwest salad topped with tortilla chips and a silver fork.

🥣 More Delicious Salad Recipes

Mediterranean Cucumber Salad

Dill Potato Salad

Grilled Corn Salad

Gluten-Free Macaroni Salad

Southwest Salad

This is a very easy and delicious southwest salad recipe with fresh greens, black beans, corn, and a creamy homemade southwest dressing. Gluten-free!
4.99 from 81 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers, Entrées, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southwestern
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn fresh, canned or thawed frozen
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup tortilla chips crushed
  • ½ white, red or yellow onion chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • shredded cheddar cheese optional, vegan if necessary
  • 2 cups Southwest Dressing


  • In large bowl combine greens, black beans, corn, bell pepper, tortilla chips, onion, cilantro, cheese (if using).
  • Top with the Southwest Dressing.
  • Toss all together well.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 260mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1365IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

Recommended Products

Black Beans, Canned
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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    This salad was delicious but the highlight was the southwest salad dressing! I ended up making another batch last night to keep for salads this week. Sooooo scrumptious (and I loved that it was healthy and creamy)

  2. 5 stars
    Super delicious salad with a gentle kick with the dressing. Refreshing and super easy to make, I highly recommend it. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I added some cherry tomatoes like you suggested and served it with a grilled mexican steak.
    the salad was so good!
    I loved the pops of crunch!

  4. 5 stars
    I just added this salad recipe to my go-to comfort food! It is so refreshing and rich in flavors. A must try!

  5. 5 stars
    We had this for dinner the other night, me with veggie nachos and my kids just with bread. It was really successful! I loved the creamy dressing and felt like it had just the right amount of heat. The kiddos loved the crunch and the corn bits 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I LOVE black beans in salads like this. Thinking of making it with the suggested additions of avocado and a squeeze of lime. Can’t wait to try it for lunch next week!

  7. 5 stars
    I ADORE black beans in salad and love the idea of tossing in some avocado and a squeeze of lemon too. Adding the ingredients to my grocery list right now. Can’t wait to try this for lunch next week!

  8. 5 stars
    This is totally my kind of salad. So fulling and nutritious. I loved the combination of beans, crunchy veggies and cheese. I loved the crunch from tortilla chips. Will definitely be making this again.

  9. 5 stars
    This southwest salad was so delicious and we loved it. I added some grilled chicken and turned out into a wholesome lunch. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    This southwest salad is delicious but it was the dressing that hooked me. I used it for the salad but then I had to make it again and use it for EVERYTHING else. So delicious.

  11. 5 stars
    Decided to make this by using vegan cheese and it did turn out really good. This is a healthy lunch idea, especially because of the black beans. I think I will top this on a nacho salad too. It’s very delicious

  12. 5 stars
    This was our main dish for Taco Tuesday! The luscious Southwest Dressing should be bottled. It’s so good! We polished off every last leaf of lettuce and veggies. I’ll definitely be making this one again.

  13. 5 stars
    This southwest salad was so full of flavor! I brought it to work for lunch and it kept me full for hours! I added extra cheese because why not and added the tortilla chips right before the dressing. It was so good!

  14. 5 stars
    We loved this! I added in some tofu like you suggested as an option and it was a hit with everyone. Will be making this again. 🙂

  15. 5 stars
    I just loved this salad! With all the mix-ins, it was nice and hearty, and that salad dressing was perfectly creamy with just the right kick.

  16. 5 stars
    We are big fans of everything Southwest at our house! Southwest salad is a favorite, so I was excited to try your recipe. What a hit! It has all the bold Southwest flavors we love and your creamy dressing was delicious!