Southwestern Salad Recipe with black beans and corn … and so much more. A beautiful combination of greens and vegetables with a feisty Southwest salad dressing of honey and lime.
Side Dishes For Southwestern Food
I’ve always loved making a good tossed salad, one that loaded with fresh ingredients. When I attended Culinary School, one of our Chef Instructors always made the most incredible salads. And I mean incredible.
He inspired me to write my blog post for 9 Secrets to a Remarkable Tossed Salad. I hope you take a look.
This salad is not only a healthy eating lifesaver, it’s awesome with flavor and full of fresh ingredients. What’s not to love:
- It’s tossed with an exciting Southwest salad dressing.
- And a beautiful excuse to use crunchy jicama.
- It showcases corn and black beans.
- It doubles as a side dish and a tossed salad.
- It’s easy to throw together, not to mention very pretty to look at.
- It … is … so … Good.
This Southwest salad has become our go-to side salad to serve with any type of Mexican food.
It’s made with a bright zesty cumin-lime salad dressing that’s easy to make in just a couple of minutes. Just grab a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, add the ingredients and give it a really good shaking.
As with any salad, the ingredients are easily customized. Greens, cheeses, just use what makes you happy. This salad would also make a fabulous Southwest main course salad … just add shredded chicken, cubed steak or shrimp. If I were you, I’d choose chicken for this salad and voila, you have a main course chicken Southwest salad recipe. Delicious!
I make this salad nearly every time I make Mexican food. It’s a winner.
My preferences for Southwest Salad Ingredients:
- Greens: I like to buy the clamshell of artisan greens at King Soopers. The package contains Sweet Gem, Tango and Oak lettuces. This brings purple leaf, lime green stalks and a variety of shapes. Makes for a very pretty combination to compliment the bright colored ingredients.
- Jicama: This salad benefits from the cool crunch of Jicama. And what a great excuse to use this globe shaped root vegetable from Mexico.
- Canned Black Beans: So easy, just drain and rinse.
- Corn: Fresh or frozen. Either works beautifully in this salad.
- Bell Pepper: Red, orange or yellow brings beautiful color and crunch.
- Fresh Tomatoes: When it’s not tomato season, I buy those packages of cherry tomatoes that one can find year ’round. They’re easy to slice in half and then quarter for perfect little bite sized pieces.
- Onion: I like to use sweet yellow onion for this salad. Of course you can use red onion, it’s just a little strong in flavor for me. But looks pretty.
- Radishes: Sliced thin, they’re commonly used as a garnish for Mexican food, and, of course, they work beautifully in this Southwestern Salad.
- Cilantro: We love it. Omit if you’re not a fan.
- Avocado: Friends don’t let friends eat a Mexican salad without chopped avocado. 🙂
- Jalapeno Peppers: So pretty, so festive. Just cut off the top, and using the handle of a spoon to scrape the veins and seeds from the pepper. This will reduce the heat factor. Just slice and sprinkle.
- Tortilla Strips: Adding a handful of crispy tortilla strips gives this salad a wonderful crunch. You can purchase bags of pre-made tortilla strips at the grocery store. We happen to like the “Santa Fe” flavor. That little bit of heat makes them delicious.
- Cheese: We prefer a Mexican Crumbling cheese. I love how it looks and it brings a salty topping to all of those beautiful vegetables. Look for Cotija or Queso Fresco.
On Using Fresh Corn for this Mexican Salad Recipe
In a perfect world, one would prepare this salad during the peak of sweet corn season. With sweet beautiful plump kernels of corn from quick blanched corn on the cob. A sharp knife makes removing the kernels and easy task. Or you may have a gadget that you like to use to remove them.
Just blanch the corn on the cob for two minutes in boiling water. Remove and when cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off the cob using a sharp knife or that gadget made for removing kernels.
You’ll want to serve this Southwest salad year ’round, so using frozen corn works perfectly fine for this salad. No need to cook it, just warm it in the microwave to thaw.
Southwest Salad Recipe
I hope you give this spicy Southwest Salad Recipe a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite Mexican Salad Recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Southwest Salad Recipes
- Casa Grande, Mexican Chicken Salad Recipe with Avocado
- Mexican Corn Salad Recipe with Citrus Aioli
- Mexican Pasta Salad
And don’t miss my Salads category, lots of tasty recipes including the most popular in the category, Taco Salad Recipe With Catalina Dressing and Fritos.
Spicy Southwest Salad with Corn and Black Beans
- For The Southwest Dressing
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice about 1 large lime
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon New Mexico Chile Powder Or Cayenne. Add more if you want more heat.
- freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
- For The Southwest Salad
- 1 jalapeno pepper thin sliced (seeds and veins removed if you want less heat)
- 1 large head romaine lettuce or artisan salad greens, chopped
- 1 bell pepper orange or red, chopped
- ½ medium sweet onion halved and then sliced in to half-rings
- ½ small Jicama peeled and cut into match sticks
- 1 small zucchini small chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup sweet corn thawed from frozen, or cut off the cob.
- 1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 4 whole radish thin sliced
- 1 avocado chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- Tortilla strips and Mexican crumbling cheese for garnish I purchase tortilla strips from the grocery store
- For the dressing, combine lime juice, honey, cumin garlic powder, salt and olive oil in a large mason jar. Shake vigorously to combine ingredients. Set aside.
- For the salad, place corn, two ears at a time, in the microwave and cook for 3 1/2 minutes.
- Remove from microwave with a hot pad and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- After cooling, cut bottom end of corn off, about 1 1/2 inches from end. Pull back husk and silks (almost all of the silk should easily pull away). Cut kernels from husks and set aside.
- Combine corn and other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.
- Serve with tortilla strips on top or place a bowl on the side and let guests help themselves.
Spicy Southwest Salad … It’s Whats For A Mexican Side Dish
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.