My southwest salad is one of the most delicious salad recipes your family will ever have!
My kids asked for seconds. Yes, you heard me correctly: my kids asked for more green salad recipes! I’m still in shock, but let’s not question a good thing. And boy, is this one of the best good things southern recipes have to offer, with sweet corn, crunchy romaine, and tangy lime-garlic dressing!
Let’s get tossing those greens!
Aside from hearing my kids ask for more? This salad recipe really is that good!
- CRUNCH for days!
- Citrus and garlic flavor marriage perfection
- Just enough sweetness — thank you, corn!
- Great as a main dish or a side!
How To Make Southwestern Salad Recipe
I love how easy salads are to make! A few ingredients, a few shakes of dressing, and you’ve got a delicious, filling meal or side. This salad is no different!
Start by making the dressing. Add all the ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid (a mason jar works great). Shake until combined.
After, add all your salad ingredients to a large salad bowl and toss. Drizzle the dressing on top and season to taste!
Now, I know what you’re thinking — a salad that kids will actually eat? No way is it healthy! It’s gotta have candy hidden in there somewhere. But I promise it’s all good stuff! Read on for all the secret tips and tricks to finally get veggies in your kiddos.
Trust me when I say that every ingredient in this salad is easy, simple, and delicious!
- Southwest Salad Dressing: Soy sauce might seem like an odd ingredient for a salad dressing, but you’ll love it! It brings just the right amount of salt and that deep, rich umami flavor.
- Lettuce: I love using romaine for that hearty crunch — but feel free to use other types of lettuce too! Iceberg or butter would work really well.
- Corn: To make this salad super easy, I use frozen corn — but fresh is always best too! Grill up a few ears, cut off the kernels, and add them to your salad for a grilled twist.
- Peppers: The same grill mindset can be transferred to your bell peppers too! Pop your red bell peppers on the grill before you cut them for an added crispy grill treat.
Tools to Make
This salad recipe is so simple, you almost don’t need any tools at all!
- A mason jar or other tight-sealing jar
- A salad bowl
- Salad tongs, if you prefer — forks work just fine!
Have all that? You’re ready to go!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Like most green salads, this salad recipe LOVES being chilled! And you’ll love it cold too — the flavors soar when chilled.
Store your finished salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days!
Can You Freeze This?
Sadly, no! Salads do NOT like freezers. Lettuce wilts and turns quite slimy — it’s just never the same after it’s been frozen. Opt for the fridge only!
Make Ahead Tips
I love making the dressing ahead of time — up to a full day before serving — so the flavors have time to really get to know each other. Just give your jar a shake before you top your salad with it!
This recipe screams for a whole southwest dinner, right? Let’s whip up some of my famous smothered chicken (that kids will LOVE too!) and the rich, decadent, practically a dessert goodness of my Paula Deen corn casserole. Food that’s good for your soul!
Want to shake things up a bit? Here are my best twists:
- Make this salad a meal by throwing on a protein! I love tossing on some chicken and getting a southwest chicken salad.
- Use season-appropriate ingredients — swap the mango for strawberries for a spring salad play.
- Want to shift gears completely? Use olives, more garlic, and lemon to get a Mediterranean salad!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 12 cups romaine lettuce torn
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 sweet red pepper julienned
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed and cooled
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 mango chopped
- Make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to combine.
- Add all salad ingredients to a large salad bowl and toss to combine. Toss with dressing to taste right before serving.
Want even more crunchy greens your family might actually eat? Here are some winners!
- Arugula Salad – This spicy green is a favorite!
- Spinach Salad – Crunchy and FULL of vitamins
- Tossed Salad – Throw in your favorite toppings — nothing’s off-limits
- Caesar Salad – The classic right at home
- Lettuce Salad – Standard but never boring — bursting with flavor!
Next time you want to get your kids to eat their veggies, reach for this salty, sweet, savory, crunchy wonder of a side dish: my southwest salad recipe! Or save yourself a big bowl of it for a pick-me-up lunch with some canned tuna. It’s a satisfying meal all around!
What did you eat this salad with? Let me know in the comments!