Easy & Affordable Meals: Southwest Chicken Salad!

I love a good soup and salad combo from Panera and I’ve also recently been loving burrito bowls and anything with a Southwestern twist to it. Since I’m trying to bring back the food/baking aspect of the swirl, I decided I would start bringing recipes to the blog at least twice a month of things that I actually make and eat in a normal schedule. These may or may not be super glamorous, but they are affordable and easy and for me that’s a winner!

The first recipe is the Southwest Chicken Salad that is a recent favorite of mine and something that is so easy and flavorful and delicious! If you can’t tell, I’m trying to communicate to you that it is so stinking good. Truthfully, it was inspired by some Pinterest recipes, but all of them include fancy dressings or complex ways to make the chicken so I put a little college spin on it to make it a little bit more interesting. If you want to find out how I make one of my favorite salads then keep reading!


  • Romaine
  • corn
  • black beans
  • bell peppers {green or red}
  • avocado
  • tortilla pieces or tortilla chip crumbles
  • Light Ranch dressing
  • Taco Seasoning
  • olive oil

My Notes on the Ingredients

I am all about trying to keep the meals that I cook from week to week affordable and good as leftovers because I don’t particularly care for cooking more than 2-3 times a week! And most of the time it is always pasta or chicken which is fine, but not when it’s cooked the same way with absolutely no variation.

I picked up a bag of romaine lettuce mix and poured a single serving in a bowl and then chopped it up into smaller pieces. It may be weird, but I promise it makes it taste better #placeboeffect.

Most recipes will tell you to use chicken breasts, but I find tenderloins easier to prepare and cook! I toss them in seasonings: olive oil, taco seasoning, and some salt and pepper to taste! Heat them for 15-20 minutes on the stove top and they are ready to go and the nice thing is you can also make a little extra to use in tacos for the next night or just as chicken tenders to have with pasta and broccoli!

The tortilla pieces are totally optional. I personally like the tortilla chip pieces to give it a little more texture and add some crunch. Lastly, I mix some of the taco seasoning in with the ranch dressing to give it a little kick! My mom tasted the salad once I made it, and it received 5 stars from her! It’s super easy and pretty affordable. I bought all the ingredient for under 20 bucks and really most of these things I have in my pantry anyway!


1. Rinse the chicken tenderloins with cold water and pat dry.
2. Season with olive oil, taco seasoning, and any other spices.
3. Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes in a frying pan. {Be sure to take temperature of chicken to make sure it is fully cooked ~ 170 degrees}
4. While chicken cooks chop and dice bell pepper and avocado.
5. Pour serving or romaine lettuce mix into bowl. Add black beans, avocado, corn, bell pepper, and chicken to bowl.
6. Take desired amount of ranch dressing. I use a quarter cup and a teaspoon of taco seasoning for 2-3 servings of this salad. Adjust for how much dressing you want to use.
7. Pour ranch dressing mixture over salad and enjoy with tortilla chips!

Are you a fan of our recipe posts? Let me know in the comments down below! What should I make next? I’m thinking it could even be fun to vlog one or more of my favorite recipes and make it into a youtube video!! What do you think?

  • Ariana

    This sounds so yummy, I can’t wait to try it! One question, I don’t really like spicy food so is it spicy at all??

    • Nope, it’s not spicy at all!!
      xo, G

  • Oh my goodness this looks delicious! It will definitely be my next venture. Thanks for the recipe. Xoxo

    • Thanks for reading girl!! I hope you ended up trying it out 🙂
      Best, G