Delicious Dishes, Domestic Goodness

Southwestern Meal Salad

Its Spring, time to channel your Inner “Elaine Benes” from Seinfeld, and create your own “Big Salad”. This salad has so many variations, but today we are going Southwest with our version.

Some of you may say that a salad is not filling enough, but I stay tuned as I give you a tip on how to overcome that!

What you need:


– 1 head of iceburg lettuce (Romaine can also work here too)
– 1 can of black beans
– 1 can of corn
– 3 chicken breasts cooked and diced (I love to grill mine on my indoor grill pan!)
– 2 tomatoes diced
– 1 cucumber, diced
– 1 orange pepper, diced
– 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
– 1 avocado, diced (Optional)
– Torillia chips (Optional)
– 2 cups penne pasta, prepared (Optional)


– 1 cup ranch dressing
– 2 tbsps southwest seasoning

TIP:  Pasta, you question?  Why pasta?  I’ve started added pasta (or other grains) to many of my meal salads to ensure that the meals feels like a meal!  If you ever want to close that kitchen at night, and avoid those “Can I have a snack?” questions 10 min after feeding them a prepared meal, you need to add the pasta.

First of all, kids LOVE pasta, so you’ll get them eating the salad with less complaints, and Second, it will fill them up more.

What you do:

With salads, presentation is everything. Follow this order for a picture perfect salad!

1. In a Large Pasta Serving Bowl or Large Salad Bowl add the ingredients in this order.

  • Lettuce
  • Penne (optional)
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Chicken
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cheddar
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Dressing
  • Tortilla Chips.

AMP IT UP:  If you have the indoor grill all up and ready for the chicken, why not grill up some of the lettuce for a unique and delicious variation to your salad. This works best with romaine lettuce.

Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat. Slice the tip and root of the lettuce. Spray lettuce (or drizzle) with olive oil spritzer. Place on grill, turning every minute or so. You want the lettuce to turn brown.

Remove from grill and tear up for the salad.  Continue on to Step 2!

2. For the dressing, mix the ranch with the seasoning, and pour over salad.

This is a super-simple recipe that can be manipulated to use whatever’s on hand that day. I do this mainly with Caesar Salads and Southwest Salads. It’s a big hit in our home, so I’m sharing it with yours!

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