I love summertime and it’s sunshine! I love that I get so much time to spend with family and friends. I love that summer brings opportunities for lots of bbq’s and pool parties and tons of good food!
I also really LOVE a good salad! When I say “good” salad, I mean one LOADED with all kinds of yummy ingredients. I like it super filling and topped with a delicious dressing. This Southwest Salad fills all of these requirements, plus it makes a lot so I can eat it for a few meals, or serve it up to a large group. It is also great because I don’t have to turn on the oven to prepare dinner! This is major, I try to cook things in the summertime that do not require the oven, no way do I need that extra heat in my house! I know you feel me on this!
Here is the cast of characters:
3 heads romaine, bowtie pasta, 1 to 2 cans of chicken, can of corn, can of black beans, 3 tomatoes, bacon/bacon bits, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, ranch dressing, southwest seasoning
Cook the pasta, drain and set aside to cool.
Drain and rinse the corn and beans, and mix them together in a bowl.
Drain the chicken. I use 2 cans, but 1 works great too! Just depends on how meaty you like your salad! Chop up the chicken into smaller pieces using a fork or potato masher.
Cut up the tomatoes and lettuce. For tips on cutting up these veggies you can see my post HERE.
Fry up some bacon and chop into bits, or buy bacon bits. I didn’t have any bacon bits in my house this time so real bacon it was!
To make the dressing take a bottle of ranch and mix in a Southwest Seasoning. There are several different kinds that work great. Most grocery stores sell some kind of southwest or zesty seasoning that lists it as great for salads. You can add as much as you want, just remember the more you add, the spicier it gets ! I like mine with a KICK so I add quite a bit;)
Go ahead and mix all your ingredients, top with tortilla strips and cheese and ENJOY!
Note: Sometimes I need to prepare this dish in advance. In order to avoid a soggy salad I only mix the lettuce, pasta, and chicken together. Everything else I place in separate containers. That way nothing gets soggy, and the salad is great for later that day or the next day.
This Southwest Summer Salad is one of my family’s favorites, we make it a TON each summer. It is the perfect meal for Summer nights and is definitely a must try!
- 3 heads of Romaine Lettuce
- 8 oz cooked (and cooled) bowtie pasta
- 1 to 2 12.5 oz cans of chicken breast (drained)
- 1 can of corn (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 medium tomatoes
- Bacon Bits
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Tortilla Strips
- Ranch Dressing
- Any type of Zesty or Southwest Seasoning
- Cut lettuce and rinse
- Cook pasta, drain and set aside to cool
- Drain and rinse corn and black beans, mix in together in a bowl, set aside
- Drain canned chicken, dump into a bowl, use a fork or potato masher to break up chunks
- Dice tomatoes
- Cook Bacon and chop into bits
- Grate cheddar cheese
- For dressing: take a bottle of ranch dressing and add to taste several Tablespoons of your chosen seasoning. Chill in fridge for several hours before serving so the seasoning can really soak in!
- Mix all together, top with tortilla strips and serve!
- When I serve this salad I mix together only the lettuce, pasta and chicken. Everything else I like to place in separate containers and let people add themselves. That way I can make the salad ahead of time and it doesn't get all soggy, it also makes great leftovers this way! Enjoy!
This post was originally featured on i heart naptime on June 3, 2013.
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