Chicken Fiesta Salad

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chicken salad

I rarely buy spice blends, I prefer to mix up my own on an as-needed basis. But some time ago, I picked up a container of something called “southwest seasoning”. This was one of those really large containers, the kind you get at Sam’s or Costco. I think I’ve used it once in the past, and it’s sat in my pantry ever since. The other night, I was looking for something quick and easy to whip up for dinner and as I started reaching for all the individual spices, I happened to see the large jar of seasoning. I didn’t have high hopes for it (for one it was old), but it looked easy and I felt like taking the easy way out.


I put together a sort of chicken salad, and it was great! It gave the chicken an almost blackened flavor and mixed with yogurt the dressing was amazing. It kind of reminded me of Applebee’s blackened chicken salad (but better, if I do say so myself)! The next day, I took the extra chicken breast, shredded it, topped it with some cheese and cilantro and it made a fabulous quesadilla! I know, way to many exclamation points, but I really, really liked this.


Chicken Fiesta Salad
Serves 2 for dinner (with 2 lunch servings also)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn (or fresh, if you are lucky)
1 avocado, diced
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 roma tomatoes diced
juice of 2 limes
1 red chili, sliced (seeded if you are wimpy)
kosher salt to taste

1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon southwest seasoning blend

3 boneless chicken breasts, sprinkled generously with southwest seasoning
mixed salad greens

Mix salsa ingredients and let sit for flavors to blend. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning. Grill or cook chicken using your favorite method. I seared it in a hot oiled cast iron pan for 2 minutes on each side, then covered it and let in cook for about 8 minutes on medium. Perfect every time. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Mix dressing ingredients (all 2 of them). Toss salad greens with dressing. Place salad on plates, top with chicken (fan attractively if you are talented in that area, otherwise dump on top like I do), and add a few spoonfuls of salsa on top.


For the zillionth time, my herb of choice for Weekend Herb Blogging , hosted this week by Wandering Chopsticks, is cilantro.

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  1. says

    Oh my gosh, this looks divine. I love main course salads. Red Robin has a fiesta pollo salad that I’ve recreated at home, but your’s looks even better with the addition of avocado and yogurt dressing. This will be made in my house this weekend! Thanks for posting it!

  2. says

    Would love to know the brand name of the spice if it’s not too much trouble. My husband would love this. Thank you for posting!

  3. Michelle says

    When I saw the picture of the chicken fiesta salad, I knew I ad to make it.I am trying to make a lifestyle change and the salad looks scumpious.I’d also like to add, that the pictures of your dishes look so good. I don’t usaually like viewing pictures of food on blogs, because they don’t look appertizing, but I come back to your blog to view the pic and get recipes.

  4. says

    i love applebee’s, but their salads usually disappoint me (mostly because the locations around here have apparently never heard of cilantro…). if this were a chicken salad throwdown, you’re the clear winner! :)

  5. says

    Looks wonderful. We are having taco salad night on Monday ~ with friends who have young kids ~ and I think some of the items in your salad will be great.

  6. Pam says

    Paula – thank you! Let me know if you try it.

    Marjie – yes we do!

    Carla – it’s Tones. I just searched on it and found that there are some recipes for using it on it’s website!

    Michelle – thank you! Let me know if you try it. I find the pictures on other food blogs too appetizing, I want to try everything!

    Grace – thank you! I try not to eat at Applebees too much, but I always get their chicken salad when I do.

    Sharona May – thank you! My daughter who is 18 loved it. For little children, I would just leave out the hot pepper.

    Kalyn – thanks! I hope you are enjoying your summer!

  7. says

    That’s so funny – I have southwest seasoning from Penzey’s and rarely use it! This recipe looks great.

    I’m enjoying your blog!

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