Chopped Southwestern Salad with Lemon Chipotle Dressing

Chopped Southwestern Salad with Lemon Chipotle Dressing | Cookie Monster Cooking

Let’s talk about the fact that my kitchen gets ridiculously hot in the summer.  It gets pretty warm in there all year round but during the summer months?  Forget about it.  Anything I can do to keep the oven off is very helpful for the temperature level.  Unfortunately for me I love to bake (and use my oven) so a lot of the time I just power through.  I like to cook in my pajamas or workout clothes, so if I have on pants I roll them up to keep my legs cool.  I look ridiculous of course and clearly the obvious solution would just be to change into shorts.  It doesn’t help that you can kinda sorta see into our kitchen from the road … my husband constantly tells me that people probably think I’m nuts.  Oh well.  Maybe they think I’m super stylish.

Chopped Southwestern Salad with Lemon Chipotle Dressing | Cookie Monster Cooking

So, where does this chopped southwestern salad fit in?  It’s a simple and quick dinner idea that doesn’t require the oven.  I’ll take what I can get.  Did I already mention that it was simple?  This is very important if you have people (i.e. your husband) asking you as soon as you get home when dinner will be ready : )  Because they’re hungryyyyy.

This salad is full of some of my very favorites, like black beans, roasted corn and avocado.  While it is filling and more than satisfying, it still feels light.  Perfect for the summer months.  But the dressing is what makes this meal a little special.  A lemon chipotle dressing with a little dijon mustard and honey.  It pairs incredibly well with all the components of the salad and gives it a little kick.

Chopped Southwestern Salad with Lemon Chipotle Dressing | Cookie Monster Cooking

So get in your kitchen and make this salad.  And if you have on long pants, roll them up so we can be cool together.  And stylish … don’t forget that.

Chopped Southwestern Salad with Lemon Chipotle Dressing
Yield: 4 servings
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces*
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 to 3 romaine hearts, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 2 to 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  1. To make the dressing - whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl. Next add in the olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add in the cilantro, shallot and minced chipotle peppers. Whisk to combine. Taste and then season with salt and pepper if needed.
  2. To make the salad - add the chopped chicken to a small bowl. Add ¼ cup of the salad dressing to the bowl and mix to combine. Set aside while you prep the rest of the salad.
  3. Set a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add in the corn (do not add any oil). Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until roasted and brown spots start to appear. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. To serve, put some of the lettuce on each plate. Top with the chicken, corn, black beans, pepper, tomatoes and avocado. Drizzle with the salad dressing and serve immediately. Alternatively, add to a large bowl and toss to combine.
I used chicken breasts that I cooked a previous night, but you could definitely use a rotisserie chicken here to make this meal even easier.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast.


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  1. Amy says

    Another winner, Ashley! I’ve been thinking of you lately as I recently made this salad, your homemade enchilada sauce, and your Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas – they are all brilliant! My husband is in heaven over those enchiladas. It was the first time I ever made the sauce from scratch – so easy and so much more delicious than the canned versions. Thanks again for keeping me inspired! And happy 2nd anniversary to you and your hubby!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says

      Hi Amy! I’m so happy you’ve been trying all these! And of course that you both are enjoying them. Especially the enchilada sauce – love that you tried it from scratch! And thank you : )

  2. says

    This is like a salad of all my favorites – corn, beans, avocado… YUM! I sort of have this thing where I usually only bother eating salad when there’s corn or avocado to have with it, so this is perfect.
    And those hot summer days – I just power through them too. The baking is worth it. 😉

  3. says

    My old apartment was the same way –it gets extremely hot in the summer (and extremely cold in the winter). Regardless how hot it got, I still baked. I just love the smell of baked goods in the oven.

    Anyway, this salad looks delicious! I love those meals where you don’t have to put heat in the house during the summer months. Plus I love avocados so anything with gets a thumbs-up in my book. Great post Ashley and have a lovely week! :)

  4. says

    A salad I could be proud to call my dinner. 😀 Heehee it’s been crazy hot in my kitchen lately as well, so I’ve been trying to find more salads that look interesting to make for quick dinners. You made my day with this awesome recipe Ashley! (and that dressing? TO DIE FOR!)

  5. says

    What a colorful gorgeous looking salad Ashley! I adore having salads for lunch and dinner especially during the summer months! Like you said, it’s a great way to give the oven a nice break:) The dressing sounds amazing with the chipotle peppers and dijon mustard and any salad that includes avocados is a winner!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says

      Thanks Kelly! Glad we think alike : ) Totally agree with you on avocados!

  6. says

    This is my kind of salad, and I love the chipotle in the dressing. That sounds great! I think you sound super stylish! I can be caught cooking in my workout clothes often with my hair up in a crazy bun. Hey, whatever gets the job done!

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