Don’t know what to fix for dinner? You do now! Try this Copycat Chick-fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad – seasoned chicken, tasty, fresh ingredients, creamy salsa and crispy toppings make this recipe filling and fun for the whole family!
When it comes to feeding my family, salad is rarely the first word that comes to mind. But this gratifying Copycat Chick-fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad will win over even the pickiest eater. It’s like deconstructed chicken tacos, but even better! With juicy grilled chicken, roasted corn, a blend of cheeses, and nutritious Tex-Mex veggies, each bite is loaded with fantastic flavors! Plus, the crunchy pepitas and tortilla strips are kid-friendly winners!
Spicy Southwest Salad is So Satisfying
This copycat chicken salad is one of my go-to summer favorites! The spicy southwest flavors are a bold blend of seasonings, grilled chicken, cheese, and garden veggies, finished with the PERFECT creamy salsa dressing. YUM! So, it has lots of quality ingredients to fill you up, yet it’s surprisingly simple to make.
If you’re already a fan of the Chick-fil-A spicy southwest chicken salad, you’ll love this recipe – it tastes just like the original. It’s big. It’s crunchy. It’s nutritious. It’s satisfying. And it’s available on Sundays!
Other Recipes to Serve with Chick-fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad
- If your kids need extra incentive, top their salad with these Air Fryer Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets.
- When you want to change things up, this Avocado Ranch Dressing offers a delicious alternative to the creamy salsa dressing.
Seasonings: We will marinate and season the chicken for this salad. You’ll need cilantro, garlic, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, parsley, onion powder, EVOO, and lime juice for these steps.
Salad: For the salad, grab some mixed greens, grape tomatoes, shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, corn, poblano peppers, red bell pepper, and black beans.
Toppings: This salad is topped with tortilla strips and chili lime pepitas instead of croutons. You can buy these pepitas on Amazon or make them at home with this recipe. You can also use regular salted pepitas if you prefer.
Chick-Fil-A Creamy Salsa Dressing: The homemade dressing is so good! You’ll need salsa, sour cream, mayo, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper to make it.
How to Make a Southwest Chicken Salad
STEP ONE: Marinate the chicken in olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and cumin seed in a gallon-size bag for 1 hour. While the chicken marinates, combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and purée. Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.
STEP TWO: Brush the ear of corn with olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Roast in a frying pan over high heat for two minutes per side, then cut the corn off the cob with a sharp knife. Next, slice grape tomatoes in half, and chop the poblano and bell peppers. Add to the hot skillet and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook for two more minutes.
STEP THREE: Toss the lettuce, sauteed veggies, shredded cheese, and black beans in a salad bow. Set this aside for now.
STEP FOUR: Preheat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add the remaining seasonings. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound thin with a meat mallet.
STEP FIVE: Lightly spray the heated pan, then cook chicken for 5 minutes per side. Slice into thin strips and top the salad.
STEP SIX: Garnish with the tortilla strips and pepitas, drizzle with the salsa dressing, and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- This recipe calls for mixed greens (great!), but if your kids are picky about salad, feel free to use the lettuce/salad mix your family enjoys.
- This recipe uses so many herbs and spices; to save time, gather them all together before you start.
- Fresh avocado slices can make this fantastic salad even better!
- This chicken is also great in burritos, tacos, and quesadillas. So feel free to make extra for meal prep later in the week!
What’s in the Chick-fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad
According to the Chick-fil-A website, the Spicy Southwest Salad ingredients are: Slices of grilled spicy chicken breast served on a fresh bed of mixed greens, topped with grape tomatoes, a blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and a zesty combination of roasted corn, black beans, poblano chiles, and red bell peppers. Served with Seasoned Tortilla Strips and Chili Lime Pepitas. It pairs well with the Creamy Salsa dressing.
How many calories is Chick-fil-A spicy Southwest salad?
This Chick Fil A Spicy Southwest Salad has 690 calories for the salad, including the dressing and toppings. My homemade recipe has 402 calories per serving, including the dressing and toppings.
How Spicy is the Southwest Chicken Salad?
With chili powder, chili lime pepitas, and poblano peppers, this Copycat Spicy Southwest Salad is moderately spicy. Cutting back or eliminating these ingredients will make the recipe milder; increasing them will kick this salad up a notch!
Other Southwest-Inspired Salads:
- Taco Salad
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Taco Pasta Salad
- Turkey Taco Salad
- Mexican Mango Rice Salad
- Fiesta Rice Salad
- Southwestern Kale Salad
- Grill Pan or Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 ear corn
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 2 poblano peppers seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 15 ounces canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 3 cups mixed greens
- 3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 3 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup tortilla strips
- ¼ cup chili lime pepitas (see note)
- Put the chicken breasts into a gallon-size ziplock bag. Add the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and cumin seeds to the bag. Seal and smush around the chicken. Marinate for 1 hour.
- While the chicken is marinating, make the dressing by adding the dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender. Cover and purée. Pour it into a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Place a large skillet over high heat. Brush the corn with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 2 minutes per side. Then use a knife to cut the corn kernels off the cob. Set aside.
- Add the tomatoes, poblano, and bell pepper to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add lettuce, tomato, bell pepper, poblano, corn, black beans, and shredded cheese to a large salad bowl and toss. (You can also make the salad in individual bowls, just divide the ingredients evenly between them.)
- Place a grill pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. Stir together the chicken seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade. Season both sides of each breast with seasoning. Place the chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound them to ½-inch thick using a meat mallet (or a rolling pin).
- Lightly spray the grill pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken into the pan and cook for 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut it into thin slices.
- Place the chicken slices on top of the salad. Garnish with the tortilla strips and pepitas. Drizzle with dressing or serve it on the side.
- You can buy the pepitas on Amazon or make them at home with this recipe. You can also use regular salted pepitas if you prefer.
- I do all of the prep for this recipe once the chicken is marinating to save time. You can also marinate this chicken in the morning and then prepare the rest of the recipe at lunch or dinner time. It’s okay to let the chicken marinate for up to 24 hours.