Recipe Review

Southwest Chicken Salad Is the Best Mid-Week Lunch Break

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Opening a lunch box in the middle of the day to find a really good made-at-home meal is a better pick-me-up than a mid-day espresso. It’s so great to have a bright, colorful, healthful, vegetable-filled salad right at hand the moment you start to feel hungry, especially if it’s full of satisfying protein and so delicious you’d eat it as a treat even if it weren’t good for you.  

This creamy Southwest chicken salad is a perfect make-ahead lunch. You could eat it on toast, as a sandwich, wrap it up in a tortilla, or fill a lunch box container with it and eat it with a fork. 

This recipe has a few key differences from the classic chicken salad we may have grown up with. Most chicken salads start with a mayonnaise-based dressing. This one uses Greek yogurt, which keeps the creaminess while adding some extra protein and a great tangy flavor. Whisk the yogurt together with fresh lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper, chili powder, and your favorite hot sauce. The sauce can be mild or spicy, depending on your preference. Personally, I think a good sauce should come with a little paper fan so you can fan your scorched tongue after every bite. But if you’re cooking for a crowd, go ahead and pick something mild and accessible so everybody can enjoy it. 

Toss the dressing with shredded chicken, sweet corn, black beans, chopped red onion, red pepper, and fresh cilantro. (If you have the thing where fresh cilantro tastes like soap, you can leave it out, or try substituting flat-leaf parsley.) The shredded chicken can come from leftovers, a grocery-store rotisserie chicken, or a pile of frozen chicken breasts cooked in a slow cooker and torn apart with a pair of forks. 

This take on chicken salad makes a great sandwich, wrap, or dip, or you can pile it on a bed of lettuce and eat it as an ideal lunch salad. It’s the perfect thing for the middle of the day. 

Get the Recipe: Southwest Chicken Salad from Fit Foodie Finds

Credit: Joe Lingeman

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