Recipe Review

I Tried the Popular Spicy Southwest Salad Recipe and It’s Just as Good as Everyone Claims

published Apr 26, 2023
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spicy southwest salad in bowl
Credit: Choya Johnson

When I was a kid, there wasn’t much you could do to convince me to eat a salad. It didn’t matter what ingredients were thrown in or what dressing was on top, there just wasn’t anything appealing about a salad to me. Now that I’m older though and I’ve opened up my palate to so many things that I wouldn’t have necessarily enjoyed as a kid, salads are one of my go-to items for a delicious, filling, and better-for-you meal at any time of the day.

While I can name plenty of salad options that I could eat daily (like this cucumber avocado one), I recently came across @Sailor_bailey’s recipe for Spicy Southwest Salad on TikTok and immediately knew I had to give it a try. Here’s how it went.

Get the recipe: Spicy Southwest Salad

Credit: Choya Johnson

How to Make the Spicy Southwest Salad

For this recipe, you’ll need boneless and skinless chicken breasts, lettuce, fresh orange, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, both minced garlic and shallot, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cherry tomatoes, canned black beans, corn, a red bell pepper, shredded cheese, avocado, pepita seeds, and tortilla chips are also options to have, too.

Start by marinating your chicken with apple cider vinegar, orange juice, oil, garlic, shallot, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and pepper. While the chicken is marinating for at least 20 minutes, use this time to clean your vegetables. Then, chop your lettuce and place it in a large bowl. Slice and seed your red pepper, and drain and rinse your black beans. If your corn is frozen, be sure to let it thaw. Be sure to slice your tomatoes, too.

Once your chicken has marinated, either cook it at 350°F in the oven for 20-25 minutes — or until fully cooked — or cook on the stovetop on medium high heat in a medium-sized pan. Let rest. 

Add your sliced grape tomatoes, corn kernels, black beans, diced red bell peppers, cheese, and optional pepita seeds to the bowl that has the lettuce from earlier. Top with your chopped chicken. 

To make the dressing, add fresh lime juice, sour cream, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, dried cilantro, and honey to a blender or food processor, and mix together until well combined. Add to the top of your salad — along with crushed tortilla chips for texture — mix together and enjoy! 

Credit: Choya Johnson

My Honest Review of the Spicy Southwest Salad

I’m really pleased with the final result of this salad. As I’ve had my fair share of salads, this was a great replica of what I would normally purchase at Chick-fil-A — just as the video claims. The TikTok post by Sailor_Bailey also claimed that this salad is cheaper and allows you to have more to enjoy later or with others, which I can definitely agree with, too.

Overall, I would absolutely make this salad again. The best part about it for me was the crunch the crushed tortilla chips delivered and even if you chose to use your favorite dressing opposed to the one she gave a recipe for, you probably still couldn’t find a negative about this salad. It’s quick, easy, and super flavorful, and I couldn’t imagine anyone disliking that. Personally, I would give this salad an 8.5/10, but don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself to see what I mean!

Get the recipe: Spicy Southwest Salad