Fresh and flavorful Southwestern Chopped Salad tossed in the most delicious creamy avocado cilantro-lime dressing! So crisp and refreshing. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free option)
This Southwestern Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing is our all-time favorite salad. It's colorful, nutrient-packed, delicious, and so fresh. Plus it's also great for picnics, potlucks, and meal prep!
If making ahead of time, store the dressing and salad separately, and then toss together before serving to keep it fresh and crisp.
Ingredients for Southwestern Salad
For the salad portion, you will need:
- Romaine lettuce
- Black beans
- Orange bell pepper (or other color)
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Sweet corn (cooked, canned, frozen, fire-roasted, etc. )
- Green onion (scallion)
You could also top it with avocado chunks or tortilla strips for crunch and texture.
Ingredients for Southwest Salad Dressing
For the creamy cilantro-lime dressing you will need:
- Fresh cilantro*
- Avocado (or plain & unsweetened vegan yogurt)
- Lime juice
- Olive oil (or substitute water for oil-free)
- White wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- Ground cumin & agave (optional but recommended)
*Not a fan of cilantro? Readers have reported success with substituting fresh parsley instead. (And some who don't normally like cilantro said they actually end up enjoying it in this dressing!)
We think the creamy, flavorful cilantro-lime dressing and salad are a perfect match. So crisp and refreshing together.
For us, one recipe of the cilantro dressing is a great match for the amount of salad below. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
- 1 large head romaine
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 10 oz. cherry/grape tomatoes (about 1 pint)
- 2 cups sweet corn, cooked
- 5 green onions
For the Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing:
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro (stems removed and roughly chopped)
- 1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1 lime, more to taste)
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil (for oil-free, sub a little water to thin)
- 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Recommended: agave & cumin to taste
- Make the dressing: blend all dressing ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. (I love the addition of a little cumin, and also agave to sweeten.)
- Chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Rinse and drain black beans.
- Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Toss with desired amount of dressing.*
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you're enjoying this Southwest Salad with Cilantro Dressing, also check out:
- Vegan Taco Salad with Creamy Southwestern Dressing
- Corn & Black Bean Fajitas
- Lentil Salad with Capers and Balsamic-Dijon Dressing
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