This delicious Santa Fe Chicken Salad comes together easily using a rotisserie chicken and a quick 2-ingredient dressing Creamy Salsa Dressing for a hearty yet healthy meal that can be prepared in just 10 minutes.
Chili's and The Cheesecake Factory are known for their popular Santa Fe Salads which are similar to the Southwest Salad at Chick Fil A. In this simple Santa Fe Salad recipe, I've taken the key ingredients from these other salads as inspiration but made the preparation super easy by either using leftover cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken, enabling this meal to be prepared in just a few minutes for busy days. I've paired the salad with an easy, 2-ingredient, Creamy Salsa Salad Dressing to create a fresh and hearty salad that works well for lunch or dinner.
Reasons you'll love this salad
- quick and easy preparation using a rotisserie chicken
- it's gluten-free and grain-free
- it's great for meal prep
- it's fresh and filling
Here's what you need to make a Santa Fe Salad:
- chopped romaine lettuce
- canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- diced cooked chicken
- canned corn, drained
- sour cream
- sliced red onion
- sliced avocado
- halved grape tomatoes
See recipe card for quantities.
Here's how to make a Santa Fe Salad:
For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the salsa and sour cream.
Arrange the lettuce in a serving bowl or platter, then top it with the remaining ingredients, drizzle the dressing over top and enjoy.
Hint: I like to use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to keep this meal super simple but you can use any neutral-ish leftover cooked chicken or make a batch of Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken from boneless skinless chicken breasts. For extra flavor, use grilled chicken seasoned with olive oil, salt, ground black pepper, chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika (or pre-mixed taco seasoning) to make a grilled chicken salad.
Want to substitute an ingredient in Santa Fe Chicken Salad? Here's how:
- Romaine lettuce - use a different salad base in place of the romaine such as iceberg lettuce, kale, arugula or even bagged cole slaw mix.
- Cooked chicken - use leftover cooked steak, ground beef, shrimp or another protein in place of the cooked chicken.
Try one of these variations of a Santa Fe Salad:
- Spicy - add several tablespoons of hot sauce or ½ teaspoon of cayenne to the Creamy Salsa Dressing to add some spice to your salad.
- Deluxe - add shredded cheddar cheese, crispy tortilla stirps, chopped cilantro, sliced black olives and/or sliced jalapenos to the salad and the 4 tablespoons of lime juice to the dressing.
- Low-carb/ keto - omit the black beans and corn and add shredded cheddar cheese to the salad.
This equipment comes in handy when making a Santa Fe Chicken Salad:
Store the prepared ingredients in separate aritight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I like to place a paper towel in the container with the lettuce to absorb any moisture.
To meal prep this salad, mix the salad ingredients together and divide it into individual containers. Then, mix the dressing together, pouring it into individual cups to store with the salad. Store this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Toss the dressing with the salad just before serving.
Santa Fe Salad is made of sliced romaine lettuce, chopped chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado and red onion, all tossed in a Creamy Salsa Dressing.
Looking for other hearty salad recipes like this? Try these:
Serve this Santa Fe Chicken Salad with one of these appetizers for a fun yet filling meal:
Santa Fe Chicken Salad
Creamy Salsa Salad Dressing
- For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the salsa and sour cream.
Santa Fe Salad
- Arrange the lettuce in a serving bowl or platter, then top with the remaining ingredients, drizzle the dressing over top and enjoy.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods