Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with Black Bean Salsa

Here’s another main dish salad that’s full of flavor, as well as filling protein and fiber. With a little kick of spice and a hint of sweetness, I thought this salad had a really nice balance of flavors. I added some baby arugula to the lettuce, to give a little peppery bite to the salad. The recipe calls for cherry or grape tomatoes, but I didn’t have any on hand. I added some corn kernels to the black bean salsa instead, and next time would love to try using both corn and tomatoes for the most color and flavor.

We made this salad for dinner just two nights ago, and I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t wait to post it. I’m already thinking that it needs to be on the menu again next week!

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with Black Bean Salsa

Printable Recipe

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 4 oz. small cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered or halved
  • 1 large scallion, thinly sliced
  • Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 9 cups)
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 medium firm-ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


  1. Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.
  2. Combine the chili powder, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Rub some of the spice mix over both sides of the chicken. (Discard any extra spice mix.)
  3. Clean and oil the grill grate. Grill the chicken until the edges of the top side are white, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice, 1 tbsp. of the cilantro, the honey, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Whisk to combine.
  5. Combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, scallion, the remaining 2 tsp. cilantro, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of the dressing and toss gently.
  6. Put the lettuce and arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat. (Reserve a little dressing to drizzle on the chicken.) Arrange the lettuce on a platter or four dinner plates. Slice the chicken very thinly. Pit and slice the avocado. Arrange the chicken, avocado, and salsa on top of the lettuce. Drizzle a little of the remaining dressing over the chicken and avocado. Garnish with the pine nuts and cilantro leaves.

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking

Easy 4 Week Meal Plan

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