Filled with a rainbow of fresh ingredients like creamy avocado, cherry tomatoes, crisp greens and topped with a zesty homemade dressing, you'll love this Santa Fe style salad.
I have a confession.
I'm not really a salad person...
It's not that I don't like vegetables. I would happily pile some Baked Herb Tomato Zucchini high on my plate!
But when I'm looking to have a light lunch, I would much prefer a warm dish of Cherry Tomato Soup to a salad bowl.
With a plethora of textures and so much flavor, this hearty salad is one of those easy meals you'll look forward to and is also a great option for a potluck.
Even a picky eater will be excited to eat their greens when they come in a form this delicious!
- Greens- I like to use a pre-chopped "Spring Mix" for this- one of my favorite cooking short cuts! It is usually a mixture of baby spinach, kale and arugula. You can also use Romaine lettuce or whatever combination of salad greens that you like best.
- Carrots- I prefer to use shredded carrots in this recipe but diced or thinly chopped would also work.
- Black Beans- Homemade beans add extra flavour but canned beans work as well. You could also substitute canned pinto beans or leave them out.
- Corn- You can use frozen, canned or fresh corn kernels.
- Jalapeno- Be sure to remove seeds and membranes unless you want it extra spicy!
- Tomatoes- I like to use cherry or grape tomatoes that have been sliced in half. You could also use larger fresh tomatoes that have been diced up instead.
- Green Onions
- Avocado- If you are preparing the salad ahead of time, wait to add the avocado until just before serving so that it doesn't brown.
- Santa Fe Ranch- This light, fresh and creamy recipe with Greek yogurt (or sour cream), taco seasoning and lime juice is super easy to make.
- Tortilla Chips- A couple of handfuls of crispy tortilla strips or chips adds some nice crunch to the salad. You could omit them or use Crispy Roasted Chickpeas instead.
1. Mix. Combine all of the salad ingredients except for the ranch and tortilla chips into a large bowl.
2. Dress. Add ¾ of the Santa fe dressing and mix until well combined. Taste and add remaining dressing if desired.
3. Serve. Top with crumbled tortilla chips and enjoy.
Make Ahead and Leftover Storage
Make Ahead: You can mix together all of the ingredients except the avocado, dressing and tortilla chips up to one day in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just before serving, add the avocado, mix in the dressing and top with tortilla chips.
To Store: Store undressed salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store dressed salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Make it Your Own
Salads are great because you can easily add or omit ingredients as you see fit! The following would be tasty additions to this salad:
- Cheese- Shredded cheddar, Monterey jack cheese, crumbled feta or cotija would all be great.
- Chicken- Diced, shredded or extras of the Shredded Chicken from these nachos would all be good ways to add more protein.
- Pork- Leftover Carnitas or Pulled Pork would also be tasty ways to add some meat.
- Ground Beef- Leftover Beef Taco filling is also delicious.
- Grains- To make the salad more filling and add texture, you can add 1-2 cups of cooked grains such as quinoa, barley or millet.
- Red Onion- Thinly sliced fresh onion would be good in the salad as well. TIP: To reduce the "bite" of the onion, slice it and place it in a bowl of cold water for 10-20 minutes, then drain and add to the salad.
- Fresh Cilantro
- Pico de Gallo
Change up the flavor with one of these homemade dressings:
- Cilantro Lime Dressing- Perfect if you're looking for a vegan Santa fe salad recipe
- Salsa and Greek Yogurt- Like eating a taco in a bowl
Enjoy this salad all on its own for a light lunch or supper. Or try rolling some up inside a pita or tortilla with maybe a bit of grilled chicken for a tasty wrap!
And you could not go wrong with serving some fresh Corn Tortillas alongside.
This Santa Fe Salad would also be a great side to accompany:
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And if you liked this recipe...
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Santa Fe Salad
- 1 (12 oz) package fresh mixed greens (about 12 cups)
- 3 carrots shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 jalapeno finely chopped, seeds and membranes removed
- 1 (19 oz) can black beans (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup corn
- 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half (about 2 cups)
- ¼ cup green onions
- 2 avocados
- 1 batch Santa Fe Ranch
- 1 cup tortilla chips crushed
- Place all of the ingredients except for the ranch and tortilla chips into a large bowl and mix until combined.
- Add ¾ of the ranch dressing and mix. Taste and add more dressing if desired.
- Top with tortilla chips and serve.
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