Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing


There's no doubt that this salad is one of my absolute favorites, inspired by my absolute favorite fast food salad, the Chicken Fiesta Salad from Rubios. I don't eat a lot of fast food, but I do dash into Rubios and get that salad once in a while. If there's not a Rubios by where you are, no worries, just make my salad instead.

Southwest Chicken Salad With Chipotle Ranch Dressing
(1 serving as a main dish salad, recipe created by Kalyn with much inspiration from Rubio's)

Ingredients:
3/4 - 1 cup diced cooked chicken
(1 chicken breast)
3 or 4 T Chipotle Ranch Dressing
(recipe follows)
2-3 cups washed and torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese
(I used four cheese Mexican Blend, a mixture of lowfat cheeses)
1/2 cup (more or less to taste) chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Mix diced chicken with desired amount of salad dressing (below) and set aside while you prep other ingredients. Combine lettuce, red pepper and cilantro in large mixing bowl (not the bowl you're serving salad in.) Stir in chicken with dressing and mix lightly, until dressing is distributed throughout salad. Sprinkle with cheese and stir gently a few more times, then serve.

Chipotle Ranch Dressing
(Makes 2 1/2 cups. Recipe created by Kalyn. This will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

Ingredients:
2 cups Ranch Dressing
(I used a packet where you add buttermilk and mayonnaise)
1/2 cup salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce Mild)
1/2 tsp. ground Chipotle Chile Poweder
(I used Penzeys. If you don't have Chipotle Chile powder, could substitute regular chile powder and a small amount of hot sauce.)

Instructions:
Put salsa in food processor and puree about one minute with steel blade. (Could use a blender or immersion blender.) Add Ranch Dressing and ground Chipotle and process 30 seconds more, or until well combined.

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13 comments:

  1. Kalyn, I've been meaning to make chicken salad for a while now but the recipes I had seen didn't make my mouth water - this one certainly has!
    It looks delicious!

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  2. Kalyn I see you are a fourth grade teacher. I wonder if your pupils might like to join in our Great Big Veg Challenge with my eight year old son who is munching his way through the A to Z of vegetables...he would love to have some ideas sent to the blog by any of your young students!

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  3. I love chicken with chipotle -- I make chipotle mayo and spread it on everything!

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  4. Hi Kalyn
    This looks excellent. Chipotle seasoning is a great way to "liven up" a salad and will probably encourage some of my pickier salad eaters to try some of this. I might also add some black beans to this as well - I think that might be a good addition to get some added fiber!!!

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  5. Yum!! I have a Rubios right up the street and I get this salad all the time...I love it. I like the idea of adding some black beans, I'll have to make one of these for myself. Thanks Kalyn!

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  6. Wow, that sounds great Kalyn! I'll be trying this soon.

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  7. Patricia, thanks. It's one of my favorite things to have for lunch.

    Great big veg challenge, I love what you're doing with your son, but this is the very end of school for me, so it's not a good time for me to get this class involved in anything. Next year I'll be teaching third grade, so maybe that class could do it.

    Karen, I think black beans would be a great addition!

    Dani, isn't Rubios great for relatively healthy fast food. Much better than a lot of things you could get.

    Sara, I love the dressing. Hope you like it.

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  8. I still LOVE this salad and tend to make is A LOT!!!!

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  9. This was fabulous! Does anyone have a recipe for a Southwest Chicken salad that has tortellini in it? I used to have it in a Tea room in Naperville Illinois, but it is a "secret" recipe. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

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  10. Thanks for the awesome dressing recipe Kalyn! I will for sure be making that ALL the time.

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  11. Kalyn,adding a twist.made dressing,vacuum packed with fresh chicken breasts and going to smoke .let you know how it turns out.

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