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)
3/4 - 1 cup diced cooked chicken
(1 chicken breast)
3 or 4 T Chipotle Ranch Dressing
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
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.)
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.)
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.