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Southwest Chicken Salad Winter

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Well here it is, the final season of the year for my Southwest Chicken Salads. There are still more ideas bouncing around in my head to use the black bean salsa, so it won’t be completely gone. 😉  This Southwest Chicken Salad Winter was originally created for a healthy eating contributor post…..

A big platter topped with Southwest Chicken Salad for Winter including pomegranate arils, corn and black beans

but in the end, I decided to go with the Paleo Chicken Stir-Fry for that post. I absolutely love these salads!! They are so simple to prepare, less than 30 minutes, and they are so delicious! I just don’t want to eat the same one every time, and that is why I change them up based on the seasons.

The Winter version features pomegranate seeds, also know as arils, and an Orange Cilantro Dressing. I was trying to keep it Paleo, so there is no mayonnaise in the dressing. (yes I do realize that black beans and corn are not Paleo either). This makes it a bit thinner than the Cilantro Lime Dressing from the Summer version, but still incredibly delicious!!

Orange Cilantro Dressing in a glass serving jar

How to make Southwest Chicken Salad for Winter:

To make the salsa:

Black bean salsa ingredients in a large bowl

Toss the diced red pepper, onion, corn, pomegranate seeds, green onions, cilantro, cumin, chili pepper, salt, oil together in a large bowl and stir it together…..

Black bean salsa ingredients mixed together in a large bowl

Place the salsa in the refrigerator.

To make the Dressing:

Add the cilantro, garlic, vinegar, honey, and orange juice in the bowl of a food processor…..

Orange Cilantro Dressing ingredients in the bowl of a food processor

Pulse to combine. While the machine is running, slowly add the olive oil…..

Cilantro Orange Dressing ingredients blended together in a food processor

Blend until dressing reaches desired consistency. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the Salad:

Place the lettuces, chicken, and salsa on a large platter or in a large bowl, and toss together…..

Southwest Chicken Salad for Winter on a serving platter

Serve with dressing and additional salsa on the side…..

Black Bean Salsa in a small green bowl

See how easy that was!! Use leftover or rotisserie chicken to make it even easier. 🙂

A square plate topped with a big Southwest Chicken Salad for Winter

I love how bright and colorful this salad is!! So how did I get the seeds out?

Pomegranate sliced open on a cutting board

I just sliced it in half, then broke it apart and dropped the seeds into a bowl. I have seen all kinds of tips and tutorials on pinterest, but couldn’t seem to find one the day I needed it! It took a few minutes, but really wasn’t that bad at all.

more delicious Southwest Chicken Salad recipes:

1. Southwest Chicken Salad Spring with Avocado and Creamy Guacamole Ranch

2. Southwest Chicken Salad Summer with Mango and Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

3. Southwest Chicken Salad Fall with Roast Sweet Potatoes and Corn with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

It would have made sense to roast the bell pepper along with the sweet potatoes and corn….maybe next time!


A square plate topped with a big Southwest Chicken Salad for Winter

Southwest Chicken Salad for Winter

This Southwest Chicken Salad for Winter with Orange Cilantro Dressing is a healthy and delicious meal option any time of the year!
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pomegranate, lettuce, corn, chicken, easy, recipe
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 598kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson


For the Salsa

  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 can organic corn drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 pomegranate seeded
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 large cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey

For the Salad

  • 1 bag leaf lettuce I use European Blend
  • 1 bag spring mix
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken


To make the Salsa:

  • Place diced bell pepper, onion, corn, pomegranate seeds, green onions, cilantro, oil, cumin, chili powder, and salt in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the Dressing:

  • Place cilantro, garlic, vinegar, honey, and orange juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to chop ingredients. Slowly pour in the olive oil while machine is running. Process to desired consistency. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the Salad:

  • Place lettuce on a large platter or in a large bowl. Add the chicken and salsa. Toss to combine.
  • Serve salad with dressing drizzled over the top.


Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 613mg | Potassium: 964mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1835IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 4mg

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  1. I just found your recipe on Show Stopper Saturday and the timing was perfect. I just posted a link party on my website featuring Spinach recipes. I hope you’ll pop over and share it and any other spinach recipes in your archives.

  2. Wow. Now that’s a salad. I pinned this to my lunch board. Would love for you to linkup tomorrow for the Let’s Get Real Blog Hop at 5PM EST. mypinterventures.com

  3. The salsa portion of this recipe looks to have black beans in it but I don’t see them listed as an ingredient either in the blog or the list of ingredients. Could you tell me if they are indeed in there?

    The recipe looks delicious and I am going to try it this winter as well as the one with sweet potatoes. Thanks for your hard work, you really help cooks like me who don’t have time to develop delicious new things to serve our families!

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