Southwest Chicken Salad with Healthy Avocado Buttermilk Dressing
Serves: 4-6
*Note: I know this looks like a LOTof ingredients, but most of them are repeats (in the spice area) and are something you should have on hand.
  • 1 pound chicken (2 medium sized breasts)
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped (about 5-6 ounces)
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 cups black beans
  • Avocado Dressing (recipe below)
  • Chili Croutons (recipe below)
  • Avocado Dressing
  • 1 ½ cups diced avocado (about 2 small avocados)
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup low-fat mayo
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Chili Croutons
  • 2 ½ cups cubed day old bread
  • 1 ½ tablespoons grapeseed oil (or whatever you have on hand)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  1. Cut chicken lengthwise to make four pieces of chicken.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  3. Sprinkle chicken evenly on both sides with seasoning. Heath a large non-stick skillet to medium-high with a little oil. Cook chicken until cooked through and slightly blackened, about five minutes per side. Let set for a few minutes. Slice into strips.
  4. Pile lettuce onto serving platter. Sprinkle, jalapeño, cheese, tomato, cilantro, corn, and black beans over. Top with sliced chicken breasts, then drizzle with dressing.
  5. Avocado Dressing:
  6. Place all ingredients in the bottom of a blender, blend until smooth and creamy. Add more buttermilk if the dressing is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  7. Chili Croutons:
  8. In a medium bowl toss bread with oil, salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Spread on to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 5-8 minutes until crisp and lightly brown. If you use fresh bread, they will need to be cooked longer.
Recipe by Cooking for Keeps at