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4.75 from 8 votes

Chopped Southwest Salad

Chopped Southwest Salad Recipe is a vegan version of a popular summer salad loaded with vegetables and black beans, all chopped into perfect bite-sized pieces with two oil-free dressing options to meet your individual tastes.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 292kcal


Air-Fried Tortillas Strips

  • 2 flour or 4 corn tortillas
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Chopped Southwest Salad Ingredients

  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce chopped
  • 15 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1 English cucumber diced
  • 1 Red bell pepper diced
  • 3 ears grilled corn on the cob or 1 ½ cups cooked frozen or canned corn, cooled
  • 1 jalapeno diced small
  • 1 pint tri-colored grape tomatoes , cut in half

Easy Southwest Dressing

  • ¼ cup raw cashews soaked overnight and rinsed (if you have a quality high-speed blender, you can skip soaking)
  • ½ cup fresh salsa of choice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup water

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 large or 2 small avocados pit, and flesh removed
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


Air-fried Tortilla Strips

  • Cut flour or corn tortillas into thin strips
  • Place tortilla strips in a bowl and pour lime juice into the bowl.
  • Using your hands, todd tortilla strips in the lime juice until they are all covered.
  • Then, sprinkle with seasonings and toss again.
  • Place tortilla strips in the bottom of the air-frier
  • Set temperature at 370 degrees
  • Cook for 10 minutes; tossing at 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the air-fryer pan.
  • Let cool
  • If you don't plan to use the air-fried tortilla strips right away, place them in a bowl and leave them out on the counter. Do not put them in a plastic bag; they will get soggy.

Chopped Southwest Salad

  • Chop the Romaine lettuce and place in the base of a large bowl
  • Drain and rinse black beans
  • Chop all other vegetables in uniform size
  • Chop jalapeno smaller, as it is stronger and needs to be more distributed
  • Chop avocado right before serving to avoid browning
  • Add all chopped vegetables to the bowl with lettuce.

Vegan Southwest Dressing

  • Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
  • Blend on high until smooth
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

  • Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
  • Blend on high until smooth
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve

Optional Ingredients

  • Add grilled tofu or faux chicken strips if desired.
  • Add vegan cheese of choice


  • Romaine lettuce can be chopped ahead of time and kept in an air-tight bag for easy meal prep. 
  • Also, chop all the vegetables ahead of time using a vegetable chopper as a time-saving suggestion. 
  • Substitute pinto beans for black beans
  • Make the dressing ahead of time so it has time to chill and thicken in the refrigerator. 
  • Do not cut the avocado and add it to the salad until right before serving, so it doesn't brown. 
  • This salad is great for a potluck, picnic, or BBQ.
  • As an entree salad, add crispy tofu. 


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 1328mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 19315IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 5mg