Southwestern Salad

5 from 3 votes
45 minutes
Jump To Recipe

This festive Southwestern Salad has everything you love about that sun-soaked region! Loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, jicama and jalapenos, this easy, vegan and versatile salad is fresh, flavorful, healthy and perfect for hot summer days!

Southwestern Salad with beans, corn and other vegetables in round bowl with cilantro and lime.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Besides being loaded with flavor, this fresh and lively Southwestern Salad is also healthy! With everything you’d expect in a Southwest salad recipe: Black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, jicama, cool avocado and gentle heat from jalapenos. They all combine for a crisp and flavorful salad. A simple combination of zesty lime juice and smooth olive oil allows each ingredient to shine!

This spicy southwest salad recipe is:

  • Easy! If you can chop an onion, you can make this Southwestern salad.
  • No-cook unless you prefer to start with dried black beans.
  • Versatile!
    • Serve as a side dish for all your Mexican and Southwestern-inspired meals.
    • Enjoy it for a light lunch (it’s totally portable).
    • As a topping for tacos, tostadas or grilled fish, chicken or skirt steak.
    • Add cooked quinoa for more plant-based protein in addition to the black beans.
  • Healthy and low-calorie! This Southwestern Salad is vegan, but don’t let me stop you from sprinkling some cotija cheese over the top.
Spoon scooping up Southwestern Salad from bowl.

How to Make Southwestern Salad:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this Southwestern Salad recipe, along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Southwestern Salad in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Black Beans: I used canned black beans, but if you prefer to cook the beans, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of dried black beans to end up with the same volume in three 15-ounce cans.
  • Corn: Frozen corn is a great convenience product, especially for salads. However, you can use canned, and by all means, use fresh if you prefer.
  • Bell Pepper: Use red, yellow or orange. Avoid green bell pepper in this Southwestern Salad recipe because it conflicts with the other ingredients.
  • Jicama: Jicama is a globe-shaped root vegetable with papery, golden-brown skin and a starchy white interior. The flesh is refreshing and crisp with a mildly sweet and nutty taste. You can often find it in the pre-cut vegetable section of the produce department.
  • Jalapeno: Remove the seeds and white fleshy membrane if you don’t care for a lot of heat. Serranos, although they have more heat, may also be used.
  • Lime Juice: Fresh is always best, so definitely use fresh lime juice in this Southwestern Salad for the best flavor.
  • Olive Oil: Use a good olive oil but no need to use a top-shelf brand.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • A fair amount of chopping is required for this Southwestern Salad but keep in mind the beans don’t need any other prep work, nor does the corn. As mentioned above, peeled jicama is often sold in the pre-cut vegetable area of your produce section.
Ingredients for Southwestern Salad in glass bowl before being stirred together.
  • Once all the vegetables are prepped, toss them all together.
Ingredients for Southwestern Salad after being combined in glass bowl.
  • Add the garlic, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs. Done! An easy, delicious and a little spicy Southwest Salad!
Southwestern Salad with serving spoon in white bowl with lime wedges.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • If making this Southwestern Salad ahead of time for a large group, leave the avocado out and add it just before serving.
  • Citrus squeezers are a game-changer for lemons and limes! Just remember to place the lemon or lime cut side down into the squeezer–not cut side up because it tends to squirt up at you.
Southwestern Salad in bowl with serving spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is a Southwestern Salad healthy?

You bet! This spicy Southwest salad is vegan, which means there are no animal products, so there’s no cholesterol. The beans and all the vegetables have fiber and are packed with vitamins and minerals. You want this spicy southwest salad in your life!

Can this Southwestern salad recipe be made ahead of time?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, this keeps well in your refrigerator for up to three days. To zip it back up if held longer, simply stir from the bottom up and give it another squeeze of fresh lime. If making for a group/occasion, leave the avocado out and add that just before serving.

Salad in bowl with serving spoon and smaller bowls with cilantro sprigs, lime wedges and some in smaller bowl.

Storage:

  • Store this Southwestern Salad in your refrigerator for up to five days, but it will taste the best if enjoyed within three days. To refresh the salad, if held longer, stir from the bottom up and give it another squeeze of fresh lime.

Serve with:

More great healthy salad recipes you’ll love!

Get all my side salad recipes at: Side Dish Salads – From A Chef’s Kitchen

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Southwestern Salad with beans, corn and other vegetables in round bowl with cilantro and lime.

Southwestern Salad

5 from 3 votes

Click to Rate!

By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
This Southwestern Salad has everything you love about that region! Loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, jicama and jalapenos, this easy, vegan and versatile salad is fresh, flavorful, healthy and perfect for hot summer days!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salads
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 187 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cans (each 15-ounce) black beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag (12-ounce) frozen corn kernels - thawed in a sieve under hot running tap water
  • 1 cup diced jicama
  • 1 small red onion - chopped
  • 3 large plum tomatoes - seeded and chopped
  • 1 large red, yellor or orange bell pepper - membrane removed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large avocado or 2 medium - peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper - seeded if desired, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice - or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine the drained and rinsed black beans, thawed corn kernels, jicama, red onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado and jalapeno in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the garlic, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Keeps well in your refrigerator for up to three days. To freshen it back up if held longer, stir from the bottom up and give it another squeeze of fresh lime. If making for a group/occasion, leave the avocado out and add that just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1035IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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