A fresh and flavorful Mexican salad recipe layered with crispy romaine, sweet corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion and sliced avocado. Easy to make and even more delicious to eat!
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Easy Mexican Salad
This Mexican salad is so easy to make and tastes incredibly fresh! It’s super flavorful and refreshing, making it perfect for summer. And it’s also great for using all of those fresh garden vegetables and farmer’s market produce.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s perfect for both lunch and dinner. You can enjoy it as a main meal or serve as a side dish alongside your favorite Mexican foods like beef tacos, chicken enchiladas or chicken fajitas. It’s so versatile and delicious!
You can add a creamy chipotle dressing to bring in a smoky flavor or use my favorite cilantro lime dressing. This salad is great for meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday. It’s a double win! This is definitely a new family favorite and will be put on the meal rotation for sure.
See full printable recipe below.
- Lettuce: I love to use chopped romaine, but you can also add in spinach or kale.
- Tomatoes: I love using cherry tomatoes, but really any tomato will work well.
- Corn: You can use fresh corn instead of canned if preferred. Grilled corn in the summer adds amazing flavor from the char from the grill. You can also easily cook corn on the cob in the microwave in just a few quick minutes.
- Black beans: These make this salad more hearty and add protein and fiber.
- Red onion: This adds some crunch and flavor to this salad. You can definitely omit if you don’t love onions.
- Avocado: These make every salad better in my opinion. Learn how to cut an avocado. Add sliced avocado or use it to make guacamole.
- Dressing. Lots of ways to dress this salad. This cilantro lime dressing would also taste great, as well as avocado lime dressing or salsa ranch.
Extra Mix-in Ideas
What’s great about this recipe is that you can add as many or as little salad ingredients as you’d like. Keep it vegan or vegetarian and bulk it up with more veggies or rice if you prefer. Or add meat for some extra protein. Below are a few ways to make it your own.
- Bulk it up with more plant based options such as roasted sweet potatoes, cilantro lime rice or fajita veggies with caramelized peppers and onions.
- Add your favorite protein. Instant Pot Mexican chicken, grilled flank steak or taco meat are all great options.
- Pile on extra toppings for even more flavor and texture. A few of our favorites are tortilla strips, crushed tortilla chips, pickled onions, cotija cheese, mango salsa, cilantro, jalapenos, sliced radishes, black olives, bell pepper or a squeeze of lime juice.
How to Make a Mexican Salad
- Slice the veggies. Wash the veggies first, then use a cutting board to chop and slice. At this point you can also drain and rinse the canned corn and beans.
- Layer. Place the lettuce in the bottom of a large bowl, then layer on the tomatoes, onions, avocado, corn kernels and black beans. Top with any extras like crushed tortilla chips, cheese or cilantro.
- Toss. Drizzle your dressing of choice on top of the salad and then toss together with salad tongs until the vegetables are well coated.
- Dressing. You can absolutely use a store-bought Mexican salad dressing, however I recommend making your own to really take the flavor of this salad over the top. My favorite to use is this homemade creamy cilantro lime dressing. For a spicier option, try the homemade chipotle dressing included in the recipe card notes.
- Wait to toss. Drizzle on the dressing right before serving, so that the lettuce stays crisp and the veggies don’t get soggy. This salad tastes best cold.
- Use leftovers. This salad is perfect for using up any leftover black bean and corn salsa. Just add the bean salsa over some chopped lettuce, then add the chopped avocado, tomatoes, dressing and tortilla strips. You can also use any leftover cilantro lime dressing as a topping for BBQ chicken tacos or ranch chicken tacos. Yum!
Yes! It’s loaded with fresh vegetables and beans, giving you plenty of nutrients, vitamins and fiber, while remaining low in cholesterol. To keep it healthy, add better-for-you toppings like mango salsa or fajita veggies.
Lean protein such as grilled chicken is another healthy topping idea that can make this Mexican chopped salad even more filling.
You can enjoy this Mexican salad recipe as the main course, or serve it alongside steak fajitas, chicken burritos or these pork enchiladas. It would pair well with any of your favorite Mexican recipes!
Yes, which makes it perfect for those with gluten allergies or sensitives. The only thing to watch out for is the type of dressing you use. Make sure the bottle indicates that it’s gluten-free before using, or make your own homemade dressing using all gluten-free ingredients.
Absolutely. The base ingredients are all vegan friendly, so just make sure any added toppings remain vegan as well. You’ll also want to use a dairy-free dressing on top instead. Salsa also makes a great dressing as well!
How to Make Ahead
This salad tastes best if served immediately after preparing, however you can prep the ingredients ahead of time if desired. Keep everything stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge and then toss with the dressing right before serving. I don’t recommend prepping the avocado in advance, as it is likely to turn brown.
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Mexican Salad Recipe
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup sweet corn
- 15 ounce can black beans , rinsed and drained
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes , sliced in half
- 1/4 red onion , sliced
- 1 ripe avocado , sliced or diced
- The first step will be to chop lettuce, tomatoes, onion and avocado. Drain and rinse the corn and black beans. Set aside to dry.
- Add lettuce to a large bowl. Then layer the vegetables, corn and black beans on top. Add the tortilla strips and optional toppings.
- Pour the desired dressing over the bowl of salad and toss until coated. This salad is served best cold.
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce
- 2 Tablespoons salsa
- 3 Tablespoons cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 lime, juiced
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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