This vegan southwest salad is a no-cook summertime delight. Filled with simple ingredients like lettuce, black beans, sweet corn, bell peppers and more, it’s sure to satisfy all your senses whether served as a starter or as a full meal. It comes together so quickly and easily, and there’s no oven required! Light, filling, and oh so tasty, it’s perfect for those hot summer days!
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I love tacos! I truly do, but sometimes it’s just too hot during the summer to go through all the trouble of making them. That’s why this southwest salad is the perfect alternative on those hotter days.
Topped with corn chips and a little salsa, it’s like a no-cook taco salad that is just so light, zesty, and refreshing! This veggie-filled salad is perfect when you’re in the mood for something like tacos or taco salad but you’re in NO mood to turn on the stove.
Black beans, corn, bell peppers, and more are tossed in a mix of chopped lettuce and our creamy vegan avocado dressing and topped with crushed corn chips. Add sweet potatoes and/or our walnut chorizo if you’d like to make this even more filling!
Why We Love This Southwest Salad
- It’s light, filling, and absolutely delicious. Great for when you want to feel full without feeling bogged down.
- It’s so easy to make, with items you probably already have in your kitchen.
- This recipe requires no stove time, so it’s absolutely perfect for those hotter days of the summer when you just do not want to cook.
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Southwest Chopped Salad Ingredients
For the dressing, you’ll need a batch of our vegan avocado dressing recipe. Trust me, it’s the perfect complement for this southwest salad!
For the main salad you’ll need:
- Romaine lettuce – chopped, washed, and dried
- Can of black beans – strained and rinsed
- Can of yellow corn – drained
- Red bell pepper – thinly sliced
- Red onion – thinly sliced
- Tomato – diced
For the optional toppings, you’ll need:
- Tortilla chips – crushed up as salad topper so they get mixed in and some whole chips along the side of the bowl for snacking as you go
- Cilantro – I always like to use fresh cilantro when I can. You can use dried cilantro sparingly as a topping if that’s all you have access to.
- Vegan shredded cheese – Violife, So Delicious, and Daiya (get the block!) are just some of the vegan cheese brands that offer great varieties that would work as a topping for this salad.
- Walnut Chorizo – Our walnut chorizo is a fantastic option to add if you’re looking to add a little more protein and a little more spice to your salad
- Salsa – use your favorite salsa or pico de gallo as a fun, fresh topping.
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a (not always pleasant) change in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!
For the lettuce: If you prefer mixed salad greens, they are a great sub for this fresh salad. You can also use regular old iceberg lettuce.
For the beans: You can also use pinto beans or red kidney beans if you prefer. Or a combination of beans, if you like.
For the corn: Use fresh corn sliced from the cob if you want, but I wouldn’t suggest using frozen corn as a substitute in this recipe.
For the dressing: Our vegan buttermilk ranch or a ranch made with our ranch powder would be a great sub. Gotham Greens also has a vegan creamy green dressing that would be great on this. And the Jalapeno Ranch from Organicville would be simply sublime!
For the peppers: Add any color bell pepper you want to really make the colors pop. Or add a hot pepper or two if you want something a little spicy
For the red onion: You can use shallots or scallions in this salad as well
For the diced tomato: You can use your favorite salsa, or some of those super cute heirloom cherry tomatoes halved or quartered would be great for presentation if you’re serving to a group.
How to Make a Southwestern Vegetarian Salad
It’s so easy to make this plant-based salad – without turning on a stove!
1 – Prep the lettuce: First, wash, chop, and pat dry your romaine or use a salad spinner. Place the prepared greens in a large bowl for mixing.
2 – Combine the veggies: Now, it’s time to add the rest of the salad ingredients! I like to start by slicing the peppers and onion and dicing the tomato. Then, I add these to the lettuce. Next, strain the corn and place it in the bowl. Strain and rinse your beans. Then, pat the beans dry with a paper towel and add them to the mix as well.
3 – Add avocado dressing and combine: Add the creamy avocado salad dressing and mix well to incorporate the dressing with all the ingredients.
How to Serve This Southwest Avocado Salad
Portion your salad equally into salad bowls and top with a handful of crushed corn chips and some extra whole chips on the side. This would also be nice served as part of a dinner alongside some quesadillas or empanadas.
How to Store Leftover Southwestern Salad
Leftover Southwestern salad will last in the fridge for about 2-3 days if stored properly in an airtight container. We never suggest freezing salad.
More Southwest-Inspired Vegan Recipes
When you make this vegan southwest salad, let us know all about it!
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For the Dressing:
For the Salad:
- 2 heads chopped romaine lettuce (approx. 5 cups/240 g/8.5 oz)
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, strained and rinsed
- 1 (15-oz) can yellow corn, drained (1.5 cups)
- 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper (1 1/3 cup/135 g/4.5 oz)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion (100 g/3.5 oz)
- 1 large tomato, diced (1 heaping cup)
- Wash, chop, and pat dry your romaine or use a salad spinner. Then, place the washed lettuce in a large mixing or salad bowl.
- Slice your peppers and onion and dice your tomato. Add these to the bowl with the lettuce.
- Next, strain your corn and place in the bowl.
- Then, strain and rinse your beans. Pat dry in a paper towel and add to the bowl also.
- Now, add the vegan avocado dressing and mix well to incorporate the dressing with all the ingredients.
- Portion equally and top with a handful of crushed corn chips and some extra whole chips on the side. Add the rest of your desired toppings and enjoy!
Storage Notes: Leftover Southwestern salad will last in the fridge for about 2-3 days if stored properly in an airtight container. We never suggest freezing salad.
Serving Size:1/6 the recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 194mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.
Want a quick tutorial? Watch our Easy Vegan Taco Salad Web Story.