This Quick Southwest Salad isn’t your mom’s Cowboy Caviar. This is a zingy, fresh salad that can act as a taco topping, a chip dip or an entree salad, with or without protein on top. Most important of all, this salad can be prepared and completed with lightning-fast speed (under 10 minutes) thanks to the prepared beans and corn. You are also free to add avocado for healthy fats and more nourishment, but avocados are not my thing, except in guacamole. Yum!
Alright, let’s dig into the details.
For this Quick Southwest Salad, You Will Need:
3 Bell Peppers (the colors are up to you, but orange, red and yellow are festive!)
1 Bunch of fresh Cilantro
½ Red Onion, chopped
1 Can of Black Beans, drained
1 whole jalapeno, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
1 package of frozen Fire Roasted corn kernels, heated through
1 cup Cotija cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Prepare the Ingredients
Wash all of the produce. Chop the bell peppers into 1 inch pieces, and dice the red onion. Drain the beans and heat the corn. I personally love this fire-roasted corn from the 365 Brand at Whole Foods, but any canned kernel corn will work just fine. Feel free to chop as much jalapeno as you like. We like it spicy, but we left out the ribs and the seeds from this particular recipe. I really wanted to focus on the flavor of the jalapeno, as opposed to letting the heat overpower the dish.
Assemble the Salad
Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I layered the three chopped bell peppers and the red onion first. Look how pretty that is to look at!
I continued to add the remaining corn and black beans on top. Squeeze a generous amount of lime juice for flavor and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Finish with the chopped leaves from a whole bunch of cilantro, and the cotija cheese. I like the texture of cotija. It is kind of crumbly and dry like grated parmesan cheese, and has a great salty flavor. You can also use Oaxaca cheese, if you like. I was able to find Cotija easily at Whole Foods, but check out your local specialty market if you’re having trouble finding some. I think it makes a big difference and adds interest to the flavor of this salad.
Serve on its own with some protein for a complete salad meal. You can also add this as a topping on tacos or burritos, or use it as a chip dip. Whatever suits your fancy. We went through this pretty quickly because it was so good! This salad is so refreshing on a warm Summer day.
Quick Southwest Salad
- 3 Bell Peppers any color, chopped into one-inch pieces
- 1/2 Red Onion diced
- 1 Can Black Beans drained
- 1 Bag Frozen Kernel Corn heated
- 1 Jalapeno diced
- 1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro leaves roughly chopped
- 2 Limes juiced
- 1 Cup Cotija Cheese
- Salt to taste
- Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
- Wash all the produce. Chop the bell peppers into one-inch pieces. Dice the red onion, and chop the cilantro leaves.
- Drain the black beans. Follow the directions on the package of frozen corn to heat through, or drain a can of corn kernels.
- Combine the bell peppers and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add in the black beans and the corn.
- Add he juice of two limes to the mixture. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish the salad with the chopped cilantro and the Cotija cheese.
- Toss the salad together to mix and serve. Tastes best when served chilled.
How will you serve this zingy Southwest Salad?
Let me know what you think in the comments section, and check out my Greek-Inspired Salad recipe here.