Last week it was *almost* summer-like in Seattle, ok – maybe not! But it was clear & sunny, and that was enough to put us in the mood for a dinner that we normally do weekly during the summer months. Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad – which is so good and so easy too! I thought I would do a blog post about it because I haven’t found too many recipes like it, or they are way more complicated than the one that we have come up with over time. I have to admit, my original inspiration came from Cactus Restaurant in Kirkland – they have a Spiced Caesar that is really good, and I was craving it one night – so I started experimenting and voilà, here is my version of a Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad.
Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad
Ingredients (serves 4+)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can substitute a rotisserie chicken for quick version, see below)
2 T olive oil
1 T. lime juice
1 T. cumin
2 t. chili powder
1 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 Knorr’s Chipotle Cube (available by the box, in the Hispanic foods aisle of most grocery stores)
1/2 c. Cardini’s Classic Caesar Dressing
1/4 c. Newman’s Own Caesar Dressing (vinaigrette version)
4 c. Romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
3/4 c. sweet corn (if using frozen corn, defrost to room temp)
3/4 c. black beans (if using can, drain and rinse with water)
1/2 c. roma tomato (seeded and diced)
1/4 c. cilantro (fresh, chopped)
1/2 c. monterey jack cheese, shredded, plus more to sprinkle on top (or cojita cheese crumbled)
1/2 c. croutons, homemade if you have them! (or tortilla strips)
If you want a quick after-work version, you can just pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, skin and bone it, then shred the breast meat and you are ready to jump to step 3.
- Pound the chicken breasts so that they are even thickness, approximately 1/2″ thick, trim any fat and pat dry with paper towel and place in a shallow dish. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt & pepper – and pour over the chicken. Let marinate, until ready to cook – approximately 30 mins-1hr.
- Turn on grill to medium-high heat, place chicken on the grill and grill until cooked through, approximately 7-minutes per side, pierce with a knife and ensure juices run clear if you are unsure. Remove chicken from the grill and let cool.
- Unwrap the Knorr’s Chipotle Cube, crush it with a knife or spoon and once a powder, place in bowl with both types of Caesar dressing and whisk together. Once completely whisked together, set aside.
- Combine romaine lettuce, corn, beans, tomato (if using), cilantro & cheese in your serving bowl, set aside.
- Take cooled chicken and either cut into strips, or tear into pieces (whichever you prefer) – place on top of the salad, pour salad dressing over the top of the salad and toss.
- Fill each bowl with salad, then sprinkle with remaining cheese and croutons.
Hope you enjoy a little taste of summer!