Mexican Chopped Salad

Mexican Chopped Salad. The freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad with lots of Southwestern flair!

I’m sure I might be a bit unusual, some people might even use the word “odd” (I’m honestly okay with that), but it makes me really happy to come home from the grocery store or market loaded down with all sorts of beautiful, fresh produce. And if I find it for a super duper price, well, let’s just say I’m like a little pig in mud.

I always have fun deciding what to do with my stash of fresh goodies. I’ve been thinking about a Mexican Chopped Salad for a while now, and when I found tiny sweet peppers, red onions, fresh succulent corn and zucchini all on sale this week, I did a little happy dance, knowing it was time to make that south of the border salad happen. I just needed to find one more item; the item that could very likely could win “the ugliest member of the produce aisle” award ………. can you guess? 

One small jicama (pronounced ˈhē-kə-mə) is what I need to complete my salad . Jicama is often used in South American cooking. The plant is native to Mexico and jicama is used commonly there in all kinds of dishes. I love to use it in salsas and salads as it gives a lovely, slightly sweet crunch, and doesn’t loose it’s crispness over time. If you’ve never used it before, don’t be surprised when you finally find it looking like a speckly, brown, misshapen potato. There’s lots of goodness hiding under that humble surface. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, potassium, iron and vitamin C. I would describe the taste and texture as a cross between a Asian pear, a potato and an apple. Pick one up next time you’re at the grocery, you may discover a new friend as jicama is not only wonderful diced in salads, but can also be cut in sticks and eaten with dips like hummus and dips.

Mexican Chopped Salad. The freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad with lots of Southwestern flair!

Back to my Mexican Chopped Salad. It’s the kind of salad I can never get enough of; fresh, vibrantly colored, loaded with flavor. Eating it, makes me feel energetic and healthy. The dressing I created is light and bright, with just a few ingredients; fresh lime juice, honey, a clove of garlic and a splash of oil. A pinch of cumin along with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper finish it off perfectly. I love simple recipes like this.

Mexican Chopped Salad. The freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad with lots of Southwestern flair!

If you like a little crunch in your salad, like we do, be sure to pick up a package of corn tortillas. That’s what you’ll use to make the crispy topping for this wonderful salad. Just slice them up, drizzle with a bit of oil and pop the pan in the oven till they’re gloriously golden brown; a perfect complement.

Mexican Chopped Salad. The freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad with lots of Southwestern flair!

Okay, and one little secret I have to share. See how all the veggies are chopped perfectly to the same size. That’s not me. Nope, if I was doing the chopping, they’d be all random sizes. I have this Vidalia Chop Wizard that I’d have a hard time managing without. When I want to make a pot of soup or a salad with lots of chopped veggies in a hurry, I just pull out this little magic chopper and 1-2-3 I’m done!

Vidalia Veggie Chopper - it's amazing!

If you’re craving fresh and delicious, be sure to add these ingredients to your grocery list. Make this Mexican Chopped Salad and enjoy it for dinner along with some grilled chicken, pork or seafood. Then pack it up for lunch the next day, as it keeps quite well. Just a warning though; all your co-workers will be drooling over your delicious, brightly colored lunch. Enjoy!

Mexican Chopped Salad. The freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad with lots of Southwestern flair!

P.S. Do you love South-of-the-Border cuisine? Be sure to check out our Homemade Flour Tortillas. We’ve gotten over 500 comments from cooks all over the world who have fallen in love with these easy tortillas!

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Mexican Chopped Salad
 
The freshest, healthiest, most summery salad. It's loaded with fabulous Southwestern flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern
Serves: 6-8 as a side
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the dressing:
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • taste and add salt if needed
  • Ingredients for the tortilla strips:
  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Ingredients for the salad:
  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce , chopped in approximately ½ inch pieces
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced in ¼-inch pieces**, I used small orange-hued peppers (the mini ones). Feel free to use whichever color you want.
  • ½ medium red onion, diced in ¼-inch pieces**
  • ½ medium jicama, peeled and diced in ¼-inch pieces**
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced in ¼-inch dice**
  • 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced into ¼-inch dice**
  • 4 ears corn (if fresh corn is not in season, substitute 1½ cups of sweet, tiny frozen corn)
  • 1½ cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro, plus whole cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. For the dressing, combine lime juice, honey, cumin garlic and salt. Stir to combine. In a slow, steady stream, add the oils, stirring continuously with a fork or small whisk. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.
  2. For the corn tortilla strips, preheat oven to 400˚F. Stack corn tortillas on a cutting board. Cut in half. Cut each stack of halves into thin strips, crosswise, about ¼ inch thick.
  3. Transfer tortilla strips to a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, or until light golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.
  5. For the salad, place corn, two ears at a time, in the microwave and cook for 3½ minutes. Remove from microwave with a hot pad and allow to cool for 5 minutes. After cooling, cut bottom end of corn off, about 1½ inches from end. Pull back husk and silks (almost all of the silk should easily pull away). Cut kernels from husks and set aside.
  6. Combine corn and other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.
  7. Serve with tortilla strips on top or place a bowl on the side and let guests help themselves.
Notes
*This video demonstrates the microwave corn technique. It's really quite amazing. The corn husks and silks just pull away. The corn is clean and just slightly cooked, perfect for salads like this.
** Okay, and one little secret I have to share. I have this Vidalia Chop Wizard that I'd have a hard time managing without. It chops onions, carrots, potatoes, peppers, zucchini, jicama, etc. super fast - and all the pieces are uniform size. When I want to make a pot of soup or a salad with lots of chopped veggies in a hurry, I just pull out this little magic contraption and 1-2-3 I'm done!

Mexican Chopped Salad. The freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad with lots of Southwestern flair!



128 thoughts on “Mexican Chopped Salad”

  • We eat chopped salad often, but made by Dole. They have several tasty combinations that we use. The two of us make a meal from the bag so we usually have it by itself. Great easy meal. Too many ingredients for me in your recipes (I am disabled) but your recipes look good. Just have to improvise a little. I signed up for the email thing so I look forward to that. Karen

    • Thanks for leaving a comment Karen. You just have to do what works best for you and your lifestyle and situation. I know Dole makes some wonderful, healthy salads. Welcome to The Café!

  • Hi – has anyone successfully substituted anything for the jicama in this recipe? I just went to buy one at my local grocery store, and they were all kind of soft and a few had mold on the outside…..didn’t want to take a chance on that!!!!

    • Hi Beth!
      You could make the salad without jicama or you could substitute some diced Asian pear which has a similar crunch. The salad dressing is a bit sweet so I think that would be delicious. You could also use Daikon radish, diced, also a nice crisp crunch.

  • I made this last night, and it was very good. Thank you! I doubled the recipe so I could bring it to another family, and it made a ton. My changes: I used 1/2 the amount of honey because I don’t like sweet dressings, used 1/2 bell peppers and 1/2 shishito peppers from my garden because I didn’t have enough bell peppers, and left out the beans because our other dish included beans. It still was really good. I appreciated learning a new way to cook corn. I thought it could use a little longer in the microwave, but that’s probably because my microwave is ancient… Thanks again!

  • How far in advance do you think I can make this? I am going camping and wanted to make it. Not sure if I should bring everything there and prep there or prep/make ahead. It’s so tasty and I would love to share with others.

  • I was making this early this morning so it would be ready when we got home and missed the part about microwaving the corn and was too tired to make the tortilla strips. Guess what? It was still amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • I made this salad 3 nights ago for my husband and adult son. Both loved it, which surprised me because they really like meat! Making it again tonight. So glad I came across this on Pinterest — it’s a keeper!

  • After a visit to our local farmer’s market I decided to make this along with grilled chicken breasts for Saturday’s dinner. I also visited a local festival and picked up a jar of Alfalfa Honey for the dressing. Can I just say that I wanted to (but eyes were on me, so I didn’t) lick the bowl! The dressing is light, fresh and balanced. The combination of fresh vegetables with the black beans is oddly filling yet light. The flavors meld wonderfully. My mouth was happy, happy, happy!

    Today I had the leftovers for lunch, and they were just as good. Frankly, I was surprised that the lettuce remained crisp, but Romaine is the hardiest lettuce, I think. The flavors had really blended over night. I kept the dressing separate and did not toss with the salad until I was ready to eat.

    THIS is on my weekly menu for the summer – especially while the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and even onions are so fresh and readily available.

    THANK YOU for sharing!

  • I made this for dinner tonight with some simple chicken enchilada, and it was wonderful…light and refreshing and bursting with flavor. We had unexpected company for dinner and everyone raved about it. I can’t wait to take the leftovers for lunch with a little chicken added.

    • So glad you enjoyed it Tari! It is so versatile and, like you said, very refreshing! Scott and I continue to be amazed that it has been pinned over a million times!

  • Tried this for dinner last night. It was good! Husband even liked it, but suggested next time to add a jalapeño for kick. Good call! I subbed ranch beans for the black beans. Also, subbed cucumber for the elusive jicama . Worked!

  • We made this for Superbowl 50. The dressing is divine exactly as written – don’t change a thing. Fresh limes are a must. We couldn’t source Jicama, but it was fine without it. Just a great healthy colorful salad. bon Appetit!

  • This looks supper yummy, but IDK why people called this stuff Mexican, I grew up in Mexico and never knew anyone that ate salads like this….

  • Love this salad! We had a few friends come over for a light supper after Christmas Eve mass this year –super simple, just tamales and this Mexican Chopped Salad. It was perfect — everything could be prepared and ready when we got home. Not only delicious and healthy, also a feast for the eyes. I made it again yesterday to bring to a friends house for dinner. She served a chicken and rice dish, everyone loved the salad and asked for the recipe. Definitely something I will make again and again!

  • Une salade si délicieuse et rafraichissante! Merci. Partager vos recettes ainsi est Un beau cadeau que vous nous faites. Notre veille du Jour de l’an fut santé grâce entre autre à votre salade…On a fini l’année en beauté! Bonne année à vous!

    A salad so delicious and refreshing ! Thank you. Share your recipes and is a gift you made ​​us . Our eve of New Year’s Day was healthy thanks in part to your salad … We ended the year in style ! Happy New Year to you!

  • This salad is fabulous and so delicious, I took it to a soup/salad meeting and I barely brought home a cup (no one ever wants to take the last) and I will make it again, it is crisp yet hardy, no meat needed and the lime dressing…well let’s just say it is to die for! Thank you, thank you , thank you!

  • just made this tonight! Super yummy. I charred my corn in a skillet , but forgot the bell pepper, but otherwise followed the recipe. I served it with soft tortillas, shredded rotisserie chicken and cheese etc, and my son added the salad to make his into a wrap :).

  • I fixed this salad for dinner tonight and it was amazing! I left out the tortilla chips for my husband and myself since we’re watching our carbs, but put them in the kids’ portion. I even added a little finely chopped jalapeño for some heat, and everyone loved it! It makes a lot for a side dish so I recommend adding the romaine to just what you’re planning to eat that night. We had this alongside barbacoa beef and guacamole and it was the perfect pairing. I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  • Hi Chris, I love that turquoise bowl, Do you know what the brand is? It looks a perfect size for an event I have coming up.

  • Filling fresh phenomenal salad! It looked so good, three days after seeing this recipe I made it for dinner. Its a meal! I think I might add cheese or grilled chicken next time. Thanks for the recipe! 😀

  • I tried this last year (2014). Most delicious mixed vegetable salad I have ever made. Great for pot lucks. People rave about this salad. Great!!! Great!!!!

  • I’ve made this twice since finding it on Pinterest, and it was a hit both times! That dressing – simply amazing!! I’ve enjoyed (and conversely, choked down!) my fair share of salads in my 50+ years on this planet, and this salad one is hands-down at the top of the list. Make this – tonight! – you won’t regret it!

  • I made this about a week ago, so good and fresh! My husband loved it!!! Where did you get the bowl that you have the salad displayed in? Thanks!

  • I made this without the black beans because I was serving it with a dinner with refried beans. I also omitted the lettuce, as I wanted it more like a vegetable serving. I added two diced avocados. 8 of us ate it and everyone loved it! I will definitely be making it again. It would serve 12 the way I did it.

  • Absolutely beautiful! The corn cooked nicely and peeled very easily. This is a good method for a few ears, but not when I have my family over. TOO many mouths! I sorta doubled the dressing, and at first taste the cumin and garlic are not coming through, but maybe with a marinade time the flavor will develop. I didn’t use the jicama because it was brown throughout, sort of like a potato. Thank you for sharing this. I will make this again.

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