Enjoy this fresh Vegan Southwest Salad made with crisp veggies, crunchy tortilla strips, and a creamy salsa ranch dressing. It’s a nutrient dense lunch or dinner option perfect for hot summer days!
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Craving something fresh and healthy? This delicious vegan southwest salad recipe is one of my favorites! It’s a perfect summer time meal, especially when sweet corn is in season, but I can eat it any time.
I top it with a southwest salad dressing made of my Vegan Ranch Dressing mixed with a bit of prepared salsa. It’s a creamy dressing that can be as mild or spicy as you like, depending on which salsa you choose. You can even make this dressing ahead and keep it in the refrigerator.
I enjoy this as a dinner salad, but it can be shared as a side salad. Make a larger amount of this salad and bring it to a summer BBQ or potluck. It will be a hit!
With the black beans, fresh crisp vegetables, corn, tomatoes, and dressing, it’s a perfect combination of sweet, acidic, and spicy flavors. And it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and 100% vegan using whole food plant based ingredients.
Southwest Salad Ingredients
- Romaine lettuce – other salad greens can be used, but I like the crispiness of chopped Romaine.
- Black beans – canned or home cooked are fine. My Instant Pot Black Beans would be delicious in this salad. The beans can be served at room temperature or warm.
- Sweet corn – fresh corn is wonderful, but canned or frozen corn are just fine.
- Tomatoes – I love the sweetness of grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, but any tomatoes will will be great in this salad.
- Red onion – adds a spicy bit as well as a bit of color to the salad.
- Green onion – a little more mild onion flavor.
- Avocado – optional, but delicious. If you’re watching your fat intake, leave it out.
- Corn tortilla – cut into strips and baked for some pleasant crunchiness.
- Vegan Ranch Dressing – this is a tofu and cashew based dressing and can be made ahead of time.
- Salsa – choose you favorite prepared salsa, as mild or hot as you like.
Optional Ingredients and Variations
- For the lettuce, you can substitute red or green leaf lettuce, mixed greens, or iceberg. You can even mix in some cabbage or kale.
- Black beans can be substituted with pinto beans or kidney beans of you prefer.
- Roasted corn adds a nice depth of flavor to the recipe.
- Jalapenos, bell peppers, zucchini, grilled vegetables, and fresh cilantro are delicious vegetable additions.
- Instead of or in addition to the beans, add a bit of my Lentil Walnut Taco Meat.
- Sprinkle with a bit of my Vegan Cheddar Cheese or my Vegan Pepper Jack Cheese.
- Instead of the tortilla strips use some crumbled tortilla chips.
- Instead of the salsa ranch dressing, top the salad with the dressing of your choice.
How to make this southwest salad
Mix together the ranch dressing and salsa and place in the refrigerator while you’re assembling the salad.
Make the tortilla strips by cutting a tortilla into quarter inch strips. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350° F for 7 or so minutes until they are light brown and crispy. Watch them carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Some of them will brown more quickly than others, so remove the brown ones and return the others to the oven until they are done.
Wash and chop the Romaine lettuce. If you want a southwest chopped salad, chop the lettuce finely. Or chop it more coarsely, if you prefer.
Place the lettuce in a medium sized bowl. Prep the remaining ingredients, add them to the bowl, and top with the salsa ranch dressing. Add the crushed tortilla chips or strips for some pleasant crunch.
- Pair this southwest chopped salad with a bowl of my Vegan Black Bean Soup.
- Serve the salad with my Quinoa and Black Bean Enchiladas or my Soy Curl Fajitas.
- Add a side of Instant Pot Mexican Rice or a Vegan Corn Muffin.
Frequently asked questions:
This southwest chopped salad can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Wait until serving to add the dressing and the tortilla strips.
Yes! All the ingredients in this salad are naturally gluten free!
More vegan salad recipes:
- Vegan Taco Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- Potato Salad
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Vegan Coleslaw
- Mexican Coleslaw
- Vegan Wedge Salad
Explore our Quick & Easy Cookbook
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Southwest Salad with Vegan Salsa Ranch Dressing
- 3 tablespoons Vegan Ranch Dressing
- 1 tablespoon prepared salsa
- 1 corn tortilla
- 3 cups chopped lettuce
- ½ cup black beans
- ½ cup corn
- ½ cup diced tomato
- ¼ cup red onion sliced or diced
- 1 green onion sliced
- ⅛ avocado sliced or diced (optional)
- Make the salsa ranch dressing by stirring the salsa into the ranch dressing.
- Cut the corn tortilla into thin strips. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350° F for approximately 7 or 8 minutes, until they are light brown and crispy.
- While the tortilla strips are baking, prepare your salad. Begin by placing the chopped Romaine lettuce in a bowl.
- Top with black beans, green onions, corn, diced tomato, red onion, and avocado. Pour dressing over the salad and combine. Top with the baked tortilla strips.