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Southwest Chicken Salad

There are so many ways to make chicken salad-the key is using flavors that work well together and compliment the chicken. This version has a southwest flare with avocado and cilantro blended in with a cumin and lime dressing. This is a cool, light salad that is perfect for summer time and a great way to use up that leftover chicken.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Dish, Salad
Keyword: NA
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 6 cups chicken breast meat see Notes
  • ½ medium red onion chopped
  • 3 avocados chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup Celery chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno optional


  • 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • Ground black pepper and Kosher salt to taste

Here's What You Do

  • In a large stock pot, season 10 cups of water with a couple of tablespoons of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and ground cumin.
  • Bring to a boil, add boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Return to a boil and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • While that is boiling, chop the red onion, cilantro, celery and avocado. Chop the basil and set aside.
  • Remove chicken breast from the pot and set aside to cool.
  • Once cooled, shred the chicken breasts and place in a bowl.
  • Add the chopped onions, celery, avocado and cilantro and mix well, careful not to smash the avocado too much.

To make the dressing

  • Place the mayo in a bowl and squeeze the lime on top.
  • Add the ground cumin and the basil and ground pepper.
  • Mix everything together very well and taste.
  • Add salt if needed.

Mix It All Together and Serve

  • Mix the dressing into the shredded chicken, starting with about half.
  • Mix well and add more dressing until it is the consistency that you desire.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce with a lime wedge and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.


This is an excellent way to use leftover chicken. Just remove the skin and pull the meat off the bone. Using BBQ’d, fried or roasted chicken will add an interesting flavor dimension. Using some dark meat is fine and a personal preference. Be cautious adding additional salt, as the chicken will likely be salted from its previous use. Of course, if you use leftovers you can skip steps 1 - 3!
I prefer to prepare this with shredded chicken, however if you would prefer to chop or dice the chicken, that is perfectly fine.
If you don't have fresh basil, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried basil.
Want to spice it up a bit? Remove the seeds and membrane from a jalapeno, dice it up and toss it in!

This recipe came from First...You Have a Beer (www.firstyouhaveabeer.com). If you like it, please leave a 5 star rating and a comment on the site and, most importantly, SHARE it with your friends.