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This chopped Mexican salad is the best easy side dish for tacos and enchiladas! It’s topped with savory cilantro lime dressing and crunchy tortilla strips.

Mexican salad
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Ever wonder what to serve with tacos and enchiladas? Alex and I serve Mexican-style dinners quite a bit. We’d never found a side salad that we loved: until this one! This Mexican style salad is a chopped salad with Latin-style flavors: colorful veggies, cilantro lime salad dressing, and tortilla strips. It all combines into a super-flavorful dish that can be served as a side, or dressed up to work as a healthy main dish salad. It’s got 3 dressings to choose from, based on your tastes (easiest, easy and vegan).

Ingredients in this Mexican salad

This Mexican inspired salad is an easy side dish that uses flavors like cilantro, lime, and crunchy tortilla strips to bring in flavors that work with meals like tacos and enchiladas. It’s not an authentic Mexican salad, but more of a green salad that’s inspired by the flavors of Mexican cuisine. If you’d like, you can even serve it as a main dish salad with adders (see below). Here’s what’s in the base of this chopped Mexican salad:

  • Greens: The best is crunchy romaine! If you’d like, add some mixed baby greens for a contrast.
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced red onions
  • Radishes
  • Corn
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted if possible)
  • Cilantro lime dressing (3 options)
Mexican salad

Dress it up: easy add-ons!

You can also dress up this Mexican salad by adding other veggies, beans or cheese. Here’s what we’ve recommended as add-on veggies: and of course, you can choose other favorites! (What would you add? Let us know in the comments.)

  • Crispy Tortilla Strips: highly recommended, these add just the right crispy crunch and Mexican-style corn flavor. If you don’t have time, you can skip!
  • Crumbled feta or cotija cheese
  • Chopped avocado
  • Drained and rinsed back beans (salt them to taste before serving)
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Pickled jalapeños
Tortilla strips
Tortilla strips aren’t required, but they add the perfect crunch!

Pick 3! Mexican style salad dressing options

There are not one, not two, but three choices for Mexican salad dressing for this salad! Here’s a breakdown and why we like each one:

  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing: Our favorite! The creamy, savory dressing is made with cilantro, lime, and Greek yogurt and you’ll want to put it on everything.
  • Cilantro Lime Dressing: Pick the vinaigrette version in this post, and it’s a vegan / plant-based option that incorporates the classic combo of cilantro + lime.
  • Chipotle Ranch Dressing The simplest option! This one is just 5 minutes. Perfect for when you’re in a rush.
Creamy cilantro dressing
Creamy cilantro dressing is a favorite

Serving it as a side salad

This Mexican salad we created to be a side salad you can use with a Mexican or Latin-style meal. It’s great with tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos: you name it! Here are some of our favorite dishes to pair it with:

Mexican salad

Or, serve as a main dish salad!

The other way to serve this Mexican salad is as a main dish salad! You could easily serve this one as a main dish salad by adding a protein to keep it heartier and more filling.

  • Shrimp. Adding Garlic Shrimp (use lime) or Cilantro Lime Shrimp brings lots of protein and keeps the calories low.
  • Black beans and avocado. For a vegan and plant-based main dish salad, add black beans and avocado.
  • Sweet potatoes. These roasted sweet potatoes add fiber and help to make it satiating.
  • Feta or cotija cheese. Cheese crumbles add protein and make it more filling.

This Mexican salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Mexican salad

Mexican Chopped Salad

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This chopped Mexican salad is the best easy side dish for tacos and enchiladas! It’s topped with savory cilantro lime dressing and crunchy tortilla strips.




  1. If using, make the Crispy Tortilla Strips. Or, make them the day before and store in a sealed container in the pantry until serving.
  2. Make the dressing: Cilantro Lime DressingCreamy Cilantro Dressing (pictured), Chipotle Ranch, or Taco Salad Dressing (fastest!)
  3. Chop the vegetables: Chop the romaine. Thinly slice the red onion (follow the instructions at 1:30 of this video). Slice tomatoes in half. Thinly slice the radishes. Defrost the corn. Prepare any other add-on veggies as appropriate. Add a sprinkle of salt on the tomatoes, radishes, and corn to lightly season them.
  4. Serve: Place the greens on the plate and top with the vegetables (and tortilla strips, if using). Top with the dressing and serve. If making in advance, refrigerate the components separately; bring the dressing to room temperature before serving.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Mexican

More best salad recipes

This Mexican salad is one of our best salad recipes for all different cuisines and occasions! Here are a few that top the list:

  • The BEST Kale Salad The BEST way to eat kale! A dressing of lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese transforms kale into tangy goodness.
  • Arugula Salad This easy arugula salad is fool-proof: you don’t even need to make dressing. It comes together in minutes!
  • Best Tossed Salad A customizable salad with lots of dressing options and crunchy homemade croutons!
  • Favorite Chopped Salad This chopped salad is always a hit; it will amaze everyone around the table!
  • Fennel Orange Salad This refreshing salad pairs juicy orange and the subtle licorice essence of fennel with a citrus vinaigrette.
  • Simple Citrus Salad This refreshingly simple citrus salad features grapefruit and oranges topped with a tangy vinaigrette and fresh mint.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Ann Robinson says:

    I was asked to bring an Italian salad to a meeting. Yours is the best. I got so many compliments on it, I was asked to bring it again. I followed the recipe exactly even making the dressing and croissants. Thanks,Ann

  2. Danielle Morgan says:

    I just copied a bunch of your salad recipes- they look delicious, I am a prep cook at work and make various salads for my employees. Thank you so much!

  3. Anonymous says:

    What equipments did you use?

  4. Kathie Hibbard says:

    Hi, your recipes look tasty. You list a creamy cilantro dressing but I’m not able to access the recipe. Can you help me please?