Easy Mexican Salad

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

Ever wonder what to serve with tacos and enchiladas? Us too. Alex and I serve Mexican-style meals quite a bit. And we’d never found a side salad that we loved: until this one! This Mexican 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).

What’s in this Mexican salad?

With this Mexican salad, we tried to keep it seriously simple as an easy side dish. At the same time, you can dress it up to customize it to your tastes and the occasion! 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 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.
  • Lime Vinaigrette: The simplest option! This one is just 5 ingredients and takes 5 minutes. Perfect for when you’re in a rush.
Creamy cilantro dressing
Creamy cilantro dressing is a favorite

Serve 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, quesadillas, nachos, sopes: you name it! Here are some of our favorite dishes to pair it with:

Mexican salad

Serve as a main dish Mexican 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.

Print
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Mexican salad

Easy Mexican Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)

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

Description

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.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  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), or Lime Vinaigrette (simplest).
  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

Keywords: Mexican salad

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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.
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  • 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!
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  • Simple Citrus Salad This refreshingly simple citrus salad features grapefruit and oranges topped with a tangy vinaigrette and fresh mint.
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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