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Mexican Salad Recipe

Mexican Salad Recipe [video]

Mexican Salad is a great addition to your summer menu with its rich combination of flavors from Mexican staples – beans, avocados, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and spices! Watch the recipe video tutorial below and see how easy this is!

Salads are great and healthy side dishes to serve with pretty much any meal. You can take this dish to the beach or barbecue parties this summer along with our other refreshing summer favorites like the grape salad, cold summer soup, and avocado lime smoothie.

Chopped Mexican Salad with Cilantro

This Mexican Chopped Salad recipe is a simple and healthy addition to pretty much any meal. I love using it as a side with tacos, chicken enchiladas, grilled chicken, and shrimp.

I like using fresh and healthy ingredients here. Also, the dressing is light and is made with fresh lime juice, honey, olive oil, and seasoning. When combined together they make for a perfect and energetic side dish!

What makes this dish ultra special is the richness of Mexican flavors balanced in one easy recipe. Also, you get all sorts of textures and flavors from the vegetables and spices all tied together nicely by the tangy lime dressing.

If you don’t like any of the spices in this recipe, feel free to omit them as this is a highly versatile dish. We will teach you how to prepare the dressing so you won’t have to purchase commercially available ones. This makes this side dish healthier overall aside from the generous portions of healthy greens and fruits.

Salad Ingredients: 

  • Greenes: chopped romaine lettuce and fresh cilantro
  • Veggies: cherry tomatoes, red onion, sweet corn, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, black olives, 
  • Red or black beans
  • Cotija cheese: this adds that authentic taste to it

Cilantro lime dressing ingredients:

  • Freshly squeezed lime juice and lime zest
  • Olive oil
  • Red or white wine vinegar
  • Honey
  • Seasoning: chili powder, sea salt, black pepper, cumin. 

How to make Mexican Chopped Salad from scratch?

  1. Prepare and chop the ingredients: Start by washing and chopping the ingredients for the salad, then. Then, toss them all in a large salad bowl leaving out the cheese at first.
  2. Combined: Whisk together the ingredients for the lime dressing in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the dressing: Once combined, drizzle over the salad and toss some more. Top it with the cotija cheese. Then, cover and chill the salad in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe Variations:

  • Grilled Corn: Although sweet corn is great in this dish, you can easily substitute it with grilled corn instead. Also, you even use fresh or frozen corn if desired. 
  • Add proteins: Feel free to add some grilled shrimp, grilled chicken breasts, pork carnitas, or beef. 
  • Turn it into a Taco Salad
  • Tortilla chips: For a crunchier texture, top it with some tortilla chips. 
  • Cheese: The classical version calls for cotija cheese but you can easily substitute it with feta cheese. 
  • Spicy: For a spicier version chop in some fresh jalapeno peppers, or add some chili powder. 
  • Other veggies: You can easily mix in your favorite veggies, such as sweet peppers, zucchini, jicama, etc. 

What is a Mexican salad?

It incorporates the staple ingredients of Mexican cuisine including beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocados in a bed of Romaine leaves and cucumber. It has a complicated taste brought about by cilantro, red onion, bell pepper, and black olives.

Topped with cotija cheese, this dish has all the flavors you are looking for. In addition, the lime dressing goes really well with the cilantro, too.

Is Mexican salad healthy?

Being a salad that is loaded with vegetables, this Mexican salad recipe is healthy. Also, you get fiber from the greens and corn, protein from the beans, vitamins from the tomatoes, and the list goes on!

Though avocados could have high calories and a substantial amount of fat, what you get from them is a “good fat” which could actually help in managing cholesterol levels. 

And, this easy recipe has a light and tangy lime dressing, not a thick ranch dressing. This makes this recipe healthier.

What are the health benefits of black beans?

Aside from red beans which we used in this recipe, we can also substitute or simply add black beans. This kind of beans has high levels of fiber and protein, as well as minerals and nutrients.

Also, it has anti-cancer properties and can be eaten as part of a healthy diet regimen as it has a lot of starch that satiates hunger.

How long can this salad sit out?

Salads are highly perishable because of the use of fresh fruits and vegetables and so, let them sit out for no more than two hours. Refrigerate the leftovers if there are any.

What do you serve this salad with?

  • This goes well with any Mexican entries, such as tacos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, etc. 
  • It is also delicious with grilled chicken, shrimp, seafood, pork, or beef. 
  • Alternatively, you can serve it with tortilla chips or tostada shells for some added crunch.
  • Enjoy it as a side dish with burgers. 

How do you refrigerate it?

  • Dressing: Refrigerate the dressing separately from the salad. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. 
  • Salad ingredients: Can be chopped and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, just toss them together and serve. Consume within one day. 

Can you make it in advance?

Yes! Just follow the abovementioned storage requirements. This is best served cold anyway, so, it can stay in the fridge for this. You can make a batch the night before for your summer getaway the next day!

More Mexican food recipes:

Recipe Tips:

  • Try to chop all the veggies evenly. It looks more festive and you get the same sensation in every bite!
  • Also, if you want to add more proteins, then toss in some grilled chicken, beef, or shrimp.
  • If you are not a fan of the red onion, mellow its taste by soaking it in cold water for about 15 minutes.
  • In addition, in place of cilantro, you can use parsley but with lemon dressing, not lime.
  • For a spicier kick, add some chopped jalapeno to it.
  • From time to time, I like garnishing it with some bacon crumbs. This adds some crunch to it, and plenty of flavors!

Best Mexican Salad

  • Prep Time15 MIN
  • Cook Time
  • Servings 6 servings


  • 1 large head Romaine Lettuce rinsed, chopped, and dried
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 English cucumber sliced
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 15.25 oz can red beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.25 oz can sweet corn drained
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives cut in half
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese or feta cheese

Lime Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground


Make the dressing:

  • First, combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, stir to combine and set aside.

Assemble the salad:

  • Chop the salad ingredients and combine them in a separate bowl, except for the cheese.
  • Then, add the dressing and toss to combine.
  • Garnish with cotija cheese on top and serve.

Nutrition Facts

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This was sooooo good. My husband is not a salad person and he asked for this recipe!

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe! thanks for the feedback!



The best salad I made so far. It is authentic, easy to make and quite satisfying. We served it yesterday with some bbq at the pool, and it was perfect! Thanks for sharing!

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Thank you!

It is great recipe.

Charles Suggs

Charles Suggs

A good substitute for Cojita cheese would be Feta cheese. Feta is salty so taste as you go along.

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