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Southwest Salad with Cilantro Honey Lime Dressing

Southwest Salad is the perfect salad for any occasion. Filled with lettuce, black beans, cheese, veggies and topped with a fresh cilantro honey lime dressing. 

Course Dinner, main, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Cilantro Dressing, Southwest Salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 as a main dish
Author A Bountiful Kitchen



  • 1 1/2 large heads Romain lettuce (about 15-18 cups) washed and dried
  • 1 small bag frozen corn white or yellow, or fresh, 3-4 large cooked and cut off cob
  • 1 can black beans washed and drained
  • 2 avocados chopped (not too soft) choose avocados that are fairly firm
  • 1 bunch green onions sliced
  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes chopped, or about 3 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Pepper Jack Cheese grated
  • 1 1/2 cups Colby cheese grated


  • 1 cup cilantro rinsed, remove stems
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4-6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • lime zest from one lime
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

For Salad:

  • Chop lettuce into bite size pieces. Place lettuce in large serving bowl.

If not using immediately, layer in the following order:

  • Lettuce
  • black beans
  • corn
  • peppers
  • green onion
  • avocado
  • tomatoes
  • grated cheeses


  1. For Dressing: Chop cilantro. Whisk together in bowl rest of ingredients, add fresh cilantro. Add more lime, honey or cayenne to taste.
  2. Toss salad with dressing just before serving, or serve dressing on the side of salad. If serving on side, double dressing.

Recipe Notes

  • Use Romaine full heads, not Romaine hearts (Costco) You will be happier with the dark green color.
  • Important to drain veggies well and spin salad until dry. If you take the time to do this, the salad will last for up to three days if not tossed with dressing.
  • Layering in the order given will insure that the cheese won't get soggy, and the avocados will stay fresh(er) with the tomatoes layered on top. Romas, or grape tomatoes are best for this salad.
  • I like the look when hand chopping part of the Cilantro for the salad. You can throw all of the ingredients into a blender or use an immersion blender to make the dressing, then chop a few tablespoons by hand to get the larger leaf look in the dressing.
  • If you want more of a Taco-style salad, add some chopped cooked chicken and tortilla or corn chips.
  • If you want to make this a main dish salad, cook chicken breast halves, cool and chop when completely cooled. Add to salad with  veggies.