Southwestern Chopped Salad


Living in the southwest, I tend to lean towards southwestern flavors when adapting recipes. One thought that is constantly running through my mind is, “how can I make this spicier?” After eating a homemade version of Portillo’s chopped salad not too long ago, it had me thinking of how I could make it more “southwest.” Besides, I have got to do something with the fifty million cans of black beans I have in my pantry.


Now don’t get all bent out of shape you Portillo’s enthusiasts, I love my hometown Chicago favorite just as much as the next gal. I’m not trying to make it BETTER, just different. Let’s be honest, there is no way to make Portillo’s any better. This version is really simple, can be made with any combination of vegetables/beans/onions you have laying around, just don’t forget your California avocados! The dressing is a no brainer. The only thing I’m not sure about is how to store/what to do with the remainder of the ranch and taco seasoning after you open them. More salad I guess……any suggestions?


Southwestern Chopped Salad
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can sweet yellow corn, drained
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
for the dressing
  • 6oz plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon ranch seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • juice from one lime
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl excluding avocado.
  3. When ready to serve, toss with dressing, sprinkle with avocado and serve.



  1. Bonnie says

    I made this over the past weekend for my husband and my son’s family. Everyone loved it. I did add some baked chicken breasts for the meat lovers and this was the meal. Very good and thanks for the recipes. I have enjoyed a lot of them.

  2. says

    You can use the remainder of the taco seasoning and ranch dressing in this recipe:
    Taco Soup
    If you want a fast easy, but hearty meal to serve the troops, try this fantastic soup! It freezes well, so don’t hesitate to make it up ahead and save it for a cool snap.

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes

    1 pound ground beef, browned and drained (or ground turkey)
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    3 cups *Timpone’s Salsa Muy Rica
    1 can whole yellow corn or hominy, undrained
    1 can red or black beans, undrained
    1 package Original Ranch Style Dressing Mix
    1 package taco seasoning (mild or hot, as desired)
    Garnish: grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado slices, black olives, jalapenos

    Brown ground beef or turkey and onions in skillet. Drain. Place ground beef or turkey and onions, *Timpone’s Salsa Muy Rica, corn or hominy, red or black beans, Ranch Dressing Mix, and taco seasoning mix in Dutch oven (or add to skillet if size permits). Simmer 30 minutes or longer, as desired. Serve with garnishes of your choice. Serves 8.

    *Any of Fischer & Wieser’s salsas can be used in this recipe; ground chicken, pork or venison can also be used. Go to to find the Timpone’s Salsa Muy Rica.


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