Zesty Cilantro Lime Dressing For Mexican Salads

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Craving a vibrant, flavorful salad that bursts with Mexican goodness? Look no further! This recipe takes all your favorite south-of-the-border ingredients and combines them into a refreshing, satisfying meal.

But the real star of the show is the homemade dressing. Skip the store-bought bottles loaded with sugar and sodium. This easy-to-make concoction packs a punch of zesty citrus, creamy avocado, and warm spices, perfectly complementing the salad’s diverse textures and tastes.

Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

This guide will walk you through every step, from prepping the ingredients to assembling the perfect Mexican salad bowl. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained if frozen)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving

  • For the Homemade Mexican Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Salad:

  • Wash and chop the romaine lettuce. Arrange it in a large serving bowl.
  • Rinse and drain the black beans. Add them to the bowl with the lettuce.
  • If using fresh corn, remove the kernels from the cob. If using frozen corn, thaw and drain it thoroughly. Add the corn to the bowl.
  • Thinly slice the red bell pepper and red onion. Add them to the salad bowl.
  • Cube the avocado and add it to the bowl.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the salad.
  • Crumble the queso fresco or cotija cheese and sprinkle it over the salad.
  • Set the salad aside for now.

  • 2. Make the Mexican Salad Dressing:

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. You can add more lime juice for tang, a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra heat, or a touch of honey for a hint of sweetness.

  • 3. Assemble and Serve:

  • Just before serving, toss the salad greens with the desired amount of dressing.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, if using.
  • Serve immediately with lime wedges for squeezing extra citrusy goodness over the salad.

  • Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

    (Note: This is an approximate estimation and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.)

    Calories: 450

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 350mg (depending on cheese and dressing variations)
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 15g

  • Conclusion:

    This Mexican salad is a delightful explosion of flavors and textures. The vibrant greens, crunchy vegetables, creamy avocado, and tangy cheese come together beautifully, creating a satisfying and healthy meal. The homemade dressing elevates the experience, adding a touch of zest and warmth that complements every ingredient perfectly. This recipe is easily customizable, so feel free to add your favorite protein source, like grilled chicken or shrimp, or experiment with different vegetables.

    Enjoy this fiesta in a bowl, and don’t forget to share it with loved ones!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use a store-bought salad dressing instead of making my own?