Spicy Southwest Salad | The Best Spicy Southwest Salad (Copycat Chick-Fil-A Recipe)

A spicy southwest salad in a white bowl. Behind the salad bowl is a glass jar of creamy salsa dressing, small white bowl of, tomatoes, and a small white bowl of chili lime pepitas in the front.

5 from 38 reviews

This Spicy Southwest Salad is super healthy and each bite is packed with flavor. It tastes like the popular spicy southwest chicken salad from Chick-Fil-A, complete with bold Tex-Mex style chicken, creamy salsa dressing, and fresh ingredients. It's nutritious, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make too!




2 chicken breasts

⅓ cup dill pickle juice

1 tbsp sour cream

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp ancho chili powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp olive oil for cooking


⅓ cup mayonnaise

½ cup hot Jalapeno salsa (or any salsa)

⅓ cup sour cream

Bunch of cilantro leaves (½ loose cup)

2 tbsp lime juice

Pinch of salt and black pepper

½ tsp ancho chili powder

½ tsp garlic powder


2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

2 cups spring mix

½ cup cheddar cheese

½ cup canned black beans, rinsed

½ cup corn, rinsed

½ bell pepper, chopped 

12 grape tomatoes

½ cup tortilla strips

½ cup Chili lime pepitas


  1. Pound the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer a few times. Pour pickle juice over the chicken and marinade for 2-4 hours. 
  2. Mix the spices for the chicken in a bowl. Pat the marinated chicken with paper towels, then spread with sour cream. Cover with spices.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron pan. Cook chicken on medium heat for 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4 minutes on the other side. Place on a plate to cool.
  4. To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. To make the pepitas, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium low heat. Add pepitas and chili powder and mix. Toast 2-3 minutes then remove from heat and add lime juice, sprinkle with salt.
  6. Place all of your salad ingredients in a bowl, top with sliced chicken, and drizzle with creamy salsa dressing.


The scale up function does not change the gram measurements.


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