Mexican Salad is a colorful and flavorful salad typically made with lettuce, corn, beans along with onions, tomatoes & bell peppers. The ingredients are generally tossed in a tangy lemon or lime dressing.
This healthy and versatile salad is steeped in the rich traditions of Mexican cuisine, and is often served as a side with Mexican meals or eaten on its own. It also forms a topping for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.
Overall, this dish is a great healthy option to satisfy your cravings for something spicy, aromatic and crunchy. This is a vegan, gluten free, low carb and low-fat snack, while containing a decent amount of proteins, minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
Main ingredients for Mexican Salad
The following are the main ingredients typically added to a Mexican Salad :
- Lettuce – Fresh, crisp romaine lettuce chopped into bite size pieces, forms the base of this salad. You can use cabbage instead of or in addition to lettuce. You can also add other greens like spinach, arugula etc.
- Beans – Boiled beans like red kidney beans, or black beans are an essential ingredient of this salad. You can cook the beans at home, or use canned ones. You can add boiled or canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) to this salad as well.
- Corn Kernels – You can add boiled or roasted corn kernels to the salad. I personally prefer adding roasted ones, as they add a slightly smoky flavor to the salad. You can roast corn on fire and remove the kernels, or roast frozen corn kernels in a pan or oven.
- Onions – Finely chopped onions add a sharp flavor to the salad.
- Tomatoes – Ripe juicy tomatoes bring freshness and color to the salad, and impart it a slightly sweet and tangy flavor.
- Bell Peppers – Finely chopped bell peppers add crispness and bite. I prefer using colored bell peppers if available at home to make the salad more colorful.
- Tortilla Strips – Add some tortilla strips at the end to give a nice crispiness and crunch to the salad.
In addition to the above mentioned ingredients, you can also add diced avocados, paneer slices, jalapenos, sliced radish or grated cheese to this salad. Fresh fruits like apple, banana, grapes, pomegranate etc. can also be added to make it more flavorful.
Dressing for Mexican Salad
The dressing for this salad is quite simple to make and used very basic ingredients :
- Olive Oil – Extra Virgin Olive oil forms the base of the dressing for this salad.
- Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice imparts tanginess and acidity. You can use lemon juice instead as well.
- Honey – Honey adds some sweetness and balances the flavor of the salad. You can also use maple syrup or sugar instead.
- Garlic – Minced garlic adds a sharp flavor the salad. I like to let the minced garlic soak in the lemon oil dressing for a few mins before adding to the salad to reduce the pungent flavor.
- Coriander Leaves – Freshly chopped coriander leaves add a freshness and enhance the flavor of the salad.
- Oregano – Dried crushed oregano adds the characteristic flavor of the Mexican salad, and should not be skipped. You can also add mixed Italian herbs.
- Roasted Cumin Powder – This is optional to add, but I really love the earthy flavor that roasted cumin adds to this salad.
- Chilli Flakes – I like adding dried red chilli flakes for heat. You can adjust the quantity of this as per your preference. You can add paprika or red chilli powder, or black pepper powder instead as well.
There are many variations that can be done to the dressing. Some people like to add vinegar, sour cream or guacamole to the dressing. You can also add some tangy tomato salsa or tomato ketchup to the dressing.
A healthy & nutritious salad
Mexican salad generally has a good nutrition value, though it can vary slightly in nutritional content, depending on the ingredients and preparation method used for making the salad.
This commonly used ingredients of this salad contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and potassium. Additionally, beans are a good source of protein. You can further amp up the protein content of the dish by adding some paneer.
However, some variations of Mexican salads can also be bit high in fat, sodium, and calories if you opt for cheese and high-fat dressings. To make a healthy Mexican salad, use lean protein sources and limit the use of high-fat dressings or toppings.
Mexican salads can be a great option for diabetic people as they include a variety of fresh vegetables and lean proteins. As with any other food, you should keep a watch on portion sizes and limit added sugars and high-calorie dressings.
Serving & Storage Suggestions
This salad is best served fresh after tossing together all the ingredients. The lettuce and other veggies start to lose their crunch and start to leave water if they are kept mixed with the dressing for a long time. Also the tortilla chips should be added right at the end, before you serve the salad.
To store for later, place the Mexican salad in an airtight storage container for up to 3-4 days. If possible, store your dressing separately in a different container and your tortilla chips at room temperature.
To make Mexican Salad at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.
See more related recipes like:
- Masala Corn
- Mango Salsa
- Kachumber Salad
- Vegetarian Caesar Salad
- Russian Salad
- Watermelon Feta Salad
- Vegetable Slaw
Mexican Salad Recipe
Ingredients For Mexican Salad Recipe
For the dressing
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Red Chili Flakes
- 1 Teaspoon Roasted Cumin Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
For the salad
- 1 Head Romaine Lettuce
- 1 Cup cooked Red Kidney Beans
- 1 Cup Sweet Corn Kernels
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Peppers
- 1/4 Cup Corn Tortilla Strips
Step By Step Instructions for Mexican Salad Recipe
To make the dressing
- Combine olive oil, minced garlic and finely chopped coriander in a bowl.3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 3 Cloves of Garlic, 1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves
- Add dried oregano, chilli flakes, roasted cumin powder, salt to the bowl.2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano, 1 Teaspoon Dried Red Chili Flakes, 1 Teaspoon Roasted Cumin Powder, 1 Teaspoon Salt
- Then add lemon juice and honey to the bowl as well.2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, 2 Tablespoons Honey
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and set it aside.
To make the salad
- Roast some boiled corn kernels in a pan for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chopped romaine lettuce in a large mixing bowl.1 Head Romaine Lettuce
- Also add red kidney beans and the roasted corn to the lettuce.1 Cup cooked Red Kidney Beans, 1 Cup Sweet Corn Kernels
- Then add chopped onions, tomatoes and bell peppers to the bowl.1/2 Cup Chopped Onions, 1/2 Cup Chopped Tomatoes, 1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Peppers
- Then add the dressing prepared earlier to the salad.
- Toss the ingredients together to combine them with the dressing.
- Add corn tortilla strips to the salad.1/4 Cup Corn Tortilla Strips
- Toss together and serve the salad immediately.
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