One of the best things I’ve done in recent years is have a homemade salad dressing in my fridge at all times. From gingery White Balsamic Vinaigrette to my All-Star Vegan Salad Dressing, and now this easy Southwest Salad Dressing.
I associate Southwest salads with my teenage and college years, frequenting Applebee’s or Chili’s and usually picking the Southwest Chicken Salad, solely because I loved the smoky, creamy dressing paired with crisp iceberg lettuce and crunchy tortilla chips, black beans, and cheddar cheese. Basic; yes. But so good! And I still crave it.
My homemade version is a breeze to make in less than 10 minutes and is full of smoky, citrusy flavor from smoked paprika, canned chiles in adobo, and lime juice. It’s cool and creamy, using a blend of sour cream and mayonnaise for richness. Besides being my favorite dressing for a southwest inspired salad with avocado, corn, and tomatoes, it is the best addition to Sheetpan Chicken Fajitas!
This creamy, smoky dressing is fabulous on a traditional southwest style salad with fresh greens, avocado, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. Add a few tortilla chips for crunch! You could also take the base of this Ultimate Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, and swap the caesar dressing for the southwest!
Other dishes I love to use this dressing on: