This Southwestern Chopped Salad, with two kinds of beans, cubes of cheese, crunchy greens, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette makes an easy weeknight meal.
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Salad for dinner is a year round at-least-once-a-week staple at our house, but I have to admit that I sometimes struggle to keep it interesting. To make salad appealing and substantial enough to be a main course, I feel like there needs to be some protein. In our case this usually comes in the form of chicken or sliced steak, but this chopped salad I made recently reminded me that beans, yes beans, are awesome. Creamy and filling and requiring zero preparation beyond opening a can and rinsing, they are a true gift when it comes to easy weeknight meals.
You can use a variety of cheese. I have mixed cheddar, Monterey jack, colby, brick, and others and they were all great in this. You could definitely add other vegetables that you have on hand , like bell peppers, onions, or corn. Don't hold back!
As textural contrasts go, this southwestern chopped salad has it going on. Aforementioned creamy beans, chewy cubes of cheese, crunchy greens and crispy tortilla chips. The balsamic vinaigrette ties it all together with a nice tanginess.
I don't usually turn to Bobby Flay when I'm looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, but this southwestern chopped salad is that rare time that I do. If you're trying to get your kids to eat salad, this might do it too, though I admit I haven't been brave enough to try it on Jack yet! Bobby calls this one "Sophie's Chopped Salad" after his daughter, and claims it's her favorite though. So maybe I am underestimating my little guy.
If you try it on your kids, please report back to me!
We make this one all the time. And if you love salads for dinner as much as we do, this Buffalo Chicken Salad is on constant rotation too. Enjoy! xx
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup white cheddar, cut into small cubes
- 3/4 cup Monterey Jack, cut into small cubes
- a few broken tortilla chips for topping
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil while whisking until emulsified.
- Toss the rest of the ingredients with the dressing until well coated (you probably won't need it all). Plate and top with broken tortilla chips.