Mexican Salad

This Mexican salad is one of my favorite side dishes and it comes together so quickly! With lots of veggies and a vibrant, citrusy dressing, you can’t go wrong serving this on a weeknight as well as at a party.

overhead shot of mexican salad in bowl


 

I love to serve this alongside enchiladas or tacos, but you can easily just scoop it up with some tortilla chips or potato chips, too. It’s also a surprisingly tasty topping for burgers!

Whether you’re looking for an easy way to get dinner on the table or a tasty side dish for picnics and potlucks, this salad is a winner!

close up angled shot of tossed mexican salad with fork in bowl

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Salad

Salads don’t have to be boring! here are a few reasons why we know you’ll love this one.

  • The furthest from boring – Salads tend to get a bad rep for being boring or blah, but these flavors are anything but.
  • Lots of texture and color – With all the chopped veggies, the textures and colors of this salad are unmatched.
  • Homemade dressing – What’s a great salad without a great dressing to match? This one is light, fresh and full of flavor.
close up of black beans, corn and tomatoes on salad

Ingredients

The ingredient list may seem a little long, but this salad comes together quickly. Plus, if you need to save on prep time, you can use ingredients that are already sliced and diced from the produce section at your grocery store. 

  • Romaine Lettuce – One of my favorite types of lettuce, Romaine is a crisp and fresh green that is the base of the salad. 
  • Black Beans – Beans add plant-based protein as well as fiber which makes the salad more nutritious and hearty. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans.
  • Corn – Corn helps to give the salad vibrant color. Be sure to drain it before adding it to the salad.
  • Avocado – Avocado gives the salad more color and contributes a creamy texture. 
  • Red Bell Pepper – These add crunchy texture and a bit of sweetness. If you want, you can use other varieties like green bell peppers or other colors. 
  • Jalapeño Pepper – These peppers add a spicy kick to the salad. Be sure to remove the seeds before dicing them. 
  • Cilantro – I love the herbaceousness that cilantro adds to this salad, but if you’re not a fan of cilantro you can omit it or replace it with parsley or Thai basil. 
  • Cherry Tomatoes – Tomatoes balance the salad with their acidity.
  • Queso Fresco – This crumbled cheese adds creaminess and a slight bit of salty flavor.
  • Lime – I like to use fresh lime juice in the vinaigrette but you can use store-bought juice in a pinch. 
  • Olive Oil – Since this is the base of the vinaigrette, be sure to use a high-quality variety for the best flavor. 
  • Cumin – Cumin is a key ingredient in Mexican cuisine and it gives the vinaigrette its earthy flavor. 
  • Chili Powder – Chili powder is perfect for adding just a bit of a spicy kick to the dressing. 
  • Salt – I like to use sea salt. You can use any variety of salt you like, but be sure to use it — it brings out the flavors of the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Pepper – Ground black pepper adds subtle spiciness to the dressing.
overhead shot of mexican salad ingredients

How to Make Mexican Salad

This salad is so easy to whip up, you’ll be putting this recipe on repeat! 

  1. Make dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir together until completely combined. You can also put them in a mason jar and shake vigorously. 
  2. Toss salad ingredients. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Toss to evenly disperse all of the ingredients. 
  3. Add dressing and serve. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss again. Serve immediately. 
homemade dressing ingredients in bowl

What to Serve With Mexican Salad

This salad is a hit all on its own! But you can also serve it alongside proteins like chicken, beef, or pork. It’s also the perfect side dish for crispy Mexican chicken, spicy stuffed peppers, fish tacos, and chile relleno casserole. We also love it with quesadillas

Variations 

You can switch things up to make your own signature version of this salad. 

  • Lettuce – Substitute different greens for the Romaine. 
  • Aromatics – Try adding crushed garlic to the dressing or red onions to the salad.
  • Beans – Use pinto beans, kidney beans, or white beans instead of black beans. 
  • Cheese – Trade out the cheddar for any other variety you like. Monterey Jack, feta, cheddar, and cotija cheese are all great options. 
  • Crunchiness – Add sliced radishes, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), or tortilla strips for crunchy texture. 
  • Dressing – Swap out the dressing for your own favorite like creamy avocado or a honey chipotle vinaigrette
  • Protein – Top the salad with grilled chicken, beef, or shrimp.
  • Heat – Add some spiciness to the lime dressing with a sprinkle of cayenne. You can also add hot sauce — taste as you go to get just the right level of heat.
  • Sweetness – Add diced mango or pineapple for a touch of sweet flavor.
close up of dressing on mexican salad

Storage and Freezing

Since Mexican salad can be stored for a few days, it’s a great option for meal prep! Just be sure to wait until you’re ready to serve to pour the dressing over top. 

This salad can be made ahead and enjoyed for several days as a main meal or a side dish. When possible, store the ingredients separately and combine when you’re ready to serve.

How to Store Leftover Mexican Salad

This Mexican salad will stay fresh for two to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Can I Freeze this Mexican Salad?

We do not recommend freezing this salad. The lettuce and other components will become soggy upon thawing.

Common Questions About Mexican Salad

What is a Mexican salad made of?

A Mexican salad is a mix of greens, beans, and veggies with a citrusy vinaigrette.

What lettuce is used in Mexican food?

Romaine lettuce is the typical lettuce used in Mexican cuisine.

What sides go with Mexican food?

Mexican food can be paired with many different sides. Rice, beans, corn, and jicama are all good options.

close up overhead shot of bowl of tossed mexican salad

Other Easy Salads

Salads don’t have to be boring! Check out some of our favorite salad recipes that we know you’ll love too.

overhead shot of bowl of antipasto pasta salad with wooden spoon

Antipasto Pasta Salad (Italian Pasta Salad)

5 from 7 votes
This Antipasto Pasta Salad recipe combines a zesty Italian dressing with al dente pasta, savory meat, creamy cheese, and fresh veggies!
See The Recipe!
overhead of a dressed side salad

Simple Side Salad Recipe

5 from 5 votes
A small plate full of leafy greens, crunchy and sweet toppings with over 20 salad dressing ideas. The perfect start to any meal
See The Recipe!
angled shot of quinoa salad on plate

Jennifer Aniston Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Indulge in the delightful Jennifer Aniston salad! A fresh medley of superfoods and flavors that will leave you feeling satisfied and happy.
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of tossed mexican salad with text overlay
overhead shot of mexican salad in bowl

Mexican Salad Recipe

5 from 5 votes
This easy Mexican Salad with lime dressing is the perfect side dish for busy weeknights or to take to picnics and potlucks!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

Dressing:

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper until well combined.

Salad:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped romaine lettuce, drained and rinsed black beans, drained corn, diced avocado, diced red bell pepper, diced jalapeño pepper, chopped cilantro, cherry tomatoes and the crumbled queso fresco
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 332 kcal, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Protein: 9 g, Fat: 30 g, Saturated Fat: 8 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17 g, Trans Fat: 0.3 g, Cholesterol: 24 mg, Sodium: 578 mg, Potassium: 510 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 2419 IU, Vitamin C: 61 mg, Calcium: 230 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 332
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican salad
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of mexican salad
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I love this salad so much! Fresh and healthy and delicious. I’ll be making it every week from now on!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best! Such a great way to get a healthy meal for my family quickly. The best part is the kids can add only what they like and me and my husband load up on all of it! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This is just packed with colorful and flavorful ingredients, and it’s so perfect as a nice refreshing spring salad! I’ll definitely be making this again, it turned out great 🙂