Spicy Southwest Salad: A Delicious Copycat Recipe from Hook’d Up Bar and Grill


Learn how to make a mouthwatering Spicy Southwest Salad inspired by the famous Chick-Fil-A Southwest Salad. This colorful and healthy dish is packed with fresh flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re looking for a satisfying dinner or a nutritious weekday lunch, this Spicy Southwest Salad is the perfect choice.

southwest salad chick fil a

The Inspiration Behind the Recipe

I can’t get enough of the combination of marinated grilled chicken, mixed greens, juicy grape tomatoes, creamy cheese, hearty black beans, flavorful peppers, and roasted corn. This recipe draws inspiration from the beloved Chick-Fil-A Southwest Chicken Salad, which ticks all the right boxes.

A Copycat Recipe for All Chick-Fil-A Fans

Don’t worry if there’s no Chick-Fil-A in your area or if you can’t visit the restaurant when you crave this delicious salad. Our copycat recipe captures the essence of one of Chick-Fil-A’s best salads, allowing you to recreate it at home. Whether it’s a Sunday or a busy weekday, you can still enjoy the flavors of this spicy southwest salad.

Let’s Dive In!

📋 Chick Fil A Southwest Salad Calories

Have you ever wondered about the calorie content of the Chick Fil A Spicy Southwest Salad? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at the table below to see the calories with and without dressing. Please note that the calorie count excludes the tortilla strips and chili lime pepitas. If you choose to leave them out, subtract 150 calories from the total.

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Chick Fil A Southwest Salad Calories with Dressing:

  • Cold Spicy Grilled Filet:
  • Cold Grilled Filet:
  • Nuggets:
  • Grilled Nuggets:
  • Chick-Fil-A Chick-n-Strips:
  • Chick-Fil-A Filet:
  • Spicy Filet:
  • Warm Grilled Filet:
  • No Chicken:

Chick Fil A Southwest Salad Calories without Dressing:

  • Cold Spicy Grilled Filet:
  • Cold Grilled Filet:
  • Nuggets:
  • Grilled Nuggets:
  • Chick-Fil-A Chick-n-Strips:
  • Chick-Fil-A Filet:
  • Spicy Filet:
  • Warm Grilled Filet:
  • No Chicken:

Please note that calorie information is subject to change. To find the calorie count for our copycat version, refer to the recipe card below.

⭐ Chick Fil A Southwest Salad Nutrition

Let’s take a look at the nutrition information for the Chick-Fil-A Southwest Salad with a grilled filet:

  • Calories:
  • Fat (g):
  • Saturated Fat (g):
  • Cholesterol (mg):
  • Sodium (mg):
  • Carbohydrates (g):
  • Fiber (g):
  • Sugar (g):
  • Protein (g):

Please note that nutrition information is subject to change. For the nutrition details of our copycat Chick Fil A salad, check out the recipe card at the end of this article.

🥗 What’s on a Chick-Fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad?

Here are the mouthwatering ingredients that make up the Chick-Fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad:

  • Spicy grilled chicken breast
  • Mixed salad greens
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Monterey Jack and shredded cheddar cheese
  • Roasted corn
  • Black beans
  • Poblano chiles
  • Red bell peppers
  • Tortilla strips
  • Chili lime pepitas
  • Creamy salsa dressing

For specific quantities of each ingredient, refer to the recipe card at the end of this article. Our homemade version stays true to the original with a few minor modifications to the pepitas and dressing.

To prepare this delicious salad, you’ll need a good knife, a stovetop grill pan, and large salad containers if you’re meal prepping. Opt for containers with separate lidded dressing cups for easy transportation. A mini chopper will also come in handy for blending the dressing.

💡 Does Chick-Fil-A Marinate Their Chicken in Pickle Juice?

According to Chick-Fil-A, their original Grilled Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich used to be marinated in pickle juice and seasonings. Although they changed their marinade recipe in 2019, they have not confirmed or denied the presence of pickle brine.

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🥬 Is a Chick-Fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad Healthy?

The definition of “healthy” varies depending on your personal needs. The Chick-Fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad, in its original form, is relatively high in calories and sodium. However, it does provide a range of vegetables and a good dose of lean protein. You can significantly reduce the calorie and sodium content by choosing a lighter dressing.

🥣 Chick Fil A Creamy Salsa Dressing Recipe

We’ve put our own spicy twist on the original Chick-Fil-A Southwest Salad dressing. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Cumin
  • Ancho chili powder (use regular chili powder for a milder flavor)
  • Garlic powder
  • Chipotle in adobo sauce (from a can)

🔪 How to Make Chick-Fil-A Southwest Salad

For detailed instructions, refer to the recipe card at the end of this article. Here’s a summary of the steps:

Marinate Chicken

  1. In a bowl, combine dill pickle juice, minced garlic, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, and pepper.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into 4-ounce (113 grams) pieces that are ½-inch thick (1.27 cm).
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and let it marinate in the fridge for about 12 hours. Flip the chicken occasionally to ensure all sides are coated.

Make Southwest Salad Dressing

  1. In a mini chopper, blend olive oil, sour cream, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and chipotle in adobo sauce until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate the dressing until it’s time to serve. If it thickens too much, you can add a bit of oil or milk to thin it out.

Make Spicy Southwest Salad

  1. Spray a stovetop grill pan with cooking spray and grill the marinated chicken for 8-10 minutes per side over medium heat.
  2. Use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken has reached a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Add more grilling time if needed.
  3. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it into thin strips.
  4. Halve the grape tomatoes lengthwise and dice the poblano and red bell peppers into ½-inch pieces (1.27 cm).
  5. Divide the salad greens among four salad containers or bowls.
  6. Top the greens with tomatoes, black beans, corn, poblano pepper, bell pepper, cheese, and chicken.
  7. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and garnish with tortilla strips and pepitas just before serving.
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🌡️ How to Store Southwest Chicken Salad

You can store leftover spicy southwest salad in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. It’s best to keep the salad dressing and tortilla strips separate until you’re ready to serve.

💭 Expert Tips from Hook’d Up Bar and Grill

This recipe falls under our level 2 category (transition or weight maintenance). Without the dressing, the salad is under 500 calories. With the dressing, it amounts to 583 calories per serving.

Compared to most American fast-food options, the Chick-Fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad is relatively healthy. However, we can further enhance its nutrient density when making it at home.

Our version of the salad has slightly fewer calories than the Chick-Fil-A version with dressing and toppings. To keep you feeling full, we’ve added a greater volume of vegetables. Additionally, our homemade southwest salad is free from ultra-processed ingredients.

If you have higher energy needs, feel free to add additional toppings like crushed tortilla chips or nuts. You can also serve the salad with a side of bread or crackers.

To make a southwest salad under 500 calories with the dressing, omit the tortilla strips and pepitas. Additionally, opt for low-fat cheese instead of regular cheese and use plain nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in the dressing.


Other Chick-Fil-A Salad Copycat Recipes

If you’re a fan of Chick-Fil-A salads, here are a few more copycat recipes for you to try:

  • Chick Fil A Kale Crunch Salad
  • Chick Fil A Superfood Salad

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The Disclaimer…

All recipes on this website may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. We recommend consulting with a registered dietitian or your physician to determine the dietary pattern that works best for you.

The nutrition information provided is an estimate and should be used as a general guideline. Actual values may vary depending on your specific brands and ingredients. Keep in mind that the calorie information on food labels can sometimes be inaccurate, so don’t stress too much about the numbers.

For more information on how our recipe levels can help you achieve your weight management goals, refer to our post on overnight oats with no sugar. Now, let’s get cooking!