Santa Fe Salad

Keeping it down and dirty with this simple but delicious Santa Fe Salad. I am a huge salad fan, as you probably know by now. I have at least 2 – 3 salads a week and am always looking for and experimenting with new ingredients that can be thrown together or added to my salads. Yet the classic Santa Fe Salad remains my favorite “go-to” salad.

So how do you give a classic a new twist? You don’t! That is why they are classics. Instead, like the proverbial mousetrap, you build a better one by only using fresh ingredients and then cooking them well. Summer time is definitely the best time for this salad. With garden fresh corn, tomatoes, and cilantro readily available.


Season 3 small, or 2 large, chicken breasts with salt and pepper, or for extra flavor try Cedar Oak Farms Chili Lime Salt. I love the spicy-sweet twist it adds and what a perfect complement to the salad, I mean chili-lime salt!

Tear 1-2 heads of Romaine lettuce into bite-size pieces. Wash and spin dry transferring the lettuce to a paper towel and pat any excess water away. Set aside.


Husk and remove the silk from 1 ear of corn. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cut the corn from the cob and when the butter is frothy add the corn to the skillet. Saute until the corn is tender and slightly charred. Transfer the corn to a bowl, removing it from the excess butter, and set aside.

Using a paper towel clean the skillet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until light brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Turn the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. As the chicken cooks tilt the skillet and spoon the butter over the breast turning once between cooking, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.


Divide the lettuce between 4 bowls. To each bowl add tomato slices, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, rinsed and drained black beans, sliced black olives and the charred corn. Toss to blend; add some shredded cheddar cheese and layer the sliced chicken over the top. Serve with a chili-lime or ranch dressing.

Go ahead and bookmark this one, you will want to make it over and over!

Santa Fe Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Course: Salad
Keyword: easy dinner ideas, garden fresh, healthy
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Ella @
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 -3 chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. In a large bowl toss the lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, corn kernels, red onion, black beans, and black olives until mixed. Cover with the cheese and center the sliced chicken over the top. Serve with a chili-lime or ranch dressing on the side. Serve immediately.


Author: Ella

Just a girl who loves to cook farm-to-fork foods living the dream!

3 thoughts

  1. You’re a five tool player when it comes to food, Ella.

    And summer is the perfect time for salads. Ya got ya fresh ingredients, it’s healthy and lighter than a roast pork on the spit . . . and the colors make your mouth water in anticipation.

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