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Our hearty Mexican Layered Salad is a fun and delicious mashup of meatless nachos and a fresh, crispy green salad!
This cool crisp layered salad is great for summer parties, or a simple dinner on the deck. Easily made several hours in advance, the chips are added on top at the last minute to ensure they stay crisp. The textural contrast is one of the things I love most about this salad. Crunchy, cool, creamy and crisp with a smooth flavorful dressing drizzled throughout.
This layered salad is drizzled with an easy homemade dressing.
The dressing is made with equal parts mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream) and taco sauce. I also add fresh chopped cilantro leaves and plenty of lime juice to add a nice acidic note. We’ve also tried adding a teaspoon of sugar or honey to the dressing with great results. I would make the dressing first and give it a taste. Your taco sauce will be the deciding factor as to whether or not you need the added sweetness. Also, you can substitute salsa for the taco sauce if preferred and pass extra when serving the salad.
How to make a pretty layered salad:
- At the bottom of the bowl add 4 cups of fresh torn lettuce. I like to use Romaine as it won’t compress as much under the weight of all the other ingredients. It stays crisp and light and has great flavor;
- Next, dollop half the dressing over the lettuce;
- Spread thin sliced red onion for the next layer;
- Garden fresh cherry tomatoes, halved;
- Sweet summer corn. You can use fresh, frozen or canned;
- Thin sliced cucumber;
- Canned black beans, drained and rinsed;
- Diced avocado sprinkled with fresh lime juice;
- Shredded cheese (fresh grated extra-sharp is best!);
- Spoon the last of the dressing over the top; and
- Finally, top with broken pieces of chips and sliced green onion for garnish.
The salad will keep well for up to 8 hours before serving.
Layer all the salad components, except the chips, in a 3-quart bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with broken chips and pass with more when serving the salad. Dig deep into the bowl with salad tongs to get a little bit of everything! If you think you’ll have lots of leftovers, leave the chips off when making the salad and pass them when serving with individual bowls. Pair this hearty salad with a simple grilled meat for a complete and delicious meal! This pretty salad makes for easy entertaining and great eating 🙂
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Mexican Layered Salad
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream or skyr)
- 1/4 cup prepared taco sauce, or salsa
- 1 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- juice of 1/2 a lime
For the salad:
- 4 cups lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (we recommend Romaine)
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup corn (fresh, canned or frozen - SEE NOTE)
- 1/2 an English cucumber, sliced
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted, skinned and chopped
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups tortilla chips, broken into pieces
- 1 green onion, sliced thin for garnish (optional)
To prepare the dressing:
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To prepare the salad:
- Spread the lettuce in a large serving bowl. Drizzle half the dressing over the lettuce. Top with onion, tomatoes, corn, cucumber, black beans and avocado. Drizzle the juice of 1/2 a lime over the avocado and then top with fresh grated cheese. Drizzle remaining dressing over the salad and cover with tortilla chips. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.
- If using frozen corn, thaw and rinse in very hot water before using. Drain well. If using canned corn rinse in hot water and drain well.
- Salad can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 4 hours before serving. Do not add tortilla chips until ready to serve. Salad is best served the day it’s made. If you plan to have leftovers, omit adding the chips and pass for individual servings at the table.
- Inspired by a Cook’s Country recipe
Here are a few more of our favorite summer salad recipes:
Enjoy this Easy Greek Salad Recipe made with crisp, fresh vegetables, feta cheese and olives, and simply dressed with herbs, oil and vinegar. Click HERE to get the recipe.
Marinated Tomato & Tortellini Salad with cucumbers, onion, olives, avocado, cheese and fresh garden herbs. Don’t forget the crusty bread to soak up all the juices! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Try our Easy Pasta Salad Recipe with a homemade Zesty Italian Dressing ~ it’s our favorite summer potluck classic! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia