Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I have a major weakness for Southwestern flavors, and this Santa Fe salad is the ultimate combination. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans. I love it tossed in our creamy avocado dressing. It’s a great hearty entrée-sized salad that’ll keep you full for hours. If you are plant-baseed, this flavor bomb of a salad still packs the same punch without the chicken. This salad is a true crowd pleaser.

creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.

What Is A Santa Fe Salad?

This tasty Santa Fe salad recipe starts with a bed of romaine lettuce topped with Southwestern favorites, like corn, black beans, bell pepper, cheese, and tortilla chips. Top it off with our favorite creamy avocado dressing, some fresh pico de gallo, and a dollop of homemade guacamole for a filling salad that’s bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make a Santa Fe salad:

  • Chicken Breasts: Tender, juicy chicken breasts are a great source of protein on this hearty salad. For a budget-saving option, chicken thighs work well. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, substitute the chicken with extra-firm tofu (seasonings and all) or go heavier on the black beans. Mmm!
  • Olive Oil: Helps the spices stick to the chicken and helps the chicken sear in the pan.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper add Southwestern flair to the chicken.
  • Romaine Lettuce: The perfect crunchy base for this salad. Buy whole heads rather than the pre-chopped bagged stuff to save money.
  • Bell Pepper: I like to use a green bell pepper, but any color works well to add some crunch!
  • Frozen Corn: You can also use fresh or canned corn– just be sure to drain and rinse first if you use canned.
  • Canned Black Beans: Add creaminess and extra protein to this salad.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Adds a hint of saltiness. Mexican blend also works well.
  • Tortilla Chips: I like to crumble some on top for extra crunch.
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing: Pulls the whole salad together. If you’re short on time, use a store-bought chipotle or Southwest ranch dressing.
  • Pico de Gallo: Adds a hit of freshness and acidity.
  • Guacamole: This is totally optional but ups the creaminess of this salad!

What Else Can I Add?

This Southwestern salad is a great fridge clean-out recipe. Here are some other things I love to add when I have them on hand:

How To Store Leftovers

As with most salads, I recommend storing the veggie components separately from the chicken and dressing and tossing everything together just before serving. This helps protect the lettuce from wilting. Stored correctly, this salad should keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, making it great for meal prep!

tossing santa fe salad in a large white bowl with wooden spoons.
creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.
Print

Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It's loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.
Course Salad
Cuisine American, texmex
Total Cost ($17.21 recipe / $2.95 serving)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 516kcal

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

For the Salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces $2.98
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced $0.89
  • 5 radishes, sliced thin $0.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed and rinsed $0.47
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.89
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.83
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo $0.44
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips $0.50

For the Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $5.69
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper $0.06
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper $0.05

Instructions

  • Add the avocado, sour cream, minced garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro to a food processor or blender. Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Chop romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • Dice bell peppers, slice radishes, thaw frozen corn, and rinse and strain canned black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.
  • Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.
  • Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining chili, paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.
  • In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 
  • Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle creamy avocado dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

Nutritional information does not include the guacamole. Click the recipe link to view nutritional information.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 1791mg | Fiber: 14g
overhead view of a santa fe salad in a white bowl.

how to make a Santa Fe Salad – step by step photos

ingredients for avocado dressing in food processor

Add 1 avocado, ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ bunch cilantro to a food processor or blender.

creamy avocado dressing in food processor

Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

chopping lettuce

Chop 2 heads of romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.

ingredients for santa fe salad in a white bowl

Dice 1 bell pepper, slice 5 radishes, thaw 1 cup frozen corn, and rinse and strain 1 can of black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.

pounding chicken

Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.

spice rub for chicken

Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining 1 Tbsp chili, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper together.

chicken coated with spice rub

Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.

chicken in skillet

In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 

completed santa fe salad

Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle Creamy Avocado Dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

7 Layer Dip

This easy 7 Layer Dip is the perfect appetizer for parties, football games, and gatherings. No cooking needed and it feeds a large crowd!

The post 7 Layer Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

When you need a quick party appetizer that tastes good, is easy to make, and feeds a large crowd…this 7 Layer Dip is the one to make! It has all of my favorite Tex-Mex flavors in one dish and it’s perfect for serving at potlucks, football parties, and family gatherings. I’m always down for any type of chips and dip, but this 7 layer dip takes dips to a whole new level! I’m not sure which part I love the most, the fact that I don’t have to cook anything over a stove to make this recipe or that it comes in at just over $1 per serving. Either way, I highly recommend adding this 7 layer dip recipe to your Super Bowl menu this weekend.😉

Overhead view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish with a napkin, chips, and lime wedges on the side.

What Is 7 Layer Dip?

7 layer dip is an easy party appetizer that’s made by building layers of creamy, flavorful, ingredients like refried beans and guacamole into a 9×13” dish. It’s fun to serve at football parties and family gatherings, there’s no need to heat up a stove, and it’s perfect for feeding a crowd!

Ingredients For 7 Layer Dip

Here’s everything you need to make this easy 7 Layer Dip:

  • Refried Beans: You can certainly make your own refried beans, but to make things easy we used canned refried beans and seasoned it with a few spices.
  • Guacamole: We made a quick batch of our homemade guacamole recipe, but to save time you can easily substitute with your favorite store-bought guacamole.
  • Sour Cream: No need to overthink this layer, just grab a tub of regular sour cream to spread on top of the guacamole. It adds the perfect creamy and tasty flavor to balance the beans and guacamole.
  • Cheddar Cheese: We used medium cheddar cheese but you can certainly use mild or a different flavor cheese if you prefer. And we highly recommend buying the cheese in block form and shredding it yourself for this recipe.
  • Tomatoes: Diced Roma tomatoes or vine-ripe tomatoes both work well and are added on top of the cheese layer.
  • Black Olives: Black olives add wonderful color, texture, and flavor to the dip. Because olives tend to be salty and tangy with bold flavors, you’ll only need a few of them for this 7 layer dip.
  • Green Onions: The final layer is a sprinkle of sliced green onions which add not only great flavor, but also a beautiful vibrant color to the dip!

Recipe Variations

  1. Use taco seasoning – If you happen to have a batch of taco seasoning in your panty, use 1 ½ tablespoons of it instead of the chili powder, cumin, and salt to season your refried beans. This will give the beans even more flavor! You can also mix a little bit in to your sour cream to give it an extra boost of flavor.
  2. Add seasoned ground meat – You can make this 7 layer dip even more filling by adding a layer of taco seasoned ground beef or ground turkey. I would add it right after the refried beans layer.
  3. Add salsa – Your favorite thick salsa also works really well with this dip recipe. If you want to add it as a layer, just make sure to drain any excess liquid from the salsa to keep the dip from getting too soggy.

Storing LEftovers

This dip is definitely best served and eaten the same day it’s made, but if you happen to have leftovers, just store any leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The guacamole may start to brown slightly and the dip may get a bit watery around the edges, but it will still taste delicious!

Side view of 7 layer dip with a hand holding a chip and scooping some out.
Overhead view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish with a napkin, chips, and lime wedges on the side.
Print

7 Layer Dip

This easy 7 Layer Dip is the perfect appetizer for parties, football games, and gatherings. No cooking needed and it feeds a large crowd!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Total Cost $16.72 recipe / $1.11 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 15 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 170kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tomatoes $1.46
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese $1.87
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives $2.19
  • 3 green onions $0.45
  • 2 16oz. cans refried beans $2.38
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp water $0.00
  • 2 1/2 cups guacamole $6.25
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream $1.75

Instructions

  • Dice the tomatoes, shred the cheddar cheese, drain the black olives, and slice the green onions. Set these ingredients to the side.
  • In a medium bowl add the refried beans along with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and water. Mix these ingredients together until well combined.
  • Spread the seasoned refried beans into the bottom of a 9×13” casserole dish.
  • Next spread the guacamole evenly on top of the refried beans. Then spread the sour cream evenly on top of the guacamole mixture.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly on top of the sour cream.
  • Now add the diced tomatoes, black olives, and green onions on top. Make sure everything is spread as evenly as possible.
  • Serve immediately with tortilla chips or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g
Side close up view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish.

How to Make 7 Layer Dip – Step by Step Photos

7 layer dip ingredients on a cutting board.

Dice 2 tomatoes, shred 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, drain 1/2 cup black olives, and slice 3 green onions. Set these ingredients to the side.

Refried beans in a white mixing bowl with seasoning on top.

In a medium bowl add 2-16oz. cans of refried beans along with 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp water. Mix these ingredients together until well combined.

Refried beans spread evenly in a glass casserole dish.

Spread the seasoned refried beans into the bottom of a 9×13” casserole dish.

Guacamole spread evenly on top of refried beans in glass casserole dish.

Next spread 2 1/2 cups of guacamole evenly on top of the refried beans.

Sour cream being spread on top of guacamole with a black spatula.

Then spread 1 1/2 cups of sour cream evenly on top of the guacamole mixture.

Shredded cheese added evenly on top of sour cream layer.

Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly on top of the sour cream.

Chopped tomatoes, black olives, and sliced green onions added and spread out evenly on top of shredded cheese layer.

Now add the diced tomatoes, black olives, and green onions on top. Make sure everything is spread as evenly as possible.

Overhead view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish with a napkin, chips, and lime wedges on the side.

Enjoy this tasty appetizer dip immediately with tortilla chips or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

The post 7 Layer Dip appeared first on Budget Bytes.

7 Layer Dip

Whenever I need an appetizer to take to a party or potluck, I like to make 7 Layer Dip. It is the PERFECT party dip and always a crowd pleaser. This classic dip is layered with the best ingredients- refried beans, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), gu…

Whenever I need an appetizer to take to a party or potluck, I like to make 7 Layer Dip. It is the PERFECT party dip and always a crowd pleaser. This classic dip is layered with the best ingredients- refried beans, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), guacamole, salsa, cheese, and toppings! Serve with tortilla…