Spicy Southwestern Chicken Salad with Peanut Butter and Lemon Dressing

As I mentioned in my last post, we are trying to follow a low carb diet and trying to cut back on rice in-take. We have been doing it for the past couple of weeks and so far it is going well. One day I made this spicy southwestern chicken salad with peanut butter lemon dressing for dinner.

Grilled Chicken Salad, Southwestern Cuisine, Blogging Marathon

Chicken is grilled with a spicy southwestern spice rub and is served on a bed of lettuce along with some roasted fresh sweet corn kernels, avocado and peanuts. The dressing is made with peanut butter and lemon~lime juice. The chicken was spicy and the salad was very filling with some romaine lettuce, fresh roasted corn and avocado. Both of us loved the salad and Mr.U wants to me to make it at least once a week.

Grilled Chicken Salad, Southwestern Cuisine, Blogging Marathon

Source: Floating Kitchen
Total Time: 40 minutes (plus marinating time)
Preparation: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 25 – 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Spice Rub:

  • 1 tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 – 2 tsp. Chili Powder (I used 2 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp. dried Oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried Thyme Leaves
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper (I used ½ tsp.)


  • 1 ½ – 2 ½ tbsp. Spice Rub (I used 2 ½ tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. Oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 hearts Romaine Lettuce, chopped (I used one)
  • ½ small – medium sized Red Onion diced
  • ½ cup Black Beans, rinsed and drained (I did not use)
  • ½ – 1 cup Sweetcorn Kernels or 1 fresh Sweetcorn on the Cob (can also use canned corn kernels)
  • 1 Avocado halved, seeded and sliced
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. Roasted Peanuts (I used one but ad according to taste)
  • Lemon or Lime wedges for serving


  • 2 tbsp. Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
  • Zest of one Lemon or Lime
  • 1 tbsp. Soya Sauce or Tamari Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Honey (I did not use it)
  • 1 tbsp. Water
  • ¼ tsp. Salt


  • Spice Rub: Take all the ingredients listed under spice rub in a bowl and mix well until blended. There will be some leftover rub after rubbing some to the chicken and leftover rub can be stored in an airtight container until next use.
  • Southwestern Chicken: Add oil to 2 ½ tbsp. spice rub to make a paste. Make some gashes on the chicken breast and rub the spice paste all over the chicken and marinate it for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight. Marinating the chicken is not required but I am a marinating freak and prefer marinating the poultry.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking pan with an aluminum foil. Transfer chicken to a wire rack and place it in the baking pan. Spray some cooking spray on the chicken and bake it for 25 – 30 minutes turning once in between. I baked for 30 minutes or bake until the chicken is cooked or thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 160 F. Remove the chicken from oven and set aside for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing it.
  • Dressing: While the chicken is baking, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients listed under dressing. This can be done whisking the ingredients in a bowl or in mini-food processor. If the dressing is too thick, add some water to thin it. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Assembling the Salad: Cut the corn kernels off the cob using a knife. Roast corn kernels on a pan for few minutes until corn just begins to char. Remove from the stove and keep aside. Roasting the corn is not required but I prefer lightly toasting the corn kernels to remove the rawness of the kernels.
  • Toss lettuce with some peanut lemon dressing.
  • Arrange the lettuce in couple of plates. Top it with sliced chicken, corn, onion, avocado, peanuts and beans (if using) evenly in both the plates. If required, drizzle some dressing on onion, corn and avocado.
  • Serve with lime or lemon wedges. I used 3 tbsp. lemon juice in the dressing and did not feel the need for more lemon.


  • I used little less than 1 heart of romaine lettuce. Add lettuce as required. Since I used very little lettuce, I had some leftover dressing.
  • The recipe called for 1 ½ tbsp. spice rub but I added 2 ½ to make it spicy. Also, I added more chili powder and cayenne pepper for a spicy rub. Cayenne pepper can be substituted with chili powder and vice versa. I think a good substitute for paprika would a mixture of chili powder and cumin powder.
  • Chicken can be substituted with paneer or tofu and it can be grilled on a stove top in a pan.
  • If one wishes, Feta or Queso Fresco cheese can add to the salad.
  • Oven temperatures vary from oven to oven and bake until chicken is well cooked.

This day in 2008: Roasted Corn Kernels with Garlic Butter and Chocolate Strawberries
This day in 2012: Mango and Corn Salad
This day in 2013: Bell Peppers and Gram Flour Stir Fry
Recipes I posted this month in 2008, in 2009, in 2011, in 2012 and in 2013.

Blogging Marathon: Checkout what my fellow bloggers are doing this week on blogging marathon page.



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