Vegan Southwest Salad

Welcome back to QCK!

Today I’m sharing a recipe for one of my guilty pleasures, the McDonalds Southwest Salad, yes I know it’s not even healthy, but it’s so good. And I know what you’re thinking, “who actually gets a salad from a drive through? You can’t even eat it while driving!”. Well, yeah… good point. But that’s why we’re here! Because I made a healthier, at home version of it that tastes pretty much identical to the real thing, and you don’t have to leave your house to get it.

So what’s different here? Well, first I had to get rid of the chicken. I substituted a seasoned, sliced avocado. Second, the dressing is avocado based rather than dairy based. What else? Well that’s pretty much it. Easy, right?

The whole salad is made up of spring mix with a bit of chopped romaine, for crunch. Then topped with sliced bell peppers, seasoned corn and black beans. sliced avocado, and of course the avocado southwest dressing. Lastly, I throw some crushed tortilla chips on top, for a salty crunch. The dressing is just as creamy as what you get in the drive through, full of flavor and it has a nice lime-y tang.

Substitutions and Add Ons

  • Spring Mix and Romaine can be substituted for any greens you like.
  • Corn can be fresh or frozen
  • If you want a non-vegan dressing you can substitute the avocado for 1/4 C of mayo and 1/2 C of either plain greek yogurt or sour cream.
  • Cilantro can be omitted.
  • Tortilla Chips can be substituted for seasoned tortilla strips or Doritos.
  • Add Ons: Shredded carrots, mushrooms, red onion, shrimp, chicken, and shredded cheese.


Prep: 20 MinCook: 10 MinDifficulty: MediumServings: 2


  • 2 C Mixed Greens
  • 2 C Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, or 3 Small Sweet Peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 (15 oz) Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 C Sweet Corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Avocado, thinly sliced
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips for topping, optional
  • Cilantro leaves for topping, optional
  • Lime Wedges, optional

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 Large Ripe Avocado, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1/4 C Cilantro (just rip off a small fist full from the bunch)
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Water, if needed


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring vegetable oil up in temperature and add black beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook until corn is bright yellow, 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, combine greens, romaine, cilantro leaves, sliced peppers, beans, and corn.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  4. Once the ingredients begin to combine, slowly drizzle in olive oil. If the dressing is too thick, add a little bit of water.
  5. Toss the salad with the dressing and top with tortilla chips and sliced avocado.
  6. Season the sliced avocado by sprinkling flaky sea salt, black pepper and a squeeze of lime on top.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it out let me know in the comments. For more recipes check out my homepage and follow along on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, follow, comment and share. Thanks for reading! 


2 thoughts on “Vegan Southwest Salad

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