I wasn’t sure whether to call this a Southwestern salad, a taco salad, a tortilla salad, or some combination of the three – a Southwestern taco tortilla salad? Whatever you want to call it, it is dee-licious. The tortilla bowl is optional, but who doesn’t love a good tortilla bowl? There’s something fun and playful about getting to the end of your meal and eating your bowl. They’re super easy to make and don’t require any special equipment (of course they sell tortilla bowl makers, but why?!).
This salad is packed with fresh ingredients, flavor, and nutrients – and it’s so filling to boot! Roasted sweet potatoes (high in beta carotin and vitamin A), black beans (high in fiber and protein), corn (a good source of fiber and vitamin C), avocado (full of good-for-you good fats), tomatoes (a great source of antioxidants, as well as vitamins A and C), and lean roasted chicken combine for one exciting salad. And I haven’t even gotten to the dressing yet.
I wanted a ranch-style dressing for this colorful salad, but didn’t want all the calories that a sour cream and mayonnaise-based dressing would yield. So I did what I always do when looking to make my recipes healthy while keeping them creamy (like in this penne vodka) – I used Greek yogurt! Combined with buttermilk, garlic, scallions, and chipotle in adobo this dressing is a luxurious texture with a slightly spicy, smoky, tangy flavor. It’s so good! Use a little less buttermilk to keep it thick enough to be a dip.
- 4 (10-inch) soft tortillas
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
- 20 onces romaine or other lettuce
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 (15½-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1½ cups)
- 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
- 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup chopped chives/spring onions
- ½ pound roasted or rotisserie chicken, shredded (optional)
- 1 chile chipotle in adobo, plus 1 teaspoon adobo liquid
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- 3 cloves garlic
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Put each tortilla inside an ovenproof metal bowl so it fills the inside and molds to the shape of the bowl (if the tortillas are a little stale put them in the microwave or oven for a minute to soften them).
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crispy and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing. It should keep the shape of the bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Roast the sweet potatoes until softened and cooked through, about 1 hour (or microwave). (I like to roast a few sweet potatoes at once and then use them throughout the week in salads.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before chopping into bite-sized pieces.
- Either toss all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl and transfer to tortilla bowls, or layer directly in the tortilla bowl. Top with Skinny Chipotle Ranch Dressing and serve.
- Put the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Serve, or store in a cruet in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.