Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken Healthy Recipe
February 16, 2022
A colorful rainbow Southwest salad with grilled chicken

Healthy Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken Recipe – A Colorful Rainbow

Southwest Salad with grilled chicken is a summer time classic! But I've dusted off my recipe this Spring to try something a little new. How about a colorful rainbow Southwest Salad as a fun St Patrick's Day food idea!?

Rainbow Southwest Salad with grilled chicken by Salt Lake City Healthy Hostess

How to Make Southwest Salad

Southwest salad on tray with grilled chicken

If you've never made a Southwest Salad before, it's quite simple. But I'll walk you through it.


Delicious Colorful Rainbow Ingredients

There may be rules for assembling a Southwest Salad with grilled chicken, but I say to use what you love. I omitted the classic black beans and corn from our salad. But they definitely need to be there for a true Southwest meal.

  • Shredded lettuce – I like a mix of romaine and spinach
  • Red: diced red peppers, tomatoes
  • Orange: shredded carrots, orange pepper
  • Yellow: golden tomatoes, yellow pepper, corn
  • Green: avocado, green pepper, cilantro
  • Purple: purple cabbage
  • Black: black beans, black olives
  • Gold at the end of the rainbow – sliced boiled egg for a Southwest Cobb Salad
  • Grilled chicken: shredded or diced
  • Spinach Tortilla
  • Monterey Jack cheese or White Cheddar
  • Salad Dressing – we love Brianna's Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

St Patrick's Day Food – Mini Quesadillas

Mini shamrock quesadillas for a St Patrick's Day food

Mini Green Shamrock Quesadillas make the perfect garnish. And help fill up those who might not be satisfied with salad alone.

Cut them FIRST, then assemble and grill. I tried cutting a finished quesadilla and it didn't look very good.

Assemble Rainbow Southwest Salad

A colorful rainbow Southwest salad with grilled chicken

Once your vegetables are all washed, diced, chopped, and sliced, arrange them on a white serving tray. Try to use a tray that's oval to help suggest the arch of a rainbow.

Lay out each color and finish off with your “Pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow. Use black beans or olives for the “pot”, and corn or sliced hard boiled eggs for the “gold”. I loved the idea of the yellow yolks looking like gold coins. But I'll admit I get very nerdy about my food art.

Serve Your Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken

Healthy St Patrick's day dinner - rainbow Southwest Salad by Salt Lake City Healthy Hostess

After everyone has sufficient time to admire your beautiful rainbow, serve your salad masterpiece for St Patrick's Day dinner, or any time really. This is a very yummy salad meal!

I like making individual rainbow servings, so add a little bit of everything to each plate. Then top it off with a couple shamrock quesadillas. Add your salad dressing, and enjoy!

Healthy St Patrick's Day Dinner

A colorful rainbow Southwest salad with grilled chicken

So much of the traditional Irish St Patrick's Day food is heavy and not so healthy. This Southwest Salad with grilled chicken might not be traditional, but I'm pretty sure even the Irish will agree that it's a “fierce” {excellent} meal everyone will love!

If you try this rainbow Southwest Salad, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. And if you share photos, I want to see it too! Please tag us @partieswithacause on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. We love celebrating all your hard work! 


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More St Patrick's Day Food Ideas

Avocado Hummus Healthy Recipe with Tahini

Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

St Patrick's Day Irish Flag Veggie Tray

Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe – Dairy Free

Easy Shepherd's Pie with Instant Potatoes Recipe

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Healthy St Patrick's day rainbow Southwest Salad with grilled chicken by Salt Lake City Healthy Hostess

Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken

The deliciously healthy salad is also beautifully rainbow colored for a St. Patrick's Day dinner!
Prep Time15 minutes
Assemble Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken, Healthy holiday, Rainbow Salad, St. Patrick's Day
Servings: 4 Large Salads
Author: Brianna Adams


  • White Oval Serving Tray
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mini Shamrock Cookie Cutter for optional tortilla quesadillas


Rainbow Southwest Salad

  • 4 cups Shredded lettuce – Romaine
  • 2 cups Grilled chicken breast – shredded or diced
  • 1 cup RED: Diced red pepper or tomato
  • 1 cup ORANGE: Shredded carrot or orange pepper
  • 1 cup YELLOW: Golden tomatoes or corn
  • 1 GREEN: Sliced avocado
  • 1 cup PURPLE: Shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup Black olives or black beans for "pot"
  • 2 Sliced Hard boiled eggs for "gold coins" optional for Southwest Cobb Salad
  • 3 Slices Cooked and crumbled bacon optional for Southwest Cobb Salad
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

Shamrock Quesadillas

  • 3 Green spinach tortillas cut in shamrocks
  • 3 slices Monterey Jack cheese or white cheddar
  • Butter for grilling


  • Prep ahead. Every time you grill, add a few extra chicken breasts for shredding. Keep your shredded chicken in the freezer to have on hand.
  • Select your veggies of choice from each color and wash them.
  • Dice, chop, or slice each vegetable and begin arranging the rainbow rows on your oval tray.
  • Fill in the arch with lettuce at the bottom.
  • After creating your rainbow, add your black "Pot" with olives or black beans at the very bottom.
  • Then slice your hard boiled eggs and fill your pot up with gold coins at the end of the rainbow for a Southwest Cobb Salad.
  • Serve by plating each salad. Start with a nice bed of lettuce and top with each of the items of the Southwest Salad rainbow.
  • For a Southwest Cobb Salad add the hard boiled eggs, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with creamy avocado salad dressing.
  • May the luck of the Southwest be with you this healthy St. Patrick's Day!

Mini Shamrock Quesadillas

  • Using a mini shamrock cookie cutter, cut 16 shamrocks from green spinach tortillas.
  • Now cut shamrocks from slices of Monterey Jack cheese or white cheddar.
  • Assemble little quesadillas and grill on buttered pan.
  • It's easier to cut first, then grill. Serve up with a little sour cream and salsa or top your Southwest Salad.
Until next time my friend! Signature and photo

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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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If you're ready to improve your lifestyle and the health of your family, join me in the "Healthy Hostess" movement. Where we serve great food to the people we love. With food that nourishes the body and events that feed the soul. Use this food subtitution list to plan more intentional holidays and gatherings. Collect healthier recipes, less stuff, and more meaningful memories, with me at Parties With A Cause. 

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