This light, healthy, and fresh Southwestern Chicken Ramen Salad is an easy side dish for cookouts or picnics, a simple make-ahead dinner, or an easy lunch to keep on hand. Loaded with veggies and dressed in a homemade Southwestern Lime Vinaigrette, it’s a flavorful dish that’s full of satisfying tastes and textures!
Have you guys ever tried that Asian-flavored ramen coleslaw that seems to be pretty popular? I first had it at a church potluck about 10 years ago, and I’ve been making my own version ever since. It’s really good, but I don’t love the fact that the dressing is made with the weird ingredients from the Ramen Noodle seasoning packet — homemade dressing is always BEST.
That’s why I decided to change up the recipe and give it some Southwestern flair — which is always a popular way to go, right? Best of all, this recipe uses my own Southwestern Lime Vinaigrette (which is just as easy as using the seasoning packet…minus any MSG!), and it’s a total crowd-pleaser!
Adding chicken to the dish is totally optional, but it gives a nice protein boost and makes the salad feel more like a total meal rather than just a side option. I live with 4 carnivorous boys, though, so take that with a grain of salt. If you don’t do meat as much as my family does, some extra beans would be a perfect substitute!
You’re going to love the crunch of the ramen noodles and the almonds, mixed with the creamy avocado and the fresh, crisp veggies! I took this to a recent cookout with friends and it was definitely a hit!
Happy picnicking, friends!
[Tweet “A Southwestern #Chicken Ramen #Salad is the answer to all of your summer picnics! #recipe”]
Southwestern Chicken Ramen Salad
- 2 packages (14 ounces each) coleslaw mix
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken
- ½ cup corn kernels (frozen, canned, or fresh)
- ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 6 green onions, chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 packages (3 ounces each) ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- In a large bowl, combine coleslaw mix, chicken, corn, black beans, avocado, bell pepper, and green onions.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients: olive oil, cider vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Crumble ramen noodles (uncooked) into small crunchy pieces. Discard ramen seasoning packet.
- Just before serving, stir in noodles and almonds.
*This dish feeds a very large crowd! If you’re making it for a family dinner or for a smaller group, you can definitely cut the ingredients in half!
Looking for other great picnic dishes for the season? Try these favorites: