Mexican Salad (1)
5/5 - (1 vote)

Fresh corn, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, and other flavorful ingredients are combined in this Mexican salad, which is topped with a creamy cilantro-lime dressing that the whole family will enjoy.

Serve as a side dish or as a main course with chicken, steak, or salmon.

What Makes This Salad So Delectable?

  • Mexican salad appears (and tastes) complicated, but it is incredibly simple to prepare. The entire recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare.
  • The tortilla strips and pepitas add a great complimentary texture to the rest of the salad with their amazing crunch. Every bite is exciting when combined with the crisp tomatoes and onion, buttery avocado, and meaty black beans. Our popular cilantro-lime dressing is the perfect finishing touch!
  • It’s hearty and flavorful enough to eat on its own, but it also goes great with salmon, chicken, and steak!
  • It’s great for meal prep or making ahead of time for a dinner or event. The Mexican salad can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days (in an airtight container), and the cilantro-lime dressing for up to 5 days. If you aren’t going to eat the entire salad right away, keep the salad and the dressing separate to avoid the salad becoming soggy. You may want to omit the avocado or slice it only when you’re ready to eat it to avoid it browning in the fridge. Also, add the tortilla strips right before serving!

Important Ingredients

Mexican Salad homemade (1)
Food: Mexican Salad (Source: Sweet and Savory Meals)

Tortillas de Corn – Corn tortillas, not flour tortillas, are the key to crispy, crunchy tortilla strips. They cook to perfection! Not sure what to do with the leftover tortillas? Try these healthy chicken tostadas from Easy Healthy Recipes, our sister site!

Corn – Frozen or canned corn will work in this Mexican salad, but I prefer the flavor of fresh ears of corn grilled on the grill. You could either use the corn raw or grill it.

Black Beans – I used canned black beans in this salad for convenience, but fresh black beans are also delicious!

We’ve found a fantastic Instant Pot Black Beans recipe that will completely change your life. If you use canned, make sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly to remove any excess sodium.

Pepitas – Nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats abound in these crunchy little seeds. You can buy roasted salted pepitas from the store or season and roast raw pepitas yourself.

If you can’t find pepitas, you can replace them with sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or chopped almonds.

Chef’s Advice

  • Mix in some Mexican shredded chicken and/or cilantro-lime cauliflower rice for some extra protein and flavor! You can also change up the vegetables in your Mexican salad by adding roasted red peppers and jalapenos.
  • Allow at least 30 minutes for the cilantro-lime dressing to chill in the refrigerator, though longer is preferable if you have the time. This allows all of the flavors to fully develop!
  • Make sure your tortilla strips don’t burn because they’ll fry quickly! You can also bake or air fry them if you don’t want to pan-fry them. If you’re making a lot of tortilla strips, this will come in handy. To bake them, toss them in oil and salt, then spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 minutes until crisp. To make air fryer tortilla strips, spray the strips lightly with oil and place them in the air fryer basket. Toss in the salt and toss to coat. Air fry for 8-10 minutes at 375°F, shaking the basket every 4-5 minutes.
  • Use as many fresh ingredients as possible in your Mexican salad for the best flavor. In addition to the canned black beans, you can use salad mix, store-bought tortilla strips (or even crumbled tortilla chips – I won’t tell), and frozen corn to save time and energy.

Mexican Salad

15-minute prep time
5 minutes to cook
20 minutes total

Fresh corn, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, and other flavorful ingredients are combined in this Mexican salad, which is topped with a creamy cilantro-lime dressing that the whole family will enjoy.

Serve as a side dish or as a main entrée with chicken, steak, or salmon.


Mexican Salad Yum (1)
Food: Mexican Salad (Source: Sweet and Savory Meals)

For the Cilantro-Lime Dressing

  • 1 jalapeño seeded & coarsely chopped, optional
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey plus more to taste, see Notes
  • ½-¾ teaspoons salt to taste
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves packed

For the Tortilla Strips

  • 3 corn tortillas sliced into ½-inch strips
  • oil for frying
  • salt to taste

For the Salad

  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce chopped into approximately ½-inch pieces, about 8 cups
  • ¼ of one medium red onion diced, or halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ of one cucumber chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2 ears of corn see Notes
  • 1 ½ cups canned black beans drained, rinsed
  • 4-5 radishes sliced thinly
  • 1 avocado peeled, pitted, sliced thin
  • ½ cup queso fresco or feta, crumbled
  • ¼ cup roasted salted pepitas
  • finely chopped cilantro for garnish, optional


  • Food processor or blender
  • Large skillet
  • Plate
  • Paper towels
  • Large salad bowl
  • Tongs or salad servers (to toss and serve)

Instructions For Mexican Salad

Dressing in Cilantro and Lime

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse the jalapeno and garlic until finely chopped.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, lime juice, honey, salt, and cilantro leaves in a mixing bowl. Pulse several times until everything is well combined.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the oil while the food processor is running. If necessary, season with more salt.
  4. Chill in a jar with the cover until ready to serve.

Tortilla Strips recipe

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Place strips in the skillet once oil is heated. If necessary, work in batches.
  3. 3-5 minutes to fry tortilla strips Cook evenly by stirring or flipping as needed, being cautious not to burn.
  4. Place fried tortilla strips on a paper towel-lined platter. Season strips with salt to taste and set them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Prepare the Salad

  1. Toss lettuce, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, black beans, and radishes together in a big salad bowl to equally spread all items.
  2. If serving the entire salad right away, toss it in the dressing. Skip this step if serving individual portions or expecting leftovers, and serve the dressing separately.
  3. If desired, serve with avocado, queso fresco, pepitas, tortilla strips, and cilantro.
  4. Serve right away.


  • Honey: Use only 2 tablespoons of honey for a tangier dressing with a hint of sweetness. Use 3 to 4 tablespoons for a sweeter, smoother dressing.
  • Corn: Remove the corn from the cob. Use it raw or grilled or broil it before adding it to your salad. 1 12–2 cups frozen or canned corn can be used instead. Drain and rinse the canned corn before using it.
  • Dressing: Your salad will most likely not need all of the dressing. Any leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight jar for up to 5 days.
  • To make it vegan, use vegan mayo and plain, dairy-free yogurt in the dressing. Instead of honey, use maple syrup. Skip the queso fresco in the salad and replace it with vegan feta.

This recipe makes 6 smaller servings or 4 bigger meals. The nutritional values provided are for one serving out of a total of six. The macros may differ significantly based on the type and brand of ingredients used.

Prepare the recipe as directed to get the weight of one serving.

Weigh the final recipe, then divide the weight (not including the weight of the container in which the food is stored) by the desired number of servings. The weight of one serving will be the result.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 553kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 44g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 601mg, Potassium: 843mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 9636IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 159mg, Iron: 3mg, Net Carbs: 25g