southwest salad with taco ranch dressing

$8.23 recipe / $1.37 serving

It’s crisp, it’s crunchy, it has an amazing, tangy, homemade dressing, and it goes perfectly along side your lentil tacos ;D

Honestly, this recipe started out with me craving a crunchy salad, but it ended up being nothing more than a vehicle for this delicious dressing. I didn’t expect the dressing to be so amazing, but I love it… And it took only about five minutes to whip together! Normally I would use a buttermilk substitute rather buying a whole quart when I only need a little, but with this dressing you really need that authentic buttermilk flavor. What will I do with the rest? Make buttermilk biscuits, of course.

Actually, the whole salad will probably take less than 30 minutes to make; dressing, tortilla crisps, and all. Which means that you *can* have a delicious salad on a week night when you’re exhausted from work. I did, anyway.

If you want to make a whole meal out of this, just grill up some chicken and toss it in!

Oh, and yes, I know iceberg is nutritionally void and all of that great stuff. I eat a ton of vegetables so I’m not worried about using iceberg once in a while. I needed a REALLY crisp green for this salad and iceberg kind of takes the cake. Romaine is also really crunchy and has more green, if you want it.

Southwast Salad with Taco Ranch Dressing

southwest salad with taco ranch

5.0 from 1 reviews
southwest salad with taco ranch dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $8.23
Cost Per Serving: $1.37
Serves: 6-8
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt $0.41
  • ½ cup buttermilk $0.27
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise $0.33
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • ½ tsp garlic powder $0.03
  • ¾ tsp chili powder $0.04
  • ¼ tsp cumin $0.03
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 6 small corn tortillas $0.39
  • as needed non-stick spray $0.05
  • a dash salt $0.02
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce $0.87
  • 1 can black beans $1.19
  • 1½ cup frozen corn kernels $0.70
  • 1 large tomato $1.23
  • 1 bunch green onions $0.75
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese $1.88
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a pizza cutter to slice the tortillas into thin strips. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat it with non-stick spray. Spread the tortilla strips out in a single layer and spritz lightly with more non-stick spray. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. Bake the tortilla strips for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Stir the tortilla strips half way through cooking.
  3. While the tortilla strips are baking, cut the head of lettuce into small pieces. Rinse the lettuce and drain well (or use a salad spinner). Also chop the tomato and slice the green onions. Rinse the black beans in a colander to remove the starchy canning liquid. Remove the corn from the freezer and allow it to thaw.
  4. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing (yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cumine, and cayenne). Makes about 1.5 cups or 6 servings of ¼ cup each.
  5. Once the tortilla strips are finished cooking, the dressing is made, and all of the salad ingredients are prepped, build the salad! You can either build one big salad and then serve or build individual portions. Layer the lettuce first, then black beans, corn, tomato, shredded cheese, green onion, and a few tortilla strips on top.

southwest salad with taco ranch dressing

Step By Step Photos

slice tortillasFirst, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tortillas into thin strips. I found that a pizza cutter made this a quick and easy task.

prepare tortilla stripsSpread the tortilla strips out onto a baking sheet covered with foil and coated with non-stick spray. Spray the strips lightly with non-stick spray and then sprinkle lightly with salt.

baked tortilla stripsBake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Stir the strips about 10 minutes in.

chop lettuceWhile the tortilla strips are baking, chop, rinse, and drain the lettuce. I cut my lettuce into small squares. Make sure to drain the lettuce really well so that your salad is not watery.

prep other salad ingredientsAlso prepare the other toppings. Rinse the black beans to remove the starchy canning liquid. Take the corn out of the freezer and allow it to thaw. Dice the tomato and slice the green onions.

make dressingLastly, whip together the taco ranch dressing. It’s really easy, just whisk together all of the ingredients. All of the spices are in 1/4 tsp increments so you only need to use one measuring spoon! (You’ll have to fill it half way for the cayenne, but it doesn’t have to be exact.)

tortilla crisp and dressingI’m not gonna lie, I was really, really hungry when making this and I couldn’t stop dipping the tortilla crisps in the dressing!

taco ranch dressingYou can also make this dressing as light or “heavy” as you want. I used non-fat yogurt, low fat mayo, and regular buttermilk (same fat content as 2% milk). It still tasted rich and delicious!

build saladYou can build the salad in any order you want, but I found this order to be most visually appealing: lettuce, black beans, corn, tomato, cheese, green onion, and tortilla crisps on top. You can either build one big salad and then serve single portions, or just build single serving portions to begin with.


  1. Desirée says:

    Beth, if I double the dressing recipe how long will it keep?

  2. This dressing is madly delicious and I make it pretty often. I am very lazy with measurements so it tends to be a bit different every time, but always great. The swaps I almost always make:

    finely crushed fresh garlic instead of powder
    smoked paprika instead of chili powder
    a little more yogurt and less mayo, I think.

    Thanks for sharing this deliciousness :) Having it for lunch tomorrow…

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: