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This Mexican salad features loads of fresh flavor! With beans and cheese for protein and fresh tomato vinaigrette, it’s a healthy meatless meal that you can put together in about 15 minutes!
If you struggle to find time to prepare wholesome meals for your family, having a hearty salad recipe can be a lifesaver. A flavorful salad can be put together in less than 15 minutes, and with the right ingredients, it can include all of the recommended food groups!
Oh, and if you have a carnivore in your family who frowns at the thought of healthy greens for dinner, they’re going to love the textures and flavors in this Mexican salad. Plus, it’s full of protein and fiber, so it’s a hearty, filling meal!
Mexican Salad Ingredients
To make things convenient, quick and easy, I use canned beans and corn in the salad. If you have time and desire, feel free to cook your own beans and make Mexican grilled corn or simple corn on the cob!
- Salad greens– Adding colorful ingredients to a salad is a sure way to grab attention, and using red leaf lettuce adds plenty of eye candy.
- Jicama– This root vegetable is native to Mexico and Central America. It has a crispy, crunchy texture, similar to a crisp apple. It can be eaten raw or cooked. I use it raw in the salad, cut into cubes.
When shopping for jicama, choose firm, well-shaped jicama that are small to medium size. The skin should be very smooth. Scratch the skin with your fingernail to see if the flesh underneath is firm and white; that’s a sign of freshness. Avoid any that are mushy or with thick and/or wrinkled skin.
- Avocado– Creamy avocado adds a hearty dose of healthy fats. If you have avocado haters in your family, consider making my simple guacamole recipe to use instead.
Some people find the consistency of guac more pleasing than avocado slices. Besides, you can serve it at the table with tortilla chips or raw veggies for dipping!
- Black beans– Feel free to use any color or variety of cooked beans to your Mexican salad. I use black beans for their high fiber and protein, and because they’re a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
- Corn– To keep things simple, I drain a can of corn. You can use frozen niblets if you prefer; just allow them to thaw in the fridge first.
- Tomatoes– Because you’ll be making roasted tomato vinaigrette for the salad dressing, you may want to use tomatoes like Roma, which have fewer seeds. I use cherry tomatoes for the actual salad but any type is fine..
- Fresh lime juice– A squeeze of fresh lime juice adds acidity and a pop of flavor. Honestly, any citrus fruit will do the trick, but again, lime juice is a classic Mexican ingredient
- Garnishes– Top off your salad with red onion slices, crumbled cotija cheese, and some pepitas for a bit of salty crunch..
In fact, pepitas are NOT the same as pumpkin seeds; the two are similar though. Pepitas come from two specific varieties of pumpkin that have seeds without hulls; Styrian pumpkins and Oil Seed pumpkins
How to Make Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
You can probably toss away your bottled salad dressing, because nothing tastes better than fresh tomato vinaigrette!
The base of the salad dressing is homemade fire roasted tomatoes. They’re easy to make, and the flavor is far better than anything you’ll get from canned tomatoes!
To make the vinaigrette:
- Add the roasted tomatoes to a blender, or if you have an immersion (stick) blender, put the tomatoes into a large, deep bowl or blending jar.
- Add all of the remaining dressing ingredients EXCEPT for the oregano; you’ll want to stir that in at the very end. Otherwise, the tomato vinaigrette will be a brownish color rather than red.
Mexican Salad Recipe Notes
Don’t have a blender? Not a problem!
If you don’t own a blender, you can make the dressing by using a potato masher to puree the tomatoes, then shake the ingredients together in a jar. It won’t be quite as smooth as it will using a blender, but it’ll still be delicious.
Storing the Dressing
Store the tomato vinaigrette in a covered jar in the fridge and use it up within a week or so. Keep in mind that there aren’t any preservatives in it, so after several days, the tomatoes will start to go bad.
Mexican Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 head red leaf lettuce leaves
- 1 avocado seeded and cubed
- 1 lime juice
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 14 oz black beans
- 8 oz corn kernels
- 1 jicama peeled and cubed (2 cups)
- 1 red onion rings
- 1/4 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese crumbled
Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
- You will be mixing this in a blender or use a hand blender (stick blender), so use appropriate mixing jar.
- To the jar add the roasted tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and vinegar. Blend and slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify and thicken.
- Season to taste with sugar and add the Mexican oregano. Stir to mix (See Note 1) and allow to rest 30 minutes before using. Serve over salad or as a dipping sauce room temperature, but best chilled.
- Cube the avocado and toss with lime juice in small bowl. Set aside.
- Wash and tear half of the red leaf lettuce leaves and layer on platter. Chop remaining and scatter on top.
- Arrange remaining salad ingredients and cubed avocado in rows on top of chopped lettuce.
- Garnish salad with red onion rings, pepitas, cheese and drizzle Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette over all. Toss to mix before serving.
- I stir the Mexican oregano in as opposed to blending as the green blended with the red tomato turns the vinaigrette a brown color, but that is optional and up to your own preferences.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.