Fiesta Salad with Creamy Enchilada Dressing

Image of fresh enchilada salad topped with creamy enchilada dressing and a dollop of sour cream.
I've decided that salads are the Summertime version of the casserole. Don't you agree? All of the ingredients are served in a single dish and you have complete control of the nutritional value of the meal. Even better, about 90 percent of the meal can be prepared ahead of time and that leaves more time to enjoy the warm weather and long Summer days.

About month ago I made enchiladas and was inspired to transform the ingredients into a salad once it became too hot to turn on the oven. My challenge was to make a dressing that was appropriate for the enchilada-style salad. After getting really fancy with vinegars and seasoned oils (none of which reminded me of the enchilada flavor I wanted), I found a solution that was easier than I imagined. Remember when we used to make quick thousand island dressing by mixing ketchup and mayo? Well, I had some Sweet Creek organic enchilada sauce and some Nancy's sour cream in the fridge. It tasted great and it doesn't get any easier to make.
I topped this salad with some chopped spicy almonds but you can also use tortilla chips or diced jicama to add a little crunch. Get creative!

Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8
Level: Easy

Local and organic ingredients for Creamy Enchilada DressingIngredients:
4 Skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz monterey jack cheese, grated
4 green onions, chopped
1- 10 oz jar of organic enchilada sauce (reserve 1/4 cup for dressing)
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 head hearts of romaine lettuce, shredded
1 ear fresh corn, removed from cob
1/2 cup sliced black olives
Cilantro (or parsley) chopped for garnish
1/4 chopped habanero style seasoned almonds as garnish

Creamy Enchilada Dressing:
1/4 cup of organic enchilada sauce
1/4 cup organic sour cream (or Greek yogurt)

Cut the chicken breasts in quarters. In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Cook chicken until the juices run clear. Add all but 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the chicken cool. Slice or shred the cooled chicken and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing. One reader mentioned using Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. I found that, for this dressing, I could still taste enough of the yogurt to be distracting. I added 1/4 tsp cumin and 1 tsp of honey and it was great.
Remove the corn from the cob by slicing downward all the way around. This time of year the corn is fresh and I don't cook it for salads.
Place all salad vegetables in a large salad bowl. When the chicken is cooled enough so that it doesn't wilt the veggies, add it to the salad bowl. Top with cheeses, cilantro, and chopped almonds.

Serve immediately with creamy enchilada dressing.


  1. Why isn't this in your wheat-free grouping? It looks great!!!