Copycat McDonald's Southwest Salad


If you were a fan of the McDonald's Southwest Salad before it left the menu, this copycat recipe brings it all back with a few healthy twists. The creamy dressing keeps saturated fat and calories in check with reduced-fat sour cream combined with salsa to give it its signature spice. We loaded it up with plenty of veggies, but feel free to give it your own spin with chopped avocado or crushed tortilla chips for crunch. (Editor's note: The title of this recipe does not align with EatingWell's practices for naming and attributing recipes but gives proper credit to McDonald's menu, which called this dish "Southwest Salad.")

a recipe photo of the Copycat McDonalds Southwest Salad
Photo: Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Annie Probst
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • 3 tablespoons salsa

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce

  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

  • 2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken

  • 1 cup corn kernels

  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed

  • cup slivered red onion

  • ¼ cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

  • Lime wedges for serving (optional)


  1. Whisk sour cream, salsa, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.

  2. Add lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, corn, black beans and onion; toss to coat well. Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

To make ahead

Refrigerate dressing (Step 1) for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

277 Calories
9g Fat
25g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 2 1/4 cups
Calories 277
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 26g 52%
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Vitamin A 7088IU 142%
Vitamin C 19mg 21%
Vitamin D 6IU 2%
Vitamin E 1mg 4%
Folate 161mcg 40%
Vitamin K 79mcg 66%
Sodium 417mg 18%
Calcium 152mg 12%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 55mg 13%
Potassium 844mg 18%
Zinc 2mg 18%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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