Southwest Chicken Salad with Cafe Rio Tomatillo dressing

At school the other day for Teacher Appreciation Week, we were served a yummy Southwest Salad. Everybody was gobbling it up. It had the southwest fillers like black beans and corn and the tortilla strips and red onion and red pepper, and it had this yummy dressing that made it soooooo delish.

My finished SOUTHWEST SALAD! yUmMy! The cilantro lime dressing on top is icing on the cake! 
Cilantro, lime, jalapeno, and tomatillos make up the yummy, green, creamy dressing we call Cafe Rio Tomatillo Salad Dressing . 

HERE is a link  to the yummiest salad dressing you’ve ever eaten. It is the Cafe Rio cilantro lime creamy ranch dressing for their salads. I love it so much I can eat it on anything from fresh carrots to baked potatoes. I stop short of just drinking the stuff.

I didn’t have ranch dressing packets on hand so substituted ranch dip instead….it wasn’t as flavorful….use the dressing packet for SURE! But these Santa Fe flavored tortilla strips were sooooo yummy on top of the Southwest Salad! 
Cafe Rio’s Cilantro-lime-tomatillo salad dressing….super yum. 
Cafe Rio’s Creamy Cilantro-lime-Tomatillo Dressing
Source: Sheri Denney


1 (1 ounce) package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Mayo
1 large or 2 small tomatillos (they are green and by the tomatoes)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 to 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed 

Chop veggies fine, throw ingredients in the blender and Mix together and then refrigerate. The dressing gets spicier the longer it is kept in the fridge. 

I threw the ranch mix in with the buttermilk and mayo and diced up the  1/2 jalapeno (remove the seeds for sure!) since
I don’t like my dressing too hot. More jalapeno, the hotter and spicier it gets. 
Then I peeled the tomatillo and chopped it up. 
Then threw it in the blender too along with the chopped cilantro.
I chopped them all up and blended it in my blender. 

I absolutely LOVE this Cafe Rio cilantro lime salad dressing…’s my new fav. 

I cut up all my veggies to start….then added a can of drained black beans and  white corn

3 Cups romaine lettuce
cherry tomatoes sliced in half 
1 small avocado diced
1 cup or small can of Niblets white corn (or frozen white corn) 
1 drained can of black beans
1/4 cup sliced and diced red onion
1/4 cup red pepper diced (optional) 
1 1/2 cups diced rotisserie chicken cubed up (optional)
spicy tortilla strips on top to taste

Southwest Salad….Here it is before the tortilla strips and dressing were added……

Also you could add some diced white chicken breast meat, or a rotisserie chicken diced up from the market to make it a whole meal!

Oh Heavenly yum, I could eat this salad with the Cilantro Lime dressing for days…..and I DID!