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Southwest Chickpea Salad + Avocado-Lime Dressing

Southwest Chickpea Salad features chickpeas, corn, red onion, tomatoes, and pepitas, along with fresh, crisp romaine and a creamy avocado dressing topped with spicy tortilla strips!

top down view of plated southwest chickpea salad with items surrounding.

The campaign continues… EAT MORE CHICKPEAS!

Today, I’m sharing my spin on a southwestern chicken salad, using chickpeas instead of chicken. As you can imagine, especially if you love chickpeas, they work fabulously here!

Our little chickpeas are paired with fresh (or canned) corn off the cob, juicy tomatoes, red onion, hatch chilies, spicy homemade tortilla strips, and a creamy avocado-lime dressing.

It’s a deliciously fresh salad and a great way to nurture your mind, body, and spirit!

top down view of ingredients used to make southwest chickpea salad with avocado dressing.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this salad recipe, crisp romaine, fresh veggies, and chickpeas are drizzled with a delicious creamy avocado lime dressing and then topped with tortilla strips for a healthy lunch or dinner.

Here is everything you will need, including possible ingredient variations (measurements are in recipe card below):

  • Romaine – can sub with lettuce or your favorite crisp greens
  • Chickpeas – use canned or fresh cooked (and if you prefer make Crispy Roasted Chickpeas for crunchy texture)
  • Corn – my favorite is fresh off the cob, but canned is great too
  • Tomatoes – use cherry or grape
  • Chili Pepper – go for a mild pepper such as hatch, Anaheim, or poblano, but if you’re feeling spicy use jalapeno
  • Lime
  • Tortilla chips – use crumbled tortilla chips or make homemade as noted in the recipe card
  • Avocado
  • Cumin, Garlic Powder + Salt
  • Cilantro
side by side photos showing the process of making avocado-lime salad dressing.

How To Make Southwest Chickpea Salad

  • Start by making the dressing first. To make the dressing, simply add the avocado, cumin, cilantro, lime, and water to a blender cup and puree until creamy.

Recommended Equipment: I used my NutriBullet (affiliate link). It’s small, compact, powerful, and perfect for these small jobs!

side by side photos showing the process of making crunchy tortilla strips.
  • You can either make your own tortilla strips or crumble up some tortilla chips. If you decide to make them yourself, they are super easy and can be baked in the oven while you are prepping the dressing and/or veggies. They add a nice crunch and depending on the seasoning you use, a nice spiciness.
top down view of bowl with southwest chickpea salad and avocado dressing about to be poured over the top.
  • Assemble the salad. Once the veggies are chopped, and everything is ready, this southwest chickpea salad comes together in a pinch. Layer the romaine and top with chickpeas, corn, red onion, tomatoes, and tortilla strips. Drizzle the dressing over the top and add anything you like.

This makes for a great to-go salad as well. You can prep the salad and dressing the night before, place it in your preferred to-go containers, and the next day you’ll be ready to go with a healthy, delicious salad!

Chickpea, chickpea… I ❤️ my little chickpeas!

Gather your ingredients and get your chickpea on. :)

side angle view of southwestern chickpea salad with avocado dressing.

How To Store + Meal Prep

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a covered container.
  • Meal prep: This southwest chickpea salad is great for meal prep and can be packed in multi-use glass containers (affiliate link) for easy-to-go meals. You can keep the salad and dressing separate or add the dressing to the salad before storing.

Serving Suggestions

This healthy salad is great as is but can be made into smaller portions and served with various Tex-Mex flavors. Here are a few of our favorite options:

top down view of southwestern chickpea salad with avocado dressing.

More Chickpea Salad Recipes!

If you try this southwest chickpea salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.


Southwest Chickpea Salad + Creamy Avocado-Lime Dressing

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

A quick n’ easy southwest chickpea salad made with fresh veggies and protein rich chickpeas topped with a delicious avocado dressing for a healthy lunch, dinner or to-go meal!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: Serves 2 – 3 1x
  • Category: Entree, Salad
  • Method: puree, mix
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


Units Scale
  • 56 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn off the cob, canned is ok too
  • 1 chile pepper (hatch, anaheim or jalapeno pepper), seeds removed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • tortilla strips, to serve
  • handful of pepitas, to serve
  • lime wedges, to serve

Avocado-Lime Dressing

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • mineral salt, to taste
  • 1/23/4 cup water, + more as needed


DIY tortilla strips: Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees F. Brush 2 corn tortillas lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a chili powder mix & mineral salt. Cut into thin strips, place on baking sheet in a single layer, bake in oven or toaster oven, rotating once, for about 10 – 12 minutes, until crisp and golden.

Dressing: Combine the ingredients for the cilantro-lime dressing in a small blender or food processor (I used the Nutri-bullet). Blend until creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed every now and then, add extra water a little at a time as needed to thin. Taste for flavor, adding anything extra. Pinch more salt? Pinch more cumin or squeeze of lime? Blend well.

Salad: Assemble your salad by adding the romaine lettuce to your serving dish, top with corn, red onion, chickpeas, tomatoes, cilantro. Lastly, add pepitas (pumpkin seeds), tortilla strips, a good drizzle of the dressing, and a squeeze of lime over the top.

Serves 2 – 3

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, in a covered container.


Use roasted chickpeas: For added crunch, try using Crispy Roasted Chickpeas.

Dressing: If you don’t have a small personal blender, in a medium mixing bowl, mash the avocado with the ingredients using a fork or whisk, adding extra water as needed to thin until desired consistency. Blend until creamy. I haven’t tried doing it this way myself, but I know it should be fine (just be sure to mince the cilantro well before mixing). The avocado will become smooth and creamy, especially with the addition of water and lime juice to help thin it out. It may just take a few extra minutes by hand.

For a tangy dressing, try adding 1 – 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.

If you have an extra avocado, add some diced to the salad.

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  1. I have t made the salad yet, I just wanted the dressing on this occasion. I really liked the dressing. However, it was very thick almost like guacamole after I added a 1/4 cup,of water. I kept thinning it down. I used considerably lots more water than a 1/4 water It was a large avocado but the recipe states a large avocado in the recipe. Do you think I did anything wrong? Thanks.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      No, you did fine! I think my avocado may have been more medium sized, I will fix it. But. I would rather have you add water to thin it, instead of adding too much water and it’s too thin. Just add more seasoning, cumin & salt, as needed. Enjoy, and thank you for the question!

  2. Hi, Julie!

    Tried this over the weekend. So refreshing and simply delicious!! *two thumbs up*

    Tweaked it a bit for my preference: omitted the onion (since i’m not really into raw onions). Basically, i had the romaine lettuce, chickpeas, corn (canned whole kernel) and toasted sunflower seeds. Also, instead of putting the tortillas in the oven, warmed and crisp(ed) it up on stove top. Used cayenne instead of chili powder.

    Husband was crazy about the dressing that he finished the half i was supposed to save for later. Guess i’ll have to make another batch tonight.

    Thanks for this amazing recipe, Julie. God bless!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Oh my, so glad you both enjoyed this salad and dressing! I love your alternate ideas, perfection!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! And, you’re very welcome! Cheers to you both :)

  3. Vegan4Life says:

    New to your blog ; hi :) I will be adding this to my menu this week. Maybe you can introduce some kid friendly recipes, I will be raising my daughter vegan. Thank you.

  4. Such a great recipe! Love the idea of cutting the tortillas :)

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