Mexican Chopped Salad

Serving Mexican chopped salad on a plate.

Now is THE TIME for chopped salads.  Produce is at its apex – the corn is sweet, the zucchini and cucumbers are inundating backyard gardens, and the bell peppers are crunchy and sun-kissed.  The vegetables are all but DEMANDING to be mixed into this Mexican Chopped Salad.

vegetables in a bowl

My first chopped salad experience, was several years ago at a luncheon date with some girlfriends — I believe it was a local Cheesecake Factory.  Women being women,  everyone was politely eyeing the salad part of the menu and ignoring their secret lust for one of those pasta dishes,  with the implicit promise that we’d split a piece of cheesecake for dessert.  I had settled on a soup/salad combo, but the other members of my group kept lauding over their “chopped salad”.  I succumbed to peer pressure and ordered one as well.

adding black beans and jalapeños
lime and garlic with whisk

It was a very good salad, full of bright flavors and everything chopped “just so”.

Just so you didn’t have to shove a lettuce leaf the size of a dinner plate into your mouth.  

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Just so the salad was dressed and tossed so there weren’t any dry patches lurking under the surface.   

Just so the only thing your knife was needed for was buttering the bread.  

That’s what I was aiming for here, too!  Everything chopped, dressed and ready-to-eat.  

It’s loaded with just about every crunchy, fresh, at-their-peak vegetable in the market, including sweet corn straight from the cob, mild bell peppers and crisp cucumbers and zucchini.  

Red onion and jalapeño add heat and a can of black beans rounds out the salad and makes it more of a meal.

smoky vinaigrette

The whole thing is tossed with a tangy cumin-lime vinaigrette and sprinkled with fragrant, herbal cilantro.  This salad is absolutely delicious on its own, but if you like cheese, I’d suggest a sprinkle of feta or queso fresco.  

A bowl of Mexican chopped salad with zucchini, cucumbers, peppers and corn.

It would also be great with some chopped rotisserie chicken or grilled shrimp.  There’s so many ways to make it your own.   And it’ll stay crisp and fresh for several days in the fridge, so you can have it for dinner one night and lunch the next day.  Bonus!

A bowl of Mexican chopped salad.

More veggie and chopped salads you might like:

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Mexican Chopped Salad | Garlic + Zest
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4.67 from 6 votes

Mexican Chopped Salad

A bright, flavorful salad perfect as a vegetarian main or easy side dish
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword black beans, corn, mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6


For the salad

  • 1 red I used half a red and half an orange for more color, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • cup red onion diced
  • 1 cup zucchini diced
  • 1 cup cucumber diced, preferably the hothouse variety
  • 1 corn on the cob kernels cut off the cob
  • ½-1 jalapeno depending on how much spice you like, minced
  • 15 ounce can low sodium black beans rinsed and drained
  • cup cilantro roughly chopped

For the cumin-lime dressing

  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 1 lime zested
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice fresh
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • In a large, non-reactive bowl combine the bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, cucumber, corn, black beans, jalapeño and cilantro. Toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl combine the garlic, lime zest, dijon mustard, cumin, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 11.8mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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This simple Mexican Chopped Salad recipe has fresh vegetables, black beans and a smoky vinaigrette. It's great side dish or easy vegetarian main course that's ready in minutes! #choppedsalad

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  1. 5 stars
    Holy delicious. This looks SO good and will be the perfect side for tonight’s Taco Tuesday fiesta!

  2. I’m a big fan of your airy and bright pics. I make these types of salad a lot, yet, I will give your recipe a try.

    1. Thanks – I’m glad you like the photos! I’ve been working on them!

  3. Fuss Free Helen says:

    I do like a chopped salad, they are so easy to eat with just a fork, and tend to be much more robust that a leafy salad, which makes them more transportable. Delicious.

  4. foodtasticmom2013 says:

    LOL – eyeing the salad but wishing for the pasta. I can totally relate! I’ll take a bowl of this chopped salad with a whole slice of cheesecake please 🙂

    1. Come to think of it, I need a cheesecake on this blog…