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Panera Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad

Panera Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad

Panera Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad is a copycat recipe of the popular salad with a homemade Panera Chile Lime Ranch Dressing. With chicken, grilled corn, pickled red onions, quinoa, feta, tortilla strips, and the roji ranch dressing, this salad has all of the best southwest flavors.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 3 or more


For the Quick Pickled Onions:

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

For the Grilled Corn:

  • olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 ears corn on the cob
  • salt and pepper

For the Grilled Chicken:

  • olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (see note)
  • salt and pepper

To Assemble the Salad:

  • romaine lettuce
  • arugula
  • baby spinach
  • quinoa, regular or tri color (prepared according to package directions)
  • feta cheese
  • tortilla strips
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Chili Lime Rojo Ranch Dressing (purchased or homemade, see note, or dressing of choice)


To Make the Quick Pickled Red Onions:

  • Place the thinly sliced onions in a lidded mason jar.
  • Bring the other ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan.
  • Pour the simmering mixture over the onions. Place lid on top and close tightly. Shake the jar well.
  • Allow onions to marinate in the liquid for 30 minutes. Drain off liquid before consuming. Use immediately or refrigerate until use and keep for up to 2 weeks. Note: you will not need the entire batch of red onions for this salad.

To Grill the Corn:

  • Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and lightly coat with oil.
  • Remove the husk and silk from the corn on the cob. Coat the corn with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the corn in the grill pan, rotating it as necessary, until the corn has begun to blacken and is heated through. Remove corn to a plate to cool and keep pan heated to grill the chicken.
  • Once the corn is cool, hold it vertical over the plate and use a sharp knife to cut the corn off of the cobs.

To Grill the Chicken:

  • Lightly recoat the heated grill pan with oil if necessary. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken to the grill pan and cook on each side until grill marks appear and the chicken is cook through. Alternatively, sear the chicken on each side and remove to a pan to bake at 375 degrees until cooked through.
  • Once chicken is cooked, remove to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

To Assemble the Salad:

  • In a large serving bowl, layer the lettuce, arugula, and spinach.
  • Drain off the liquid from the amount of pickled onions you would like to use. You won't use the entire batch for this salad. The rest can be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Add the drained onions, quinoa, feta, grilled corn, and sliced chicken on top of the greens.
  • When ready to serve, add the tortilla strips and fresh cilantro, if desired. Toss with dressing.


Pickled red onions:  Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, method from Gimme Some Oven
Use any kind of chicken for this salad, such as rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled in olive oil, or chicken breasts or thighs marinated in the seasonings from the Costco Chicken Street Tacos and cooked in a grill pan.
Homemade Panera Chile Lime Ranch Dressing recipe HERE
You're Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword chicken, gluten free, main dish, salad