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Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

This post has kindly been sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. All thoughts and opinions expressed are (of course) my own.

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad in a large bowl next to bottles of Coca-Cola - The Goldilocks Kitchen

It’s time to dust off the grill!

Do you have some amazing plans for this summer? If you don’t, make some! Summertime is upon us (at least down here in the land of enchantment) and my kids are already counting down the days until summer vacation starts. Swim lessons, sports, lemonade stands, hiking and road trips are just a few of the activities we have planned. If your plans include entertaining, put this Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad on the menu. The regional flavors of jalapeno, lime, garlic, sweet corn and beans are classic and amazing together. When paired with Coca-Cola® for a chicken marinade, fabulous things happen!

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad dressing is poured over freshly grilled chicken- The Goldilocks Kitchen

This salad is easy, fresh, and makes a ton of food to wow your guests. When I want to make it I just swing by my local Sam’s Club and pick up a big bag of frozen Member’s Mark boneless chicken thighs, salad greens, veggies and some Coca-Cola®. The rest of what I need I already have at home. I use either a large mixing bowl or large zippered baggies to marinate thawed chicken pieces in a mixture of Coca-Cola® and jalapeño lime dressing. Yum!

Ingredients for Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad - The Goldilocks Kitchen

It’s so easy to entertain a large gathering with one stop shopping at Sam’s Club. If I have time, I like to put all the drinks in the cooler so they’re nice and cold while I prep the chicken for dinner.

Ingredients for Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with bottled Coca-Cola - The Goldilocks Kitchen

While the chicken is in the fridge marinating in all that great flavor, I chop up my veggies and greens and get all my other ingredients ready (except for the avocado~gotta wait until the last minute for those little guys unless you like grey avocado).

Chicken cooking on a hot grill for Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad - The Goldilocks Kitchen

The Perfect Grilled Chicken.

When grilling meat it’s important that you dry the meat from any liquids on the surface. So after removing the chicken from the marinade pat both sides dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Oil your grill grate with vegetable oil right before you lay your chicken on it to help reduce sticking. I do this with a wad of paper towels dipped in oil and use my tongs to apply to the grate. I’m no grilling expert, but I have learned a trick or two in my time spent cooking over its fiery furnace of tastiness. What’s nice about using Member’s Mark Chicken is the instructions for goof-proof grilling are printed right on the bag.

Perfectly cooked grilled chicken thighs for Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Check out that great looking grilled chicken; just looking at this picture makes me hungry! I am a believer in letting cooked meats rest off heat, covered with foil, for a few minutes so they’re extra moist.  Once the meat has rested, it can then be sliced into thin strips to add to your prepared salad. If you cut it diagonally it will look extra fancy!

A closeup of Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad - The Goldilocks Kitchen

And of course the perfectly paired beverage of choice would be an ice cold Coca-Cola® in hand to go along with this salad. I’d suggest some fresh fruit, like watermelon slices, to round out your summer meal.

A full view of a Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad with strawberries and blue flowers for garnish - The Goldilocks Kitchen I hope you make lots of great and exciting plans to enjoy the warm summer months and let me know how this salad turns out for you! I think you and your guests will love it!

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Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


Gather a large family or small crowd around this healthy and super delicious grilled chicken summer salad.




  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4 limes, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 6 pieces Member’s Mark boneless chicken thighs, thawed
  • 3 cups Coca-Cola®
  • 6 cups salad greens of your choice
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocados, sliced thin
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped


  1. Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, cumin and salt together by hand or in a food processor.
  2. Marinate the chicken by placing in a large container or zippered baggie and pouring in the Coca-Cola® and 1/4 cup of the dressing. Chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken according to package directions (about 10 minutes on one side, 5 on the other over medium high heat) until done. Tent with foil.
  4. Combine the salad greens, corn, beans, avocado and bell pepper. Pour the remaining dressing over and toss to coat. Slice the chicken into strips and add to the salad. Serve.


If you’re not a fan of the heat from jalapenos, be sure to also cut the ribs (light colored parts) out of the chili’s. Much of the residual heat is found there. Cut them out and the chili’s should be mild.

  • Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Tex-Mex
  • Cuisine: Salad


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  1. Yummy….I can’t wait to try this one….and your post definitely makes me thirsty. I like how you posted Coke by the delicious food. It does make it seem like a summer dish…..Thanks for your delicious ideas.

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