Every bowlful of this Mexican Chopped Salad is bursting with an array of colorful vegetables. Topped with fried tofu and Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette, this hearty salad is the perfect fit for weekday lunches or as a simple side dish.
We would all love to eat healthier, right? This Mexican Chopped Salad makes it easy! Loaded with delicious, yet healthy and easy-to-find vegetables, fried tofu, and Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette, you can turn to this salad whenever you need an easy vegan meal prep idea or a nutritious dinner.
- Naturally vegan and gluten free.
- Zesty, tangy, smoky, and just a little spicy.
- Very flexible. Top it with anything you like!
- More than just a salad. Stuff it into wraps or pita to take it on the go.
Whether you serve it next to vegan tacos on Taco Tuesday or roll it up in a tortilla for an on-the-go lunch, you’re sure to love this Mexican salad!
What goes in a chopped Mexican salad?
This Mexican salad is on the heartier side and bursting with color. I kept the ingredients fairly simple but you can play with them any way you like:
- Fried tofu - Extra firm tofu is pressed, then cut into cubes and fried. The crispy golden brown pieces give the chopped salad more substance and protein, making it an ideal option for hearty lunches and meal prep.
- Lettuce - Romaine is my lettuce of choice.
- Vegetables - Canned corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro are finely diced and added to the salad.
- Beans - I used black beans but pinto beans, chickpeas, or white navy beans could also be used.
- Chipotle lime vinaigrette - This vibrant and smoky salad dressing features lime juice, adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers, jalapeno brine, red wine vinegar, oil, and a handful of simple seasonings.
- Tajin - This chili lime seasoned salt is a must-have flavor-enhancer. It’s used to season the fried tofu and gives the finished salad an added zing.
How to make a Mexican chopped salad
This is an easy salad you can put together right before the potluck, picnic, or barbecue. Here’s how it’s done:
- Fry the tofu: Slice the pressed tofu into cubes before frying them in an oiled skillet over medium heat. For a more hands-off approach, air fry the tofu instead. Toss the fried tofu pieces in Tajin when they’re done.
- Make the Mexican salad dressing: Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
- Assemble the salad: Toss the lettuce, vegetables, beans, cilantro, and fried tofu together in a large salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to coat.
- Plate and enjoy: Scoop some salad into individual bowls, tortilla wraps, or pita bread. Season with Tajin or eat it with tortilla chips and enjoy! For full ingredients and instructions see printable recipe card below.
Tips for success
- Not a fan of raw onion? It can be quite strong when eaten raw. You can tone down a red onion’s strong flavor by soaking the chopped pieces in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.
- About fried tofu - The fried tofu pieces make this salad a meal. Leave them out if you’d like a lighter side salad or swap the tofu for vegan chicken, marinated tempeh, soy curls, or vegan taco meat.
- Double the dressing - Keep the second batch in your fridge to use on quinoa salads, pasta salads, and more!
- Serving suggestions - Enjoy it as a traditional salad served in a bowl, stuff it into large tortilla wraps or in pita bread, or scoop it up with tortilla chips instead of a fork (just like cowboy caviar).
What else can you add to a vegan Mexican salad?
- Shredded vegan cheese
- Red salsa
- Green salsa
- Pico de gallo
- Sunflower seeds
- Tortilla strips or crushed chips
Making ahead and storing
Make ahead: The dressing, vegetables, and fried tofu can be prepared 1 or 2 days in advance. Keep everything in separate containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, toss it all together in a large bowl and enjoy!
Storing: The assembled salad should be eaten within 1 day or else it will become too liquidy.
Want more vegan salad recipes?
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Jennifer Aniston Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- Cold Thai Noodle Salad
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print