Every time I go to Red Robin, I face the same dilemma: I very much enjoy their southwestern-themed salad, BUT salads don’t come with bottomless fries. And if I’m being honest, the bottomless fries are a big part of why I go to Red Robin (I’m not alone in this, right?).
When I go out to eat, I tend to order things that I either can’t or won’t make at home, so I set out to create a restaurant-quality southwestern salad, hoping that having such a recipe in my repertoire would thus enable me to order fries-included options at Red Robin without all the mental back-and-forth. Inspired by (but not a precise copycat version of) the Red Robin salad, this pico de gallo grilled chicken salad has a generous heap of zesty pico de gallo (also known as salsa fresca), succulent grilled chicken, and homemade jalapeño ranch dressing. A smattering of corn, beans, and chunks of avocado round out the flavors for a salad that will leave you clamoring for seconds – if you have room, that is! This salad is quite hearty. I also splurged a little and bought fresh, house-made tortilla chips at the store. It’s worth getting the good stuff here, since the chips are the finishing touch!
In other news, tomorrow is Put On Your Cake Pants’ second blogiversary! In honor of this occasion, I thought I’d take the opportunity to look back and share my favorite recipes from the last year with you. As always, thank you so much for being here and reading along!
Clockwise, from top left: lemon blueberry cornmeal pancakes, chicken pot pie with biscuits, Mediterranean chopped salad, mimosa coffee cake, pumpkin zucchini muffins
You can also find a list of my favorites from year one here!
- 3 medium or large Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño (seeds removed), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 2 jalapeños
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn
- 2 avocados, diced
- tortilla chips (for garnish)
- Begin heating the grill (if you don’t have a grill, you can also pan-fry the chicken on the stovetop). Meanwhile, prepare the pico de gallo: in a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients and let them marinate together, refrigerated, while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Mix together all the spices for the dry rub. Rub the mixture onto the chicken and grill until done (the internal temperature should reach 160 degrees). Once done, cut the chicken into strips.
- While the chicken is on the grill, prepare the jalapeño ranch: remove and discard the seeds from the jalapeños. Chop the jalapeños and place them, along with the milk (1-2 tablespoons, depending on how thin/thick you want the dressing to be), in a blender or food processor. Pulse until blended and no large pieces of jalapeños remain. Add the sour cream, garlic, and salt, and pulse until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, beans, corn, and avocado. Stir in the pico de gallo and grilled chicken strips. Add the jalapeño ranch dressing and toss to combine. Top with crunched-up tortilla chips and serve.
- Chicken dry rub recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
A big thank you goes out to the boyfriend, who handled all the preparation and grilling of the chicken!
Cake Lover says
Thank you! And thank you as well for being among my earliest readers!
Happy Blogiversary! Your recipes are fantastic!
Thanks! And thank you for being a long-time reader as well!
Congratulations on your second blogiversary! It’s a great accomplishment, and you should be very proud.
This salad looks so healthy and refreshing- I’d love some right now 😉
Thanks so much, Jess! I could probably eat this salad for weeks on end without tiring of it. I hope you get a chance to try it!
Happy blogiversary! This salad sounds like an excellent way to celebrate. And that dressing sounds particularly fantastic. 🙂 Yay!
Thanks! It really is a good way to celebrate, strangely enough…kind of like a party (fiesta?) in a bowl!
Yaaayyyy Happy 2nd Blogiversary!! 😀
Thanks, Orchid! 🙂
Sarah Hartin says
Yummy yet again…and congrats too 👍
Thank you 🙂
That salad looks amazingly delicious. And Happy Blogiversary!
Thanks! I’m glad it caught your eye!
Looks Yum! It takes quite a salad to challenge the bottomless fries!
Haha yes, it really does! Luckily, this way I don’t have to pick – I can eat my salad at home and order fries at the restaurant 🙂
Well, I’ve never had Red Robin, but I SO love the BIG flavors in this salad. I would probably even choose it over bottomless fries. 😛
Wow, that’s saying something! Thanks 🙂
The Hungry Southern Wanderer says
This looks fantastic, I’m looking forward to making it!
Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try it – let me know what you think if you do!
I Say Nomato (@ISayNomato) says
Happy Second Blogiversary!!! Those recipes look fantastic…
Thanks so much!
Wow, girl! You are a real chef. This recipe is so easy and quick to make! Definitely recommend it to my friends. Perfect snack for Saturday party it is :-).
Thank you! I hope you get a chance to try it.
Erin | Well Plated says
Happy Blogiversary!!!!! What a tasty way to celebrate.
Thanks, Erin! I thought about making a cake but ran out of time…but this salad is miiighty tasty, if I do say so myself 🙂
The hungry homemaker says
Happy Blogiversary!! This looks delicious, especially the dressing!
Thank you! Gotta love jalapeño ranch 🙂
chef mimi says
I could eat this salad every day. Three times a day. Fabulous!
Haha wow, that’s quite a compliment! Thanks 🙂
Haha the struggle is real, and I usually let the fries win too. This salad looks amazing though. Can’t wait to try it out!
The struggle is VERY real! I hope you get a chance to try this!
Yum! This salad looks AMAZING! I didn’t even know that Red Robin has bottomless fries, but I can’t believe you don’t get them with a salad. Happy FF, and have a wonderful weekend! 😀
Thanks, Kaila! Confession: sometimes I make sure the boyfriend is ordering something with bottomless fries, then order my salad and steal some of his fries 😉
What a great accomplishment. Congrats on the blogiversary. The salad looks so good. 🙂 Happy FF!
Thanks so much! Happy Fiesta Friday to you as well 🙂
Julie is Hostess At Heart says
I could eat this salad every day. It’s gorgeous and full of goodness. The jalapeno dressing looks so yummy!
I’d be right there with you, happily nomming on this salad every day! I hope you get a chance to try it!
Natalie Browne says
This salad looks delicious. Happy blogiversary!
This salad is right up my alley! Basically anything with pico de gallo added in will intrigue me 🙂 Congrats on the blogiversary as well dear!
Thanks so much! I completely agree. Pico de gallo really takes things to a new level!
Nice, nice! And Happy Blogiversary! 🙂
Thank you! And thank you, as always, for hosting the lovely Fiesta Friday blog party 🙂
Dani @ Dani California Cooks says
Happy blogiversary! And this looks delicious for dinner or lunch 🙂
Thank you! I hope you get a chance to try it!
Justine @ Born and Bred in Brooklyn says
Wow, yum!! I love southwestern flavors and they are so many in this salad 🙂 Also, happy blogiversary, you must be so excited! 😀
Thanks, Justine! It sounds like this salad is right up your alley – I hope you get a chance to try it sometime!
Eco Friendly Homemaking says
This salad looks and sounds so delicious!! Congratulations on your second anniversary of blogging!!
Thanks so much! I’m glad it caught your eye 🙂
Johanne Lamarche says
Terrific combination of flavors. Love this!
Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!
Bam's Kitchen says
Happy blogiversary! This salad has all the elements for deliciousness with different textures and even a crunch. My family will love it! Pinning!
Thanks so much! Let me know what you think if you try it 🙂