5 from 1 votes

Santa Fe Salad

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A Santa Fe Salad is delicious and healthy for a light meal or a filling side dish. It is made with various fresh ingredients, including greens, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese. The salad is topped with a flavorful dressing made with lime juice, cilantro, and spices.

Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe salad is a great way to chow down on vegetables for lunch and a good source of protein and fiber. This versatile salad recipe can be customized and is a great way to enjoy restaurant-quality food in your kitchen. 

Let’s get started!

easy salad recipe from home.

Why you will love CopyCat Salad Recipes at home!

The Cheesecake Factory’s Santa Fe Chicken Salad is a delicious and flavorful salad made with grilled chicken, corn, black beans, cheese, tortilla strips, fresh tomatoes, and a peanut-cilantro vinaigrette.

This hearty salad is made with high-quality fresh ingredients and is very flavorful. The grilled chicken is juicy and flavorful, while the corn, black beans, and cheese add creaminess and crunch. The corn tortilla strips add a pleasant texture, and the tomato adds a refreshing sweetness.

Lastly, the homemade peanut cilantro vinaigrette is the perfect finishing touch!

Santa Fe Salad Ingredients:

  • skinless chicken breasts
  • premade teriyaki marinade
  • romaine lettuce
  • roasted corn
  • black beans
  • shredded Colby jack cheese
  • grape tomatoes
  • premade crispy tortilla strips

Santa Fe Salad Dressing

  • fresh cilantro 
  • peanut butter
  • red wine vinegar
  • fresh lime juice
  • brown sugar
  • minced garlic
  • sesame oil
  • lime zest
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

How to make Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe Salad

  1. Marinate chicken breasts and heat in a skillet until no longer pink. Set aside to cool. Slice into strips.
  2. Combine cilantro, peanut butter, vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, zest, and olive oil in a food processor. Process for 10 seconds.
  3. Scrape down the sides and process for 10 seconds—season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe Salad dressing in a food processor.
  1. Cut romaine lettuce into 1/2″ pieces. Add corn and black beans and mix well. Divide the mixture into two plates.
  2. Sprinkle each salad with half of the cheese.
  3. Place reserved chicken on top of each salad and add a few tomatoes.
  4. Divide the dressing into two equal parts. Serve salad with dressing and corn tortilla strips.
simple salad recipe with homemade dressing.

Best Ways to Prepare Santa Fe Chicken to Add to a Salad

My favorite way to prepare chicken for salads is simply to use leftover chicken from other recipes. Diet coke chicken and air fryer chicken tenders both have provided that for me! But in the event you need to make chicken from scratch, here are some methods that work the best.

One of the best ways to prepare chicken for chicken salad is to poach it. Poaching is a gentle cooking method that results in tender, juicy chicken.

  • To poach chicken, place it in a pot of boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes or until cooked. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and cool slightly before shredding or chopping.

Another great way to prepare chicken for chicken salad is to grill it. Grilling gives the chicken a smoky flavor that pairs well with other salad ingredients.

  • To grill chicken, season it with your favorite spices and cook it over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill and cool slightly before shredding or chopping.

You can use rotisserie chicken to save time. Rotisserie chicken is already cooked and easily shredded, so you only need to add it to your salad. 

copycat recipe.

Here are some additional tips for preparing chicken for a salad:

  • Be sure to cook the chicken until it is cooked through. This will help ensure that the chicken is safe to eat and will not have a rubbery texture.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, cool slightly before shredding or chopping. This will help to prevent the chicken from becoming dry and crumbly.
  • If you use rotisserie chicken, drain off any excess fat before adding it to the salad. This will help to keep the salad light and refreshing.
  • Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and herbs when preparing the chicken. This is a great way to add flavor and variety to your chicken salad.

Copycat Recipes from Your Favorite Restaurants

There are many reasons why you should make a copycat recipe from home.

  • You can control the ingredients. You can choose the ingredients you use when you make a copycat recipe at home. This means you can use fresh, high-quality ingredients you know and trust. You can also avoid ingredients you don’t like or don’t want to eat. Try copycat canes sauce.

  • You can save money. Making a copycat recipe at home is often much cheaper than buying the same dish at a restaurant. This is because you can buy ingredients in bulk without paying for labor or overhead costs. Try a Copycat Outback Alice Springs Chicken Recipe.

  • You can customize the recipe. When you make a copycat recipe at home, you can customize it to your taste. You can add or remove ingredients, or you can adjust the proportions. This way, you can ensure that the dish is exactly how you like it. Try a Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe

  • You can have fun in the kitchen. Making a copycat recipe can be a fun and rewarding experience. Learning new cooking techniques and experimenting with different flavors is a great way. It’s also a great way to bond with family and friends. Try Copycat McDonalds Chicken Nuggets.
peanut butter lime dressing perfect for cheesecake factory santa fe salad recipe.
5 from 1 votes

Santa Fe Salad (Cheesecake Factory)


Prep Time 19 minutes
The Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe Salad is a popular menu item for a reason. It's a delicious and satisfying salad that is perfect for a light lunch or dinner. The salad is made with mixed greens, grilled chicken, corn, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, and tortilla strips. It's then topped with a creamy peanut-cilantro dressing that adds a flavorful kick to the salad. If you're looking for a delicious and healthy salad, the Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe Salad is a great option.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • pre-made teriyaki marinade
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 15.25 oz. roasted corn can, drained
  • 15.5 oz. black beans can, rinsed and drained
  • cups shredded Colby jack cheese
  • grape tomatoes
  • pre-made tortilla strips optional

Santa Fe Salad Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro packed, leaves and stems
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Cook Chicken

  • Marinate chicken breasts in premade teriyaki marindate and heat in a skillet until no longer pink. Set aside to cool. Slice chicken into strips.

Make Dressing

  • In a food processor, combine fresh cilantro, peanut butter, red wine vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, minced garlic, sesame oil, lime zest, and olive oil. Process for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides and process for 10 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside. 

Assemble Salad

  • Cut romaine lettuce into 1/2" pieces.
  • Add corn and black beans and mix well. Divide the green salad mixture onto two plates.
  • Sprinkle each salad with half of the cheese. 
  • Place reserved chicken on top of each salad and add a few tomatoes
  • Divide the homemade dressing into two equal parts. Serve salad with dressing and top with crispy tortilla strips for crunch. 

Notes

This copycat recipe follows the ingredient notes of the original Cheesecake Factory Santa Fe Salad dressing. It’s full of peanut butter flavors. If you prefer, lower the amount of peanut butter by one tablespoon for a less “peanut” taste.
If you prefer, this salad can also be served with Ranch Dressing (just thin out our ranch dip recipe) or honey balsamic dressing.
See the full article for other ways to cook chicken for this salad recipe. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2salads | Calories: 1873kcal | Carbohydrates: 123g | Protein: 107g | Fat: 112g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 58g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 239mg | Sodium: 965mg | Potassium: 3156mg | Fiber: 32g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 29035IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 878mg | Iron: 11mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

Sharing of this recipe is encouraged and appreciated. Copying of full recipe to any social media is prohibited.

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5 from 1 votes

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