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Sweet + Spicy Salad with Chipotle Ranch

Lisa Leake
Simple but flavorful, this salad will give you crunch with DIY sweet and spicy nuts plus a creamy dressing with a little kick.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 409 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Glazed Pecans

  • 3/4 cup pecans raw
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper

For the Chipotle Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 tbsp of white vinegar in 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1 tsp chipotle pepper adobo seasoning (sauce, jarred) (or 1 chipotle pepper)
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves fresh
  • 1 tbsp chives fresh
  • 2 tsp lime juice fresh
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the Salad Assembly

  • 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 3/4 cup queso fresco freshly crumbled
  • 1 avocado

Instructions
 

For the Glazed Pecans

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add the pecans to a medium mixing bowl. Mix in the oil, honey, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper, and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Stir the nuts to help prevent burning and bake for 3 to 5 minutes more.
  • Allow the nuts to harden in clumps as they cool. Once they've cooled, break them apart with your hands or lightly chop with a knife.

For the Chipotle Ranch Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until smooth.

For the Salad Assembly

  • Chop romaine (if needed) and place greens in a large bowl. Toss with glazed pecans, crumbled cheese, and diced avocado. Serve dressing on the side or toss into the salad. (There will be extras, I'm sure!)
Keyword chipotle ranch dressing, egg free, gluten free, lunch, salad, sweet and spicy salad, vegetarian