Tex-Mex Layered Salad is an impressive explosion of colors and taste that can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. It’s a true showstopper that is perfect for a potluck, an outdoor grilling party or any time for that matter. However you serve the salad, be prepared for an amazing dish.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of contents
Ingredients for Tex-Mex Layered Salad
The actual salad includes layers consisting of Romaine lettuce, black beans, Mexicorn, chopped green chiles, grape tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onion tops for a garnish.
The dressing is made from Rotel tomatoes, sour cream, cream cheese, dried cumin and fresh minced garlic.
Because of the tex-mex theme, I also added some cornbread croutons on top! For this, I used a packaged corn muffin mix, one egg and some milk.
Making the Tex-Mex Layered Salad
Step 1: Making the Dressing
The dressing was super easy to make with the blender doing most of the work.
I added the Rotel tomatoes which I had drained, sour cream, cream cheese, dried cumin and minced garlic to the blender. Then, I processed the ingredients in the blender until they were smooth.
Step 2: Making the Cornbread Croutons
I prepared the corn muffin mix according to the package directions. Then I poured the batter into an 8 x 8-inch pan that I had sprayed with non-stick spray.
I baked the cornbread in a preheated 400°F oven for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, I removed the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Next, I removed the cornbread from the pan and cut it into cubes. I placed the cornbread cubes on a baking dish and baked the croutons in a preheated 250°F oven for an hour.
Step 3: Layering the Salad
With the dressing made, I turned my attention to layering the salad ingredients in a trifle bowl.
I started with the Romaine lettuce (Photo 1). Then, I added the black beans which I had rinsed and drained (Photo 2). Next, I added the Mexicorn which I had rinsed and drained (Photo 3).
After that, I added the chopped green chiles which I had drained (Photo 4). I placed a single layer of sliced grape tomatoes around the perimeter of the bowl with the cut side facing out and added the remaining sliced tomatoes in the center (Photo 5).
Finally, I topped the salad with shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese (Photo 6).
Step 4: Adding the Dressing and Green Onions
Once I had layered the salad ingredients, I poured some of the dressing on top and sprinkled on the chopped green onion tops. I reserved the rest of the dressing for use on individual servings.
Step 5: Topping the Salad with Cornbread Croutons
As I was thinking about how I was going to make this salad, I decided that cornbread croutons would be the crowning glory, and I was right.
Therefore, as a final step, I sprinkled on some cornbread croutons.
I covered the salad with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to thoroughly chill.
The Tex-Mex Layered Salad was both colorful and delicious. This south-of-the-border layered salad made with Mexican-inspired ingredients is perfect for any potluck or summer barbeque. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
I made this salad with ingredients that I had on hand. However, it’s quite versatile in terms of different ingredients. For example, you could use iceberg lettuce, regular canned corn, avocados, Pico de Gallo, or whatever suited your fancy. Also, you could add seasoned taco meat.
The possibilities are endless!
You could easily make the salad in the morning without adding the dressing and croutons. Cover and refrigerate the salad. Also, you could make the dressing in advance and cover and refrigerate it. Then before serving the salad, add the dressing, green onions and croutons.
You can definitely omit the cornbread croutons. Also, you could use regular croutons.
I used low-fat sour cream and low-fat cream cheese in the dressing because that’s what I had on hand. You could also use full-fat sour cream and/or full-fat cream cheese.
You can make cornbread croutons from leftover cornbread or any cornbread recipe you choose.
Other Salad Recipes
If you’re looking for other awesome salad recipes, check out these tried and true recipes:
- Classic Southern Seven-Layer Salad: When you’re planning the perfect make-ahead dish for your holiday gathering, look no further than Classic Southern Seven-Layer Salad. It’s as versatile as it is delicious, and always receives rave reviews!
- Tomato, Vidalia Onion and Cucumber Summer Salad: Two of the best things about summer are homegrown tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes and Vidalia onions. This summer salad combines the tomatoes and onions with cucumbers and an awesome dressing. It’s perfect for your Memorial Day cookout!
- Southern Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing: Southern Fried Chicken Salad is the perfect blend of fresh vegetables, crispy fried chicken strips, hard cooked eggs and shredded cheese topped with yummy honey mustard dressing. It’s the ultimate in southern comfort that will have you coming back for more.
- Caesar Salad: You probably think Caesar Salad is an Italian dish. But in fact it was invented in Tijuana, Mexico in the 1920’s. It’s a wonderful dish on its own or paired with any number of toppings or entrees. What makes a Caesar Salad truly great is an outstanding dressing and freshly made croutons, both of which are quick and easy to make.
- Cucumber Dill Salad (Gurkensalat): Cucumber Dill Salad or Gurkensalat easy to make and goes perfectly with your favorite barbecues. This light and refreshing salad pairs a sweet and sour combination of vinegar and sugar with cucumbers, onions and dill.
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Tex-Mex Layered Salad
- 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream (See Tip 1)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (See Tip 2)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8.5 ounce package Cornbread muffins
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup milk
- 4 cups Romaine lettuce
- 15.25 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 11 ounce can Mexicorn rinsed, and drained well (See Tip 3)
- 7 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese (See Tip 4)
- Chopped green onion tops for garnish, optional
- Process drained Rotel tomatoes, sour cream, cream cheese, cumin and garlic in blender until smooth. Transfer to covered dish and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 8 x 8-inch pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Combine corn muffin mix, egg and milk according to package directions. Pour batter in prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Cut cornbread into cubes; transfer to baking sheet. Bake in preheated 250°F oven for 1 hour. Allow to cool.
- Layer salad ingredients in glass bowl as follows: Romaine lettuce, black beans, Mexicorn and chopped green chiles.
- Place a single layer of sliced grape tomatoes around perimeter of bowl with the cut side facing out. Add remaining sliced grape tomatoes.
- Top with shredded cheese. (May be prepared in advance up to this point).
- Pour half of the dressing. Reserve remaining dressing for individual portions.
- Sprinkle top with green onion slices and cornbread croutons. Refrigerate for at least an hour to chill.
- Yield: 8 servings.
Chula’s Expert Tips
- I used light sour cream.
- I used low-fat cream cheese.
- If you can’t find Mexicorn, feel free to use canned sweet corn.
- I used extra sharp Cheddar cheese because that’s what I had on hand. You could also use mild Cheddar cheese, Colby cheese, Colby Jack cheese, or whatever cheese you have on hand.