Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or a grill/grill pan to medium-high heat.
Trim the chicken of any fat. Brush the chicken with olive oil and season the chicken breasts evenly with taco seasoning on all sides.
Grill the chicken for 6-7 minutes per side, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Alternatively bake the chicken for 15-18 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Remove chicken from grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, before slicing into ½ inch cubes.
For the Southwest Salad
In a large salad bowl or platter, lay out the chopped romaine. Top with the beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers, cheese, and avocado. Top with chicken, tortilla chips if using, and the cilantro lime dressing.
Cilantro Lime Dressing
Zest 1 lime and juice 3-4 limes to give you 1 teaspoon lime zest, along with ¼ cup fresh lime juice.
To a blender add lime juice, olive oil, lime zest, salt, honey, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno. Blend on high speed until everything is broken down and the dressing is smooth. Add water if, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to smooth. Taste and add salt if needed.
Vegetarian Option: Make this Southwest Salad meatless, by adding more beans and omitting the chicken. Chicken: If your chicken breast is large, use only one breast and cut it in half widthwise. Season and cook as the recipe directs. Beans: Use any beans you like. Black beans, pinto beans, or red beans all pair well in this southwest-style salad.Salsa Ranch Dressing Option: If you don't like the cilantro lime dressing, make homemade ranch dressing and add 1-2 teaspoons of homemade taco seasoning for a Homemade Southwest Ranch Dressing.