Do you love Chick-fil-A's side salad, but really miss their chili lime vinaigrette dressing? Learn how to make this bold and spicy dressing that has a southwest feel. This simple side salad is the perfect companion to this zesty dressing, and it quite simple to make.
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Chick-fil-A's description of the side salad is a bed of mixed greens topped with a blend of shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses and grape tomatoes. It's served with charred tomato crispy red bell peppers and guests choice of dressing. Our copycat version covers all the bases!
- Greens: chopped Romaine and spring mix
- Vegetables: shredded green cabbage and grape tomatoes
- Cheese: shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar
- Topping: crispy bed bell peppers (optional, but they make this extra special)
- Dressing: chili lime vinaigrette, which features bold and spicy flavors
How much is a side salad from Chick fil-A?
It costs $3.15 for a serving size of 166g.
Does Chick-fil-A have side salads?
Yes, they offer two side salads: kale crunch and the side salad.
How many calories are in a Chick-fil-A side salad?
For one serving of 166g and no dressing, there are 160 calories, 10g of fat, 13g carbs and 6g of protein in the CFA version. If you choose to include the optional crispy bell peppers, add another 80 calories.
Our version of a 2 cup serving size, is 248 calories with no dressing or bell peppers. It is 493 calories with the crispy bell peppers and 2 tablespoons of chili lime vinaigrette and has 29.2 g of carbs and 6.5 g protein and 3g of dietary fiber. For more nutritional information, scroll to the end of the recipe card.
What kinds of salads does Chick-fil-A have?
This popular fast food restaurant has three premium salads on their 2020 menu: Cobb, market, and the spicy southwest. They also have two side salads: kale crunch and the side salad.
What is the healthiest salad dressing at Chick-fil-A?
On their 2020 menu, Chick-fil-A offers 7 dressings, with three of them being in the low calorie category. These ones are light Italian (25 calories), light balsamic vinaigrette (80 calories), and fat-free mustard (90 calories).
The dressing that we have paired with this recipe was discontinued on January 7, 2019: the bold and spicy chili lime vinaigrette. It was the lighter dressing option for the spicy southwest salad with only 60 calories. Our version of this dressing has more, at 165 calories for a serving size of 2 tablespoons, as we have 3 tablespoons of honey and lots of extra virgin olive oil in our recipe.
What does the chili lime vinaigrette dressing taste like?
Chick-fil-A describes their dressing as "a bold option with spicy flavors like ancho chili peppers, cilantro, and lime. The sweet tang and heat of this dressing really brightens up the flavors of any salad." Our taste testers described this dressing as spicy, limey, and delicious.
Can I get the garden salad catered?
Yes, a small (serves 5 people) costs $14.00, and a large (serves 10 people) costs $30.50. Our salad is for 4 people, but it's easy to increase the ingredients by using the handy scale button in the recipe card, which can instantly double or triple the ingredients.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients to make the chili lime vinaigrette dressing. You'll need to prep the freshly squeezed lime juice, lime zest from one lime, and minced garlic. The rest of the ingredients are just measured out from bottles: extra virgin olive oil, raw honey, and the dried spices.
Pour the lime juice and raw honey into a large glass measuring cup, then add the minced garlic and the lime zest.
Add the dried spices: chili powder, paprika, cumin, chipotle chili pepper, cayenne, salt, and black pepper.
Whisk these ingredients together.
Slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking.
Continue whisking until well incorporated, then pour into a mason jar and tightly screw on the lid. Place in the fridge until ready to use. Shake well before using. This makes one cup.
To prep the Romaine lettuce, wash and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut the ribs out, then stack the leaves three or four high on a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Gather the ingredients: spring mix, Romaine, shredded green cabbage, shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar, grape tomatoes, crispy red peppers, and the chili lime vinaigrette dressing.
Mix the spring mix and the Romaine lettuce together in a large bowl.
Sprinkle on the shredded green cabbage.
Next, sprinkle on both cheeses, then add the grape tomatoes and the crispy red peppers.
When you're ready to serve, drizzle on the chili lime vinaigrette.
- Want more protein? Add 3 sliced boiled eggs and ¾ cup of crumbled bacon for a Cobb feel.
- Want to add seafood? Try salmon or shrimp.
- Can't eat lettuce? Switch it with kale and Swiss chard.
- Don't like spicy dressings? Try one of our other Chick-fil-A copycat dressings linked below.
- Need to make this ahead? Mix the greens, cabbage and grape tomatoes together. Add the cheese, crispy red peppers, and dressing just before serving.
- Don't mix in the 1 cup of cabbage with the spring mix or Romaine, or it will look like there isn't any in there. Sprinkle it on top of each 2 cup serving size.
- Keep any dressing leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
Other Copycat Chick-fil-A Recipes You'll Enjoy
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Copycat Chick-fil-A Side Salad
Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Garden Side Salad
- 4 cups Romaine lettuce
- 4 cups spring mix
- 1 cup green cabbage, shredded
- ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- ½ cup sharp cheddar, grated
- 24 grape tomatoes
- 1 cup crispy red peppers
- ½ cup chili lime vinaigrette dressing
Optional Extra Toppings
- 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
- ¾ cup crumbled bacon, about 8 slices
Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
- Whisk together all the ingredients (except the oil) in a large measuring cup or bowl, then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Vigorously mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
- Transfer to a mason jar with lid and refrigerate. Shake well before using, as the dressing will separate.
Garden Side Salad
- Wash, dry, and chop the romaine lettuce with a chef's knife, then mix it with the spring greens.
- Put 2 cups of greens on each plate and place about ¼ cup of cabbage on top.
- Sprinkle the two cheeses on the salads next; roughly 2 tablespoons of each kind. Add 6 grape tomatoes and ¼ cup of crispy red peppers to each plate.
- When ready to serve, drizzle 2 tablespoons of chili lime vinaigrette dressing on each plate.
- Optional: if you would like to add crumbled bacon and/or hard boiled egg for additional protein, please put it on before the crispy red peppers.
- Want this made the night before? Add the cheese, crispy red peppers and dressing just before serving, but the rest of the ingredients can be assembled.
- Sprinkle the cabbage on top of each serving instead of mixing it in with the greens.
- Leftovers of the dressing keep well in the fridge as long as it's stored in a tightly sealed container.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
Great recipe, thank you!
You're welcome, Karen! Glad you enjoyed it!
This salad is great medley of lettuce and cabbage. I love the addition of tomatoes and cheese. The crunchy red peppers add a nice color. The dressing is a bit spicy, but it's definitely yummy! The lime and honey in it blend nicely together. The combination of salad and dressing is a colorful delight!
I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the side salad, Beth!
The tomatoes are juicy, and the cheese adds a nice flavor to this delicious salad. I like spicy, limey flavor of the dressing, too. The salad has a crunchy texture, which is fun to eat.
Thanks for your review, Alex.