A little spicy and a little smoky, this Charred Tex-Mex Chopped Salad is hearty enough for a weeknight meal. The chili lime vinaigrette, charred corn, queso fresco, and sour cream is reminiscent of Mexican street corn.  Don’t skimp on the garnishes!  I highly recommend pickled onions, pepita seeds and chili-dusted pistachios for extra brightness and crunch.

Vegetarian, Serves 4-6


  • 3 ears of corn
  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 1 sweet vidalia onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 avocados, diced, salted, and peppered
  • ¾ cup of queso fresco, crumbled
  • Optional garnishes: raw red onions, pickled red onions (see recipe below), sour cream, pepita seeds, chili-dusted pistachios or almonds

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Quick Pickled Red Onions (Optional):

  • ½ of a red onion, sliced very thinly with a mandoline
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  1. If choosing to make pickled red onions, do this step first:  
    1. Boil ½ cup of water. Thinly slice the red onion and place in a glass bowl.  When the water has boiled, add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and ½ teaspoon of salt to the pot and stir until the salt dissolves.  Pour over the red onions.  Allow the red onions to sit for at least 20 minutes or more.  Pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks.
  2. Place the corn (still in their husks) in the microwave and heat for 4 minutes on high power – OR – you can shuck the corn and par-boil them for 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then shuck the husks from the corn, but don’t cut the corn from the cob just yet.  
  3. Heat the grill (or a grill pan on the stove).  Rub the corn on the cob, whole red pepper, and onion quarters with olive oil, salt and pepper, then place on the grill and char for 4 minutes on each side on high heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Dice the grilled red pepper and onion and place in a large bowl with the black beans, tomatoes, chopped spinach and cilantro.
  5. Combine the chili-lime vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until combined. Drizzle over the salad and toss to combine.  
  6. Cut the corn off the cob and sprinkle on top of the salad, along with the diced avocado, queso fresco, and any other garnishes you’d like.  Enjoy!
Kristina Shane

This recipe is from Home Chef and OPL Community member Kristina Shane.


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