Jalapeno Popper Salad

A salad that’s not afraid to bring the heat.

Who says salads should be relegated to a simple side dish? This jalapeno popper-inspired salad is worthy of being the star of your next dinner party.

To really capture the flavors of summer, this salad recipe consists of fire-roasted veggies. We’re talking grilled tomatoes, corn, and of course, fire-roasted jalapeno peppers.

Toss in a generous amount of chopped grilled chicken, onions, pepper jack cheese, and mozzarella pearls, and top it all off with a creamy homemade jalapeno ranch dressing and you’ve got a salad that’s not afraid to go bold.

The homemade ranch is made with – you guessed it – more fresh jalapenos along with sour cream, Greek yogurt, and cream cheese to create a rich creamy dressing that helps balance the heat and freshness of the grilled jalapeno.


  • Prep: ~ 20 minutes
  • Cooking: ~20 minutes
  • Yields: ~4 servings

Grocery List

  • For the salad:
  • 1.5 pounds of boneless chicken tenders
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • ~8 ounces of mixed greens
  • 1-2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
  • 2 cups of grilled corn
  • 5 jalapenos
  • 1 1/2 cups of cherry or vine tomatoes
  • 1 cup of mozzarella pearls
  • 1/2 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese
  • For the dressing:
  • 3/4 cups of light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp hidden valley ranch original seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, diced, stemmed and seeded

What you’ll do

  • Boil the corn for about ten minutes until tender. It will speed up the grilling time.
  • In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, corn, onion, and jalapeno in a small bit of olive oil and salt.
  • Fire up the grill (or oven if going that route). Grill the jalapeno, onion, and tomato until they begin to char. Flip and let char, then remove and set to the side.
  • Grill the chicken until fully cooked through, then remove and get back inside.
  • Slice up the onions and jalapeno, and dice the tomatoes.
  • Slice the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces.
  • Then get out a big old salad bowl and start adding your mixed greens, chopped romaine, grilled chicken, and veggies. Toss in the mozzarella pearls and cheese.
  • Top the salad with the jalapeno ranch dressing and enjoy!
  • For the dressing:
  • Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Blend until smooth.