Protein ranch dressing and southwestern salad

This protein-rich Southwestern pulled chicken salad has the best ranch dressing out there! The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily use leftover chicken and quinoa or prepare the ingredients in advance and throw the salad together at the last minute. A great, nutritious way to save time when you’ve got a packed schedule!

This salad is full of protein thanks to the quinoa, pulled chicken, black beans and cottage cheese. And, of course, our Natrel Plus 2%, which adds a tasty touch to the ranch dressing. This protein-packed ranch dressing is good for 5 days in the refrigerator. You can also magically transform it into an excellent dip for nachos or veggies! 

20 min
12 min


For the protein-packed dressing

  • 250 ml (1 cup) low fat cottage cheese 2%
  • 250 mL (1 cup) mayonnaise
  • 125 ml (½ cup) Natrel Plus 2% (approx.)
  • 2.5 ml (½ tsp.) garlic powder
  • 2.5 ml (½ tsp.) onion powder
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp.) fresh or dried chives
  • Salt and pepper

For the Southwestern pulled chicken salad

  • 250 ml (1 cup) cooked quinoa
  • 4 kale leaves, thinly sliced and stems removed
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp.) olive oil
  • 200 g of cooked and shredded chicken thighs, around 2 thighs (see note)
  • 1 can of black beans (540 ml or 19 oz), rinsed and drained
  • 125 ml (½ cup) thawed frozen corn
  • 125 ml (½ cup) cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • Tortilla chips for garnish


For the protein-packed ranch dressing

  1. Using a food processor or electric mixer, blend the cottage cheese, mayonnaise, Natrel Plus 2%, garlic powder and onion powder. Use the pulse button to ensure the mixture is smooth and well blended. As needed, adjust the consistency of the dressing by adding 15 ml (1 tbsp.) of Natrel Plus at a time. 
  2. Pour the protein-packed ranch dressing in a bowl. Add the green onion and chives. Mix well. Add a generous helping of pepper and a pinch of salt. 

For the Southwestern pulled chicken salad

  1. As needed, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, rub the kale with the lemon zest and juice and oil for 2 minutes to tenderize the leaves. Add the quinoa, chicken and corn. Mix well.
  3. Divide the Southwestern salad into 4 large bowls. Garnish with tomatoes, avocado and broken up tortilla chips. Pour the protein-packed ranch dressing on the salad or into small serving bowls so that each person can dress their salad as they wish.

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