This easy, healthy, vegetarian makeover of a traditional Mexican layered salad is as beautiful as it is delicious. Using spinach in place of lettuce gives it a big nutrition boost. A creamy seasoned yogurt replaces the calorie laden mayo/sour cream often found in layered salad recipes. Reducing the amount of cheese and using baked tortillas chips further reduces the calorie count. Plus, this salad can conveniently be assembled a day ahead, if you like.
This colorful salad can be a complete meal for lunch or dinner, or serve it as a side with other dishes. Take it to share at a potluck for a sure-to-impress healthy option that will be appreciated.
- High in fiber, protein, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and B6
- per serving: 325 calories, 8.7g fat, 892mg sodium, 45.8g carbs, 7.6g fiber, 7.9g sugars, 17.3g protein
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 8
Step-by-step photos for making
Mexican Layered Spinach Salad
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients for the layers:
- fresh baby spinach
- red bell pepper
- green onions
- fresh or frozen corn
- canned chili beans; or, make your own; here's my recipe: Chili Beans
These are the ingredients for the yogurt dressing layer:
- Greek yogurt
- canned green chiles
- diced fire roasted tomatoes
- taco seasoning mix--store bought, or make your own for a healthier option. Here's my recipe: Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix
view on Amazon: organic taco seasoning mix
- Baked tortilla chips, or whatever tortillas chips you prefer. Roughly crumble them.
Step 2. Chop the green onions, red bell pepper, and cilantro.
Step 3. Use a wire strainer to drain the canned tomatoes and beans. Don't rinse them--just drain out the can juices.
Step 4. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, taco seasoning, green chiles, and tomatoes. This will make a thick, chunky dressing layer for the salad.
Step 5. Assemble the salad in layers. In a large trifle bowl with straight sides, stack layers of ingredients in this order from the bottom up:
- half of the crumbled tortilla chips
- red bell pepper
- yogurt dressing
- Top with the remaining crumbled chips just before serving.
The bottom chips soften, the top ones add crunch—a pleasing texture combo.
Optional additional layers. I make this salad as described above; but you can add more layers to suit your personal taste, and as long as your bowl is big enough to accommodate more. Here are few to consider:
Make ahead convenience. You can serve this right away or assemble the salad the day before, except for the top layer of tortillas chips which should be added just before serving. Cover and chill it overnight, and it's ready to serve the next day.
Offer more toppings on the side. These are optional, but allow everyone to customize their serving with additional favorite flavors.
- guacamole -- here's my recipe: Simple Guacamole
- salsa -- here's my fast and easy recipe: 10-Minute Fire Roasted Salsa
- additional yogurt dressing -- this is similar to the dressing already used in this recipe, but is thinner for additional drizzling: Healthy Yogurt Fiesta Dressing
- tortilla chips -- have an additional bowl of these for those who want to add more crunch to their salad serving
I love the colorful layers in this salad, especially since it tastes as good as it looks. When you serve it, make sure you dig down all the way to the bottom so that each serving gets a bit of each layer.
Make it a Yummy day!
Mexican Layered Spinach Salad
Servings: 6 servings
- FOR SEASONED YOGURT LAYER:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (regular yogurt is too thin; strained (Greek) yogurt is recommended)
- 2 tablespoons dry taco seasoning mix
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (4 oz) can chopped roasted green chiles
- FOR OTHER LAYERS:
- 30 baked or reduced fat tortilla chips – broken into rough pieces; divided
- 1 (15 oz) can chili beans, drained but not rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn, thawed
- 6 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese mix
- 4 cups (3 oz.) fresh baby spinach leaves
- OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:
- Creamy Yogurt Fiesta Dressing (recipe at www.theyummylife.com/Yogurt_Fiesta_Dressing_Dip)
- Salsa (recipe at www.theyummylife.com/fire_roasted_salsa)
- Guacamole (recipe at www.theyummylife.com/guacamole)
- Additional tortilla chips
In medium bowl, add yogurt, taco seasoning mix, tomatoes, and green chiles; stir until well combined. Set aside. In a clear trifle bowl with straight sides, layer ingredients beginning with half of the broken chips on the bottom of the bowl, and stacking the remaining ingredients in the order given, adding the yogurt mixture between the corn and onions. May be served right away or covered and chilled overnight. Right before serving, top with remaining broken tortilla chips. (The bottom chips soften, the top ones add crunch—a pleasing texture combo.) Optional: serve with salsa, guacamole, additional tortilla chips, & Creamy Yogurt Fiesta Dressing on the side.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per serving: 325 calories, 8.7g fat, 892mg sodium, 45.8g carbs, 7.6g fiber, 7.9g sugars, 17.3g protein
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 8
Healthy, Make-Ahead Mexican Layered Spinach Salad with a low calorie yogurt dressing and nutrient-rich vegetables. From TheYummyLife.com