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Easy Summer Dish: Beans and Corn Chip Salad

Updated on June 4, 2015
This salad is perfect as a main or side dish.  Full of protein and tasty.  The whole family will love it.
This salad is perfect as a main or side dish. Full of protein and tasty. The whole family will love it.
5 stars from 1 rating of Corn Chip and Bean Salad

Every summer I look forward to the hot weather. Swimming, biking, baseball games, family vacations....all the summer fun in those hot and hazy months.

But with summer comes things I don't look forward too such as higher cooling bills and cooking over a hot stove when I'm already too hot from being outside.

One way to beat the summer heat is to plan some delcious, COLD, summer meals that require minimal preparation and maximum enjoyment. I have found that this corn chip salad is a hit. My two kids ask for it and, in the summer and hotter months; we often eat it a couple of times a week.

It's easy, inexpensive, and tasty. What's not to love?

Ingredients

  • One Head Lettuce, You can choose any kind of lettuce that your family enjoys. Washed/bagged salads are easy.
  • Two to Four Cups Cheese (grated), We like extra sharp cheddar.
  • One Bag Corn Chips
  • One to Two Cans Chili Beans, We like Bush's brand beans. You can often find mild, medium, or hot. Depending on taste.
  • One Bunch Green Onions, You can also chop up regular/purple onions if you prefer
  • One to Two Tomatoes, Or get the small, cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy fix.
  • One Bottle Creamy Italian Salad Dressing, You can try other flavors but the dressing should be creamy for maximum tastiness.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pick your favorite kind of lettuce for the base of the salad.This is a Pinto Bean in a medium chili sauce.  It gives your salad a little bit of kick.  You can also find milder varieties and ones with different types of beans.  Experiment around and see what you like.My supermarket just started carrying this variety of chili bean and I've enjoyed having it for a change.  It is in a milder sauce.I prefer to buy a block of cheese and grate the amount I want on the salad.A little diced green onions on the salad.  So cool and tasty.I've tried other dressings but I always end up back to this one.  It complements the other flavors well.And finally, the corn chips on top give it a surprising crunch and flavor.
Pick your favorite kind of lettuce for the base of the salad.
Pick your favorite kind of lettuce for the base of the salad. | Source
This is a Pinto Bean in a medium chili sauce.  It gives your salad a little bit of kick.  You can also find milder varieties and ones with different types of beans.  Experiment around and see what you like.
This is a Pinto Bean in a medium chili sauce. It gives your salad a little bit of kick. You can also find milder varieties and ones with different types of beans. Experiment around and see what you like.
My supermarket just started carrying this variety of chili bean and I've enjoyed having it for a change.  It is in a milder sauce.
My supermarket just started carrying this variety of chili bean and I've enjoyed having it for a change. It is in a milder sauce.
I prefer to buy a block of cheese and grate the amount I want on the salad.
I prefer to buy a block of cheese and grate the amount I want on the salad.
A little diced green onions on the salad.  So cool and tasty.
A little diced green onions on the salad. So cool and tasty.
I've tried other dressings but I always end up back to this one.  It complements the other flavors well.
I've tried other dressings but I always end up back to this one. It complements the other flavors well.
And finally, the corn chips on top give it a surprising crunch and flavor.
And finally, the corn chips on top give it a surprising crunch and flavor.

Instructions

  1. Lay out the number of plates that you will be using and divide the lettuce, chopped or shredded, onto each plate.
  2. Open the can of beans and spoon the desired amount of beans on each lettuce bed. Spoon out both the beans and the juice as this adds extra flavor.
  3. Chop the onion to the desired size and sprinkle on top of the beans.
  4. Chop and add tomatoes.
  5. Add desired amount of shredded cheese. About 1/2 cup per salad.
  6. Add about 3/4 a cup of corn chips to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing around the outer edge of the salad.
  8. Mix everything together on the plate and serve immediately.

Other Ideas and Tips

Tip: You can make a big bowl of taco salad and serve it this way. However, don't add the corn chips, beans, or dressing until right before you serve it. Otherwise the salad will get soggy.

Pairing It

Sometimes we enjoy this hearty salad as our meal. Other times we enjoy pairing it with something cooked from the grill. (You still don't have to heat up your house! An added bonus)

Try it as a side to a hamburger or hot dog. Or even better, barbecue some chicken breasts and then dice up the chicken and add it to the salad.

The salad is versatile and easy and has been a favorite of my family since I was a child. I hope to continue the tradition with my own children.

One of my favorite ways to eat this salad is as a side dish with some bbq chicken.
One of my favorite ways to eat this salad is as a side dish with some bbq chicken. | Source

Versatility

What I like about this salad, too, is that it's versatile. Everyone can make it to their taste. My youngest child likes lots of tomatoes so he piles those on. He doesn't care for onions so he doesn't add those.

I like the mild chili beans; my husband likes the spicy ones.

Add a few corn chips or add a lot. Grate a small amount of cheese or pile it on.

If you want to cut some calories you can use less dressing and add more of the bean juice from the chili beans themselves.

Perfect For Everyone

Salads are something you can enjoy year round. But they are especially popular in the summer months when you crave something cool and refreshing.

I know that I personally get kind of tired of the same old salad, crouton, dressing routine. This salad gives me options and fills me up. And I find that because I can make it different ways on different days, I don't get tired of it as quickly.

So the next time you plan to have a summer get-together or your are just hanging out with the family, why not serve this easy salad.

For meat-eaters it can easily be a side dish. For the vegetarians in your group, it's a filling and delicious main dish.

Enjoy!

© 2015 L C David

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Interesting recipe. Perfect for summer. Maybe I'll hold off on the chili. Voted up for a great summer salad recipe for everyone!

    • LCDWriter profile image
      Author

      L C David 23 months ago from Florida

      It's chili beans, not chili. Nice and cool for summer. I love the mild ones.

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