Southwest salad dressing is a creamy, zesty addition to any dish! This easy creamy dressing is perfect drizzled over your favorite salads or used as a dipping sauce or spread.

Southwest Dressing in a mason jar

This bold salad dressing is inspired by the creamy salsa salad dressing from Chik-fil-A. It’s one of my favorites and I don’t mind tooting my own horn, this homemade version is even better! 

I love drizzling it over some chopped blackened chicken in my Southwest Salad or my chicken fajitas or veggie fajitas.

It makes a delicious addition to any meal as a dressing, sauce or sandwich spread. Make it ahead of time and keep a batch in your fridge for quick lunches and dinners throughout the week.

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Southwest Dressing in a jar with ingredients around a plate

Ingredients You’ll Need

The ingredients you’ll need to make this creamy salad dressing include:

  • Mayonnaise – We use regular mayo for this recipe, but you could use low fat if you  prefer.
  • Salsa – You can make your own salsa or use fresh salsa from your local grocery store.
  • Tomato paste – You can use your favorite brand.
  • Spices – You’ll need onion powder, garlic powder, Kosher salt, paprika, and chili powder.
  • White vinegar – The vinegar adds a bit of tang.
  • Lime juice – This adds a nice freshness to the dressing.
  • Finely chopped cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds freshness.
  • Bell peppers – We use a red and green one. You could use different colors if you prefer.
  • Pickled Jalapenos – You can use your prefered brand.
  • Jalapeno juice – This is often used to make mixed drinks so you should be able to find it with other mixers.

Looking for something a little different? Try a mixed green salad and homemade Italian dressing.

pouring Southwest Dressing on a salad


This is a super easy southwest dressing recipe that only takes a couple of steps, and you really only need to do minimal chopping. Here’s what to do.

Step 1 – Blend all the ingredients in a high power blender until it is smooth. I love my NutriBullet for this kind of recipe because it quickly purees everything into a smooth dressing.
Step 2 – Pour into a bottle and store in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Southwest Dressing on a southwest salad

Is It Healthy? 

It’s hard to say how healthy this dressing is, and it really depends on your own definition of healthy. 

This is a creamy, low carb sauce or dressing that fits nicely into a keto or low carb lifestyle. It has no added sugar and a good portion of fat from the mayo. I like to add mine to my shredded chicken taco bowl or as a dipping sauce for my keto Mexican meatballs.

If you watch your portions (one serving is 2 tablespoons), this dressing is low in calories. With all the flavor this recipe has to offer, you will probably find one serving is plenty for your salad or entree. You can easily fit the dressing into any dietary plan you follow.

Can I Substitute Something for the Mayonnaise? 

Yes, you can make an easy substitution with Greek yogurt or sour cream in place of the mayo. We still recommend you use a full fat version of either substitution. The fat in the mayo helps to emulsify the other ingredients and hold them together, so you’ll want to get the same effect from the substitutes.

If you prefer, you can use a low fat or olive oil version of mayo instead. These versions often have higher amounts of sugar and may not be good for a keto or low carb diet. 

How to Make it Ahead of Time 

You really don’t need to do much prep to any of the ingredients before making the dressing, but you could seed the peppers ahead of time and store them in an airtight container. 

When you make the dressing, it will last for about 7 days in an airtight container for up to 7 days. We like to keep ours in a mason jar.

Looking for More Easy Sauces or Seasonings?

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Servings: 13
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Homemade Southwest Salad Dressing

Southwest salad dressing is a creamy, zesty addition to any dish! This easy creamy dressing is perfect drizzled over your favorite salads or used as a dipping sauce or spread.
Southwest Dressing in a mason jar
Print Recipe
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  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Salsa
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons White vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1 ounce Red bell pepper
  • 1 ounce Green bell pepper
  • 1 ounce Pickled Jalapenos
  • 1.5 tablespoons Jalapeno juice


  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 255mg, Potassium: 39mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 181IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy salad dressing, southwest dressing, southwest salad dressing
Handwritten signature for Kat & Melinda