I know there are a lot of these out there and many of you might have your own version - or this same one - but I loved it. It's a first cousin to the Seven or Eight Layered Salad - the one that has green peas and chopped veggies and cheese and mayo and bacon.
Southwestern Chicken and Cornbread Salad
6 cornbread muffins, very dry, coarsely crumbled, divided
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced ripe olives drained
1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
1 cup Hidden Valley® Spicy Ranch Dressing, divided
1 cup bell pepper, diced, assorted colors
2 chicken breasts, grilled*
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
In large clear salad bowl or trifle dish, layer half of the cornbread followed by the can of olives, the can of pintos, and the can of corn. Top with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Layer with the chopped bell pepper, the chicken, the diced onion, the diced tomatoes, and then the remaining cornbread and remaining dressing. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
My added comments. I NEVER EVER use bottled Ranch Dressing. I don't like it because I know that the original version made with the packet and the buttermilk (NOT the kind where you add milk) and good mayo (Helman's) is so very much better. I had some fresh in the refrig so I used my mixed version.
Also - I don't have a large clear bowl or a trifle dish. I used a large opaque bowl.
One other thing. I'm always afraid that one making won't be enough. I doubled it.
I thought Ann and her family would be joining Charlie, Kate and I - but they didn't.
Still, the next day it was delicious - so I was very glad to have leftovers.
When the recipe is doubled it's a very large salad.
Other thing - it was more labor intensive than I had planned. I had to make the cornbread. Didn't just have it on hand. and...all the hand chopping. I did not use my food processor to chop. And the thorough draining of those cans of beans and corn - I didn't want added liquid.
Also - the seeding and dicing of the tomato - still - it was very worth it. I started too late in the afternoon. I would recommend having the ingredients on hand and making it early in the day. Or day before. And have an empty dishwasher so you can throw all of that in there and not have to hand wash a LOT of bowls and utensils.
Anyway - this was super duper in my book.
One other thing - I had grilled chicken left from the night before. One could purchase a Rotisserie Chicken at the grocery store - or just leave out the chicken and it would still be a hearty salad.