This make ahead Mexican salad with ranch dressing is packed with vegetables. It’s one of my favorite party recipes, because it’s unexpected and different – but very simple to make!
Make ahead Mexican salad is always a favorite BBQ salad, football party appetizer or potluck side dish. If you’re making this to bring to an event, don’t forget to make extra for your own fridge! This easy make ahead salad recipe is a wonderful after-work snack, or take-to-work lunch (that you’ll actually crave).

Special thanks to Toby’s Dressing for sending their delicious ranch to feature in this Sip Bite Go post!

Prepping ingredients for make ahead Mexican salad with ranch dressing

For newbies, first I’ll run through the ingredients and how to prep the vegetables for the salad. For Sip Bite Go regulars, and veggie-prepping-warriors, skip down to the recipe and enjoy!

First up: corn. It gives the salad a sweet bite. Skip the cob and use frozen corn to make this dish fast. Pull it out of the freezer to thaw in a strainer while you prep the other ingredients.

Any Mexican salad appropriate cheese will do (cheddar, pepper jack, queso fresco). But I recommend choosing a smoked mozzarella. I buy it fresh on the block and chop it into bite-sized pieces.

To prepare the black beans, put them in a strainer and rinse off the bean juice. If you don’t wash the beans first, the bean juice will take away from the beautiful fiesta colors in this chilled salad. And everyone knows pretty food = delicious food.

Once the veggies are chopped, mix them together and add ranch dressing, one or two tablespoons at a time. A little ranch goes a long way, and if you varied the quantity of any salad ingredients you may need more or less dressing. I love Toby’s ranch dressing for this make ahead Mexican salad.
Last but not least, like any great Mexican dish, this salad calls for cilantro. To chop the cilantro, cut the leafy parts off the stems and loosely dice it. I add the cilantro at the end, after integrating the ranch dressing. To beautiful the salad, I always save a pinch of cilantro to sprinkle on top.

This simple Mexican party salad will last in the fridge for a few days. I say that, but, in my house, it’s usually gone before the weekend is up!

Enjoy making this salad. Have a delicious wonderful week or weekend and I’ll see you again here at Sip Bite Go soon. Your chilled salad loving blogger buddy, Jenna.

party size salad recipe for make ahead Mexican salad with ranch dressing for a BBQ or potluck

Make ahead Mexican salad with ranch dressing (Sip Bite Go)

A 15 minute make ahead Mexican salad recipe for potlucks, football party appetizers, and BBQs

Course Appetizer, lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican, tex mex
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 127 kcal


  • 1 cup corn frozen
  • 1 cup black beans rinsed
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 5 tomatoes diced
  • 5 carrots diced
  • 1 cup smoked mozzarella cheese cubed
  • 5 tbsp ranch dressing
  • 3 tbsp cilantro diced
  • S&P


  1. Mix together vegetables and cheese in a large bowl. Add ranch dressing and stir. Add cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

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