Make Ahead Mexican Salad with Ranch Dressing (Sip Bite Go)
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! Whip it up in ~10 minutes and serve it as on it's own or as a side dish or a dip with tortilla chips.
Prepare the corn. If you’re making the salad at least an hour ahead, you can add frozen corn directly to the salad and it will thaw in the fridge. If you’re serving the salad immediately, thaw the frozen corn in the fridge ahead of time (can be done overnight) or cook the corn and let it sit at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
Drain the beans and rinse them with water.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables (corn, black beans, red pepper, red onion, tomatoes, carrots, jalapeño) and mozzarella cheese.
Add ranch dressing. Start with 3 tbsp ranch, then toss, and add more as needed. The vegetables should be lightly coated in ranch so the colors of the vegetables are still visible. Less is more.
Add chili powder, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, salt and pepper. Lightly toss to combine. Serve as a dip with chips or enjoy this dish as a salad.
Notes on corn... If serving immediately, use thawed (or cooked) corn. If making ahead, add the frozen corn directly to the salad. It will thaw in about an hour in the fridge.
Keep this salad bright and beautiful by rinsing the black beans before adding them to the salad. Otherwise the bean juice will discolor the salad.
Slowly add in the ranch dressing. A little goes a long way. Start with three tablespoons, toss to coat, then add additional tablespoons of ranch if needed. The vibrant colors of the vegetables should still be visible - less ranch is more.
If serving as a dip, you can add chopped avocado right before serving to change this recipe up a bit.