This Mexican wedge salad is my flavorful and zesty take on the classic salad wedge. It's perfect for when you're craving a cool, crisp salad with a unique twist and a sprinkle of tasty toppings!
A Delectably Zesty Little Wedge Salad
I'll admit that I kinda came late to the whole wedge salad party. Believe it or not, the first time I tried one was only about two years ago where it was offered on the menu at Cole's, a famous restaurant here in LA known for their beef dip sandwiches.
It sounded so good, so I figured why not try it, and let me just say I absolutely loved it! I mean, what's not to love? It's cool, crisp, and loaded with lots of tasty toppings, plus a creamy dressing.
Honestly, a wedge salad is quite a little meal in and of itself! 😉
And because we're such lovers of salad in our household, and pretty much enjoy some combination of greens on a daily basis these days, I thought I'd whip up a little recipe here for a Mexican wedge salad as a delectably zesty twist on the classic version.
How to Turn a Classic Wedge Salad into a Mexican Wedge Salad
Wedge salad is made by cutting a head of iceberg lettuce into, you guessed it, wedges.
Typically blue cheese dressing it used, along with blue cheese crumbles, crisp bacon, and perhaps a couple of other toppings.
With my Mexican wedge salad, I take the basic idea of that and give things a zesty, south-of-the-border spin.
I blend up a creamy cilantro-lime dressing using sour cream, plus a hint of mayo and buttermilk, then sprinkle in some chives as well.
As for my tasty little toppings, I too like to sprinkle on a little touch of crisp bacon (can't go wrong with that!), but then I deviate a bit and add Cotija cheese in place of the blue cheese, a small handful of roasted, salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), a sprinkle of fresh corn kernels, some quartered cherry tomatoes, and some cilantro leaves for flavor.
Here's a glance at my Mexican wedge salad recipe (or you can jump to the full recipe further down...):
- To begin, I prepare my cilantro-lime dressing, and keep that cold.
- Then, I crisp up some bacon, chop that up, and set it aside.
- Next, I cut a large head of iceberg into six wedges.
- To assemble the salad, I generously drizzle some of the dressing over each wedge, sprinkle on the bacon as well as the other toppings, and serve nice and cold.
This unique take on wedge salad is wonderfully refreshing, with the perfect zippy kick!
Mexican Wedge Salad
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 330 calories per wedge (with 1/4 cup dressing)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes (if crisping bacon)
Total time: 25 minutes
Mexican Wedge Salad Ingredients:
• 1 large head iceberg lettuce, cut into 6 wedges
• 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear of corn)
• 6 strips bacon, crisped and chopped
• 1/2 cup halved, small cherry tomatoes
• 6 tablespoons crumbled Cotija cheese
• 6 tablespoons roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
• Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cilantro-Lime Dressing Ingredients:
• 1 1/4 cup sour cream
• 3/4 cup mayo
• 1/4 cup buttermilk
• 6 cloves garlic
• 1 tablespoon lime zest
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• Pinch black pepper
• 1 tablespoon finely minced chives
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (about 1/2 cup very loosely packed leaves)
- Begin by preparing your dressing: place all of the dressing ingredients up to and including the pinch of black pepper into a food processor, and process until well blended and creamy; pour the dressing into a bowl, add in the finely minced chives and the chopped cilantro, and fold/blend those in until well mixed; keep the dressing cold.
- Place the iceberg lettuce wedges onto either one large platter or onto individual serving plates, drizzle about 1/4 (generous) cup of the dressing over each wedge, and sprinkle over equal amounts of the corn kernels, chopped bacon, and cherry tomatoes; then, sprinkle over each wedge about 1 tablespoon worth of both the Cotija cheese and pumpkin seeds.
- Garnish the wedges with fresh cilantro leaves and serve with extra dressing on the side.
Tips & Tidbits for Mexican Wedge Salad:
- Fresh, firm head of iceberg lettuce: When choosing iceberg, choose a crisp, fresh head that is on the larger side so you can easily cut it into six wedges. Begin by cutting the head in half, then cut each half into three wedges, roughly the same size. (It's OK if the wedges are a little uneven or misshapen.)
- For quick dressing, use your food processor: While I do fold into the dressing the finely chopped cilantro leaves and the chives at the end (as to not turn the dressing green), I like to whirl the dressing base up in my food processor to make it creamy and well blended. However, if you do not have a processor, simply use a bowl and a whisk, and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Prep ahead for an easy wedge salad: You can easily make this salad recipe ahead for convenience, then simply assemble when ready to serve. Just prepare your dressing and toppings, cut your head of iceberg into wedges, and keep everything wrapped up and cold; then, dress and top the wedges just before serving.
- A vegetarian option: If you wish to make this Mexican wedge salad vegetarian, simply omit the crispy bacon. It'll still be just as delicious! 😉
- Cotija cheese, or a substitute: Cotija cheese is hard, crumbly cheese from Mexico, and can typically be found in the cheese section in vacuum-packed block form. Use a knife or your fingers to finely crumble it before adding it as a topping. If you cannot find it, or choose not to use it, I'd recommend subbing feta cheese, as it is tangy, crumbly and creamy, and a great alternative.