When I first discovered the southwest chicken wrap, I knew I had stumbled upon something truly special. This delightful, flavorful meal has become a go-to order whenever I’m seeking something that’s satisfying yet on the lighter side. Combining lean protein with fresh vegetables and a tangy, smoky sauce, a southwest chicken wrap is perfect for lunch or even dinner.
What sets this delicious concoction apart is the unique combination of ingredients, which creates a burst of flavors with every bite. Between the perfectly cooked, well-seasoned chicken and the textures from crunchy lettuce, black beans, and corn, you’ll find yourself craving more. The star of the wrap is undoubtedly the southwest sauce, which ties everything together with its zesty kick.
As I have experimented with this dish, I’ve found countless variations using different types of tortillas, proteins, and toppings. If you’re looking to get creative in the kitchen or simply want a versatile meal option, a southwest chicken wrap might just become your new favorite food adventure.
Southwest Chicken Wrap Ingredients
I prefer using chicken in my Southwest chicken wrap since it is high in protein and relatively low in calories, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol compared to red meats. It’s essential to use a healthy cooking method, like grilling or baking, to maintain its nutritional value. Other proteins that can be used in place of chicken are turkey, tofu or even fish. Adding a sprinkle of taco seasoning or cumin will elevate the flavor of your chosen protein.
Vegetables and Salsa
Vegetables are an integral part of a well-balanced and healthy wrap. My go-to choices for a Southwest chicken wrap include tomato, corn, onion, avocado, and bell pepper. These vegetables add a variety of flavors and textures while providing essential nutrients. Lime juice can be squeezed over the vegetables to give a refreshing and tangy touch.
For an extra kick and zesty flavor, salsa is a must. There are countless store-bought options, or a simple homemade salsa can be made with diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, lime juice, and a dash of salt. Customize the spice level by adjusting the amount of jalapeño added.
Cheeses and Dressings
To finish off the wrap, I use a blend of cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack for that perfect combination of smooth, creamy, and just a hint of sharpness. If desired, other cheese options like pepper jack or queso fresco can also be used.
As for dressings, my personal favorite is a drizzle of zesty ranch dressing. It gives richness to the wrap and ties together all the flavors. Other dressing possibilities include a simple lime vinaigrette or a chipotle mayo for those who love spicy flavors.
Lastly, choosing the right tortilla is essential for a perfect wrap. There are various options available, from classic flour tortillas to low-carb and whole-wheat alternatives. Nutritionally, corn tortillas tend to be lower in calories and sodium than their flour counterparts. But ultimately, the choice of tortilla is up to personal preference and dietary needs. Remember to enjoy the flavors and savor every bite!
Preparation and Cooking
Prep Time and Total Time
The prep time for a southwest chicken wrap only takes me about 15 minutes. When it comes to the total cooking time, you can choose between oven and grill methods. Each method will have a different cooking time, but both will be under an hour.
When I decide to use the oven to cook the southwest chicken wraps, I preheat it to 375°F (190°C).
- Firstly, I place the marinated chicken breasts onto a parchment-lined baking tray.
- I bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- While the chicken is baking, I assemble the remaining wrap ingredients – lettuce, tomato, avocado, corn, black beans, and shredded cheese.
- After the chicken is done, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it into strips.
- With all ingredients ready, I start building the wrap. I take one wrap, layer on lettuce, tomato, chicken, avocado, corn, black beans, and cheese; then I drizzle the southwest sauce on top.
- Finally, I fold the wrap tightly and slice it in half. For an added crispiness, you can use a pan or panini press to toast the outside of the wrap for a minute or two.
When I want to use the grill to cook the southwest chicken wraps, I preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- I place the marinated chicken breasts on the grill grates and cook them for about 4-6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- While the chicken is grilling, I prepare the wrap ingredients the same way as in the oven method.
- After the chicken is done, don’t forget to let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
- With all ingredients ready, I build the wrap following the same steps as mentioned in the oven method.
Both cooking methods give you a delicious and easy southwest chicken wrap. The oven method might take a bit longer, but it doesn’t require much supervision. On the other hand, the grill method gives the chicken a smoky flavor and attractive grill marks. Enjoy making and eating this tasty meal!
Southwest Chicken Wrap
- Baking sheet
- frying pan
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring Cups
- 4 large flour tortillas
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- 1/2 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
- Rub the chicken breasts with the spice mixture.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing into strips.
- While the chicken is cooking, arrange the sliced red onion and bell peppers on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until softened and slightly charred.
- In a small bowl, mix together the black beans, corn, cilantro, and lime juice.
- To assemble the wraps, place a tortilla on a plate and top with sliced chicken, roasted vegetables, black bean and corn mixture, sliced avocado, and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Roll up the tortilla tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and ingredients.
- Serve the wraps immediately or wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.