This is my take on Newman’s Own Southwest Dressing Recipe. After numerous attempts I think this recipe comes pretty close to the dressing you get at McDonalds with their Southwest Salad.
On our way back to Minnesota from Florida, MaryJo and I make some quick stops for lunch. My favorite quick stop is McDonald’s to get a Southwest salad with grilled chicken. McDonald’s are at every other interchange and you know what you are getting when you buy there.
I don’t know if you are familiar with this, but it is a big salad with iceberg lettuce, cilantro, corn, black beans, grated cheddar cheese, topped with spicy tortilla chips with a packet of Newmans’s Own Southwest Restaurant Dressing. It is a really delicious, low calorie lunch which really hits the spot. Thing is, Newman’s own Southwest Dressing is not sold in stores. Bummer! The Southwest Salad Recipe is a total secret and you can’t buy it.
While we were at one of the McDonald stops I told MaryJo that I should try to duplicate the recipe for the Southwest Dressing, so I took a picture of the ingredient label. Logical first step.
There were things like corn syrup solids, corn vinegar, corn starch, whey, and sour cream powder. Curious ingredients. I’m sure that if you are Paul Newman you could call up friends and have this stuff delivered to your front step! No problem.
Well I am Joe and not Paul and have no idea what this stuff is. So I experiment.
One of the ingredients is egg yolks mixed with soybean oil and cider vinegar. The egg yolks make the oil and vinegar mix together to make an emulsion that will not separate, (the old oil and water thing). Well I throw this together and added the spices I thought were in the dressing and made a pretty good likeness to the original, (not really). Then I make another blend. Not quite right.
By then I’m thinking that if I come up with a copycat recipe, it would contain uncooked eggs. Salmonella city!
I went back to the store and bought pasteurized eggs. Turns out they are hard to separate, yolks and whites, but I got the job done. I then tried another spice blend and I was not close again.
MaryJo sensed my frustration and suggested that I use already processed oil, water and eggs…Mayonnaise. I thought. okay, I give up.
So, with a new sense of purpose and determination, I tried at least 5 more spice blends which required MaryJo to go to the store once and for me to go to the store once more,for spices that we would try and to get more sour cream since I used all that we had.
Finally, the blend of spices worked and my Southwest Dressing Recipe is pretty close to Paul’s. He must have spent a lot of time perfecting these recipes! His is exceptional but mine is dang good.
You can’t buy his except at McDonald’s, or you can make your own which is nearly as good. My recipe makes enough for two salads, but if you enjoy this southwest dressing recipe, feel free to double or triple the ingredients. It should store in the refrigerator for two or three weeks.
Try it. You won’t be disappointed.
Southwest Dressing Recipe
Tangy Southwest dressing just like Newman's Own from McDonald's. Not available in stores...make your own!
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tsp light Karo syrup (agave or honey as substitutes)
- 1 tsp water (or more to thin)
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried cilantro
- 1 tsp McCormick hot mexican style chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- iceburg lettuce
- red onion
- black beans
- grape tomatoes
- thin sliced carrot
- grated cheddar cheese
- Mrs. Cubbison's southwest flavor tortilla strips ,
- Whisk ingredients in a medium sized bowl
- Refrigerate to store
The salad ingredient proportions are up to you. Corn and beans are a must. I added red onion because I like it. If you can't find the tortilla strips, (near salad croutons in the store), you could substitute spicy Dorito chips.
This recipe makes 4 1/2 tbsp or approximately 2, 1 1/4 fl. oz. servings