Copycat Earl’s Santa Fe Salad

5 from 18 votes
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Copycat Earl's Santa Fe Salad in a White Plate
Copycat Earl’s Santa Fe Salad

This salad has been on my mind for a while now, ever since I tried the Santa Fe Salad at Earl’s restaurant about two weeks ago. The salad was the ending to a busy but lovely evening of shopping with my children for birthday presents for Mr Magpie.

We went to THE MALL.

I’m sure every city has THE MALL, but here in Edmonton we are (or perhaps used to be?) famous for West Edmonton Mall.

We locals don’t usually shop there unless we need a plethora of stores to choose from. Which, in my language, meant that I had no idea what to get Mike for his birthday and I needed to wander a place that had a bazillion choices for me.

So off to THE MALL we went, right after school one Tuesday evening. By the time we had found comic t-shirts (he’s so easy to please) and new ear phones for his trip (which he  *ahem* left at home during his trip to Amsterdam) and assorted other goodies, we were starving like feral wolverines.

We rarely eat at Earls seeing how there is no kids menu and my daughter is a picky eater. Actually,change the rarely to never. I haven’t eaten there in years.

Copycat Earl's Santa Fe Salad - sliced chicken with tex mex spice and creamy avocado dressing

The salad caught my eye right away, I love a good Sante Fe salad but this one, oh, this one had dates init. Immediately my sweet/savoury loving taste buds perked right up with interest and sealed the deal.

While this isn’t an exact copy – I changed the chicken to a Tex Mex spice instead of cajun and the dressing is less oily/garlicky- the base is there. I preferred my creamy avocado dressing to the peanut oil type one they have on it and I left out the tortilla chips. It was far less greasy this way, the one in the restaurant is almost too.. oily. KWIM?

You can change the chicken to Cajun spiced if you want, but I loved the Tex Mex.



My version of the Earl's restaurant Sante Fe salad. Who knew that dates could be so delicious along with Tex Mex?

I also left the goat cheese off of my salad as I wanted it completely dairy free, but Mike’s had the goat cheese and it’s a spectacular addition flavor-wise. This salad is so adaptable to your tastes!

Thanks for stopping in everyone!

Love you more than chocolate,


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Copycat Earl's Santa Fe Salad

My version of the Earl's restaurant Sante Fe salad. Who knew that dates could be so delicious along with Tex Mex?
5 from 18 votes
Copycat Earl's Santa Fe Salad - sliced chicken with tex mex spice and creamy avocado dressing
Prep Time
10 minutes
Total Time
10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 cup of black beans
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1/3 cup of chopped dates
  • 6 cups of shredded romaine lettuce
  • 5-6 tablespoons of my Homemade Honey Lime & Garlic Avocado Dressing
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts seasoned with Tex Mex Seasoning
  • 1 avocado chopped and divided into two
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese
  • 1 cup of tortilla chip strips or broken tortillas optional I prefer without


  • Combine beans, corn, dates, lettuce and dressing in a large bowl. Divide onto two plates.
  • Slice the chicken breast into strips and place on top of salad.
  • Place avocado on top.
  • Sprinkle goat cheese and tortilla strips on top.
  • Serving with a little extra dressing drizzled over the chicken breast.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 560kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 262mg, Potassium: 1009mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 6550IU, Vitamin C: 10.3mg, Calcium: 132mg, Iron: 3.9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Avocado Chicken breast Copycat Salad

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Bruna Depole says

    I love this salad and this dressing it’s definitely been a staple for a couple of years! Thanks for sharing! The dressing has the perfect balance of flavours!5 stars

  2. Elle says

    I too am glad I read the comments and found the actual dressing recipe from Eli, who worked at Earl’s. Thank you Eli, you’re the best!!

    The author didn’t even provide the recipe for “Homemade Honey Lime & Garlic Avocado Dressing” so I am not too sure what the point of this post, ahem “recipe” is? It is certainly NOT a copycat recipe. Sorry, just keeping it real!
    And if you would rather burn down your house than clean it, that is simply just disgusting and I would not want to eat anything from your kitchen.5 stars

  3. Sherry says

    Can you provide the salad dressing recipe? Sounds delish ?

  4. momo says

    I’m glad I read the comments to find info on how to make the actual dressing from someone who worked at Earl’s. I wouldn’t even remotely call this a copycat recipe, it was “inspired” by something you ate.

  5. Eli says

    I worked as the saucier for an earls for 4 years and I figured I’d help your copycat recipe out even further,I won’t to quantity as it’s for more then a 4 litre batch, but you can adjust to taste!

    Unsalted peanuts
    Garlic cloves (minimal)
    Lime juice
    Cilantro(include stems)
    Canola or other oil for emulsifying

    For the recipe simply put peanuts,honey,cumin Half the lime juice and garlic in a food processor until combined and roughly chunky peanut butter consistency, add the remaining lime juice and cilantro and mix until just combined, finish by streaming in your oil until desired consistency, finish with salt and pepper to taste

    And I’m sure if youve eaten it your aware but the original salad has crumbled feta cheese not goat cheese and the lettuce is actually a 50:50 mix of romaine and mixed greens

    • Eli says

      Oh and I forgot to mention the sauce being to “oily” in the restaurant is defiantly due to whoever made t not doing it correctly!

    • Pam says

      Your recipe is amazing, I made it and not only did it taste like Earls but it kinda tasted like something I’ve had at the Cheesecake Factory. It was amazing. Thank you for sharing 🙂5 stars

    • Rosie says

      Eli could we get the amounts to put in for each ingredient please?

    • Karlynn says

      Goat ‘s milk protein is so similar to cow’s milk protein that a lot of people with a dairy intolerance still can’t eat it. Soooo I’m sure hoping you’re not pretending to be dairy free eating goats milk…or vegan hahahah! Hate to break it to you, it’s still mammal milk and it’s not vegan! Hahaha!!! That’s hilarious!! ?????5 stars

  6. Kendyl Hudson says

    It wasn’t bad, but I really need to invest in some type of blender/food processor. (Just moved into my own place, AGAIN). Was a pretty accurate copycat tho!

  7. Karlynn Johnston says

    How did it taste!!?? What did you think?

  8. Kristy Jahn-Smith says

    That is literally my favorite salad. I’m an addict. Good post.

  9. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Oh Lordy no one wants to be a middle aged woman who drinks too much hahaha! Wait…

  10. Holly Nicole says

    I’m trying to be you lol… My photos suck though.

  11. The Kitchen Magpie says

    That looks fabulous! Gorgeous job on dinner!

  12. The Kitchen Magpie says

    A salad without meat is called “lettuce”, silly! 😉

  13. Holly Nicole says

    Crustless quiche and did a side salad … Yummy

  14. Holly Nicole says

    I couldn’t add your personal page … My dinner to night Karlynn… Thought you would be so proud of me \U0001f60b

  15. Pamela Marriott says

    Not sure if meat is included you can call it a salad… but it looks yummy

  16. Kendyl Hudson says

    Love it, and thanks for the recipe! I always found the chicken over cooked at Earls, so now I can make it better!

  17. Joy Vieira Velozo says

    So jealous! I had 6 Hershey kisses for lunch… All I got was a sugar rush.

  18. Kendyl Hudson says

    Love their salad, especially the corn, black beans and dates (I think)

  19. Librarian Lavender says

    That salad looks delicious and healthy! I bet it tasted a lot better than the mall salad! I love salads and am glad summer’s almost here so I can eat plenty of them again.

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