I get raves every time I make/share this cold salad recipe. Everyone from teens to older folks really enjoy it. I have included notes for a grocery store brand (HEB) for folks in Texas. If you use prepared PICO DE GALLO this is basically a "dump salad." If my 24 year old son can make it, you can make it!
This salad is great with any Tex-Mex type meal, or it would be perfect with burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, or grilled chicken.
Thaw Corn and drain off any excess liquid - add to a LARGE bowl. Rinse and drain Black Beans and add to the corn.
Add 1 Cup of fresh Pico De Gallo*, but make sure you drain off excess liquid from the Pico. (Add to beans and corn)
Add all of the Cheese to the bowl.
Mix Hot Sauce with the Ranch Dressing. I like a sweeter hot sauce so mine is not super hot, so taste the dressing after you've added some and decide whether you would like more or not. Combine the dressing with the veggie mixture. Also you can use less than 1/2 Cup dressing. It says 1/4 to 1/2 depending on your taste.
NEXT add 2 Cups cheese to the mixture.
DO NOT ADD Chili Cheese Corn Chips until ready to serve.
It is best to chill this salad for awhile in the refrigerator, but not totally necessary.
When ready to serve. Combine 3/4 of the Chili Cheese corn chips in with the salad, crunching them up a bit as you go. Top with the remaining corn chips and serve!
*Pico De Gallo is also called salsa fresca. It is a fresh, uncooked condiment made from chopped tomato, white onion, and chilis (typically jalapeños). Other ingredients may also be added, such as lime juice and/or apple cider vinegar, fresh cilantro. So if you can’t find this in your local store already prepared in the produce section, you can make your own. Note* This is not the same as salsa. For this Texas Ranch Salad recipe, 1/3 Cup chopped onion, 1/2 Cup chopped Tomato, ¼ Cup chopped pepper and a 1/2 Tbsp cilantro and ½ TBSP lime juice would work. You could also leave out cilantro and lime.
Additions: If you aren't trying to please a bunch of picky eaters, you could add a variety of peppers (red, gold, green) maybe some black olives. And, I suppose you could omit the Pico De Gallo and just use chopped tomatoes and some green or red onions, but The prepared Pico really gives this dish it's original flavor, along with the chili cheese chips.