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BBQ Hen Salad with BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing

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This BBQ Chicken Salad is healthy and packed with flavor! It has everything you want in a salad like veggies, shredded chicken, and crunchy tortilla chips. Topped with the most delicious dressing, this salad is the cream of the crop!

If you love flavorful salads like these, then you have to try these Antipasti Salad, Beef Taco Salad, and Spaghetti Salad. They are so good they could even be the main course!

A bowl of BBQ chicken salad.

BBQ Chicken Salad

I love a good salad that’s so packed with ingredients I can barely stir in the dressing without spilling it! Quick and easy to make, this BBQ Chicken Salad is packed with so many veggies that it’s perfect as a side dish or even a main dish. Mixing the BBQ sauce with your chicken adds a deep flavor to the salad. I love this mixed with the fresh veggies.

I see this salad on restaurant menus all the time, and now that I’ve developed this recipe, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home! It’s hearty and if you have leftovers, it tastes even better the next day. I always like to make extra so I can have it for lunch a day or two later. It’s packed with so many delicious toppings, it’s one salad I can never get enough of! The fresh tortilla strips on top give it the perfect crunch and make this salad a home run!

Ingredients in BBQ Chicken Salad

I love that there are so many things in this salad that I feel nice and full long after I eat it. Also, I usually have all of these ingredients at home to make this whenever I want! You can find the exact measurements on the recipe card at the end of the post.

salad ingredients

  • Chicken: I used cooked and shredded chicken, but you can grill chicken and slice instead.
  • BBQ sauce: You can use homemade or store-bought (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • Romance Hearts: Hack this one up. They form the basis for your salad.
  • Vegetable ingredients: Red onion, fresh cilantro, corn, black beans (rinsed and drained), tomatoes
  • Cheese: I like to use this sharp cheddar cheese and Monteray Jack cheese and dice or shred it.
  • tortilla strips: These add the best texture and crispiness to this BBQ Chicken Salad!

salad dressing

  1. Mayonnaise: This is the basis of the dressing.
  2. buttermilk: You can use store-bought or homemade buttermilk. Which is the easiest!
  3. Fresh coriander: Cut the coriander into fine pieces.
  4. lime juice: You can use this from a lime or from a bottle. When fresh, it brings out a lighter flavor.
  5. white wine vinegar: This enhances the flavor of the dressing.
  6. granulated sugar: The sugar adds some sweetness to counteract the lime and vinegar. It adds some balance to the dressing.
  7. Clove of garlic: If you don’t have a fresh clove of garlic, you can use chopped garlic. ½ tsp is about 1 clove of garlic.
  8. Salt and pepper: These are added for flavor.
  9. Cayenne pepper: This gives it a little warmth without too much kick.
  10. Ground Cumin: Cumin adds more flavor to the sauce.
  11. BBQ sauce: You can use homemade or store-bought (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s)

How to prepare this salad

BBQ Chicken Salad is a recipe everyone will love. It’s a great way to sneak in all those veggies and have them full of flavor from the BBQ sauce!

  1. Cooking Chicken and Adding BBQ Sauce: Boil chicken, mix with sauce Boil and shred chicken. I always toss it in the pot with some chicken broth and let it slow cook all day. Then I’ll drain the juices and shred it. Once you have shredded your chicken, add the 2 cups of BBQ sauce to the chicken. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. make dressing: To make the salad dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, chopped cilantro, lime juice, white vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, and BBQ sauce. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Season with vegetables: In a large bowl, mix together the romaine, red onion, cilantro, corn, and black beans. You can either add about ½ cup of the salad dressing or serve it on the side.
  4. Garnish: Top the salad with the cheese and tortilla strips. Enjoy!

6 pictures show how to mix the chicken and BBQ sauce, add the lettuce and veggies, and mix the dressing.

variations

There are many different ways to add or change up this BBQ Chicken Salad. Here are a few ideas in case you have other ingredients at home!

  • Salad: I use romaine hearts for this salad, but you can use iceberg lettuce or really any leafy green base you prefer.
  • Dressing: If you don’t have all the things at home to make this dressing yourself, you can try ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought). Or you can try any type of dressing you see in the store and like! Go crazy and get creative!
  • toppings: I used the classic toppings you typically see in a chopped BBQ salad, but feel free to switch these up and add your own. Cucumbers, peppers or olives would also taste great in this salad!

A bowl of BBQ chicken salad.

How to store leftover BBQ chicken salad

Salads with veggies tend not to keep well because the dressing makes them soggy overnight. Here’s how you can prevent that!

  • Serve individually: If you know you’ll want more, don’t add the dressing or tortilla strips to the entire bowl. Toss your salad, serve, and add these things to each and every serving.
  • Store separately: Store the salad and dressing in separate, airtight containers in the refrigerator. They last 2-3 days. When you’re ready to eat, add the dressing and tortilla strips to your salad and it’ll be tasting as good as new!

BBQ Chicken Salad with dressing and garnished with fresh limes.

BBQ flavor is a classic and can be used in so many dishes, especially chicken. I love that you can even recreate some of these recipes and later use them to make this BBQ Chicken Salad. Then you have two meals in one! These recipes are delicious and you can’t miss them.

  • Cook and shred your chicken. I always toss it in the pot with some chicken broth and let it slow cook all day. Then I will drain the juices and crush them. Once you have shredded your chicken, add the 2 cups of BBQ sauce to the chicken. Set aside until ready to use.

salad dressing

  • To make the salad dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, chopped cilantro, lime juice, white vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, and BBQ sauce. Set aside until ready to use.

  • In a large bowl, mix together the romaine, red onion, cilantro, corn, and black beans. You can either add about ½ cup of the salad dressing or serve it on the side.

  • Top the salad with the cheese and tortilla strips. Enjoy!

Updated January 23, 2022
Originally published March 18, 2013

serves: 6

calories690kcal (35%)carbohydrates61G (20%)protein16G (32%)fat43G (66%)Saturated Fatty Acids12G (60%)cholesterol66mg (22%)sodium1860mg (78%)potassium570mg (16%)fiber3G (12%)sugar44G (49%)Vitamin A4058ie (81%)vitamin C7mg (8th%)calcium282mg (28%)iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is an estimate only. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary per household based on the brands you use, measurement methods, and serving sizes.

course dinner, salad

kitchen American

keyword Grilled chicken, chicken salad

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