BBQ Chicken Salad
Published Jul 22, 2021, Updated Jul 21, 2023
This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
This BBQ chicken salad has so much flavor with grilled BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, avocado, crunchy tortilla chips and a drizzle of both BBQ sauce and ranch dressing.
I have been making this BBQ chicken salad recipe for ages so I honestly don’t know what took me so long to get the recipe tested. I think it’s mostly the fact that when I make salads like this with leftover grilled chicken I don’t tend to measure anything and it doesn’t feel like a recipe.
Lucky for you, I finally perfected the recipe and I’m sharing it today.
This salad is packed with flavor from the grilled BBQ chicken, a variety of vegetables and not one, but two sauces, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing. And for added crunch, it’s topped with crushed tortilla chips!
Here’s What You Need
- grilled bbq chicken breasts – simply follow my recipe for grilled BBQ chicken. You can prep the chicken 1-2 days in advance, if desired!
- romaine lettuce – I like using romaine lettuce in this salad for the extra crunch, but you could use any greens you have on hand!
- black beans – I like using canned black beans to save time. Just make sure you drain and rinse them well!
- sweet corn – frozen or fresh both work. If you have time to grill the corn, it adds so much flavor!
- cherry tomatoes – any type of tomato works but I’m partial to cherry tomatoes because they’re so sweet.
- red onion – add a little zest to the salad with chopped red onion!
- avocados – I love the creaminess and healthy fats avocado adds. To select a ripe avocado, press the skin in gently. If it gives slightly (not too much!) it’s ripe.
- shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese – feel free to omit the cheese to make this salad dairy-free or use a vegan version.
- crushed tortilla chips – any tortilla chips work! We’re big fans of Late July tortilla chips, but the Siete brand is great if you are looking for a grain-free option.
- BBQ sauce – make your own or use a store-bought sauce. I like the Primal Kitchen brand because there is no added sugar!
- ranch dressing – again, homemade or store-bought works! I love making my vegan ranch dressing, but if I’m short on time I like Primal Kitchen, Tessamae’s or Bolthouse Farm for a healthy store-bought dressing.
Save Some Time!
Want to whip this BBQ chicken salad up in no time at all? Here are some shortcuts you can take:
- Grill your chicken ahead of time or use rotisserie chicken. Just toss the shredded rotisserie chicken in BBQ sauce before adding.
- Use canned black beans. Instead of soaking and cooking beans just crack the can open, drain and rinse!
- Use store-bought BBQ sauce and ranch. I shared some of my favorite brands above in the ingredient section.
How to Meal Prep This BBQ Chicken Salad
There are a few ways you can meal prep this salad! If you have a large, wide-mouth mason jar, you can create a mason jar salad!
- Start by putting 2 tablespoons of ranch in the bottom of the jar.
- Add the red onion and corn.
- Layer the black beans, cherry tomatoes, romaine and cheese.
- Top with the bbq chicken!
- When ready to eat, empty the jar into a bowl and top with avocado and crushed tortilla chips.
If you don’t want to make a mason jar salad, you can also prep this in a standard glass container. Line bottom of container with the romaine lettuce and layer all ingredients in columns/sections on top. Store dressing in a separate container and save the avocado and tortilla chips for serving.
More Meal Sized Salads to Try
BBQ Chicken Salad
- 2-3 grilled BBQ chicken breasts, chopped
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn or fresh grilled corn
- 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1-2 avocados, sliced
- ½ cup shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- ½ cup crushed tortilla chips, optional
- BBQ sauce, for drizzling (homemade or store-bought)
- ranch dressing, (homemade or store-bought)
- Grill BBQ chicken, if you haven’t already.
- Prep salads by adding lettuce and the salad toppings to three bowls. Start with chopped lettuce and then add grilled chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, avocados and cheese.
- Add ranch dressing and add a drizzle of BBQ sauce, if using.
- Top with crushed tortilla chips, if using and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.