Damn Delicious

BBQ Chicken Salad

This healthy, flavorful salad comes together so quickly and easily, and it is guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family!

BBQ Chicken Salad - This healthy, flavorful salad comes together so quickly, and it is guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family!

After spending 10 days in Los Angeles with Jason’s family, it’s an understatement to say that we were both very well-fed with homemade Korean food and lots and lots of donuts. But now that the holidays are over and we’re back home, it’s time to shed that holiday weight!

And what better way to shed some of that excess weight than with some glorious homemade salads, right?

Now this BBQ chicken salad has been on my bucket list for years. It’s one of my favorite salads to order when eating out but it also gets to be so expensive! After all, who wants to spend $15 on a salad for lunch?

That’s where this homemade version comes in. It’s so much more inexpensive to make right at home, and you don’t have to skimp on your favorite ingredients!

Plus, you can use your favorite Ranch and BBQ dressings and pile on those crisp tortilla strips because, well, let’s be honest. That’s the best part about the salad anyway, right?

BBQ Chicken Salad

This healthy, flavorful salad comes together so quickly, and it is guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family!

10 minutes5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 3/4 cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup tortilla strips

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces.
  3. To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with chicken, tomato, corn, beans, onion and cheeses. Pour Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
  4. Serve immediately, topped with tortilla strips.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 401.4 Calories from Fat 178.2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19.8g 30%
Saturated Fat 6.4g 32%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 75.2mg 25%
Sodium 734.2mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 28.3g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6.1g 24%
Sugars 7.9g
Protein 29.1g 58%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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137 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This looks fabulous!  I don’t have black beans. Think I could sub white kidney beans?

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This salad was very good.  I grilled the chicken basting with the same bbq sauce I was going use as the dressing. The chicken was extremely moist and added more flavor to the salad.  

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Looks lovely. Just wondering though how do you make the tortilla strips?

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    So I subbed a chopped up chicken strip from my kids’ dinner, but otherwise made it the same. It was sooooo good.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    We love your recipes!!! We have your two books and use it all the time. Love that it’s easy to follow and no complicated steps. My 13 yo daughter uses your books to make us meals!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was fantastically delicious!  I can’t believe how good this simple recipe is.  All the flavors compliment each other (and I even accidentally forgot the tomatoes).  This one is easy and is definitely going into the rotation.  Thanks so much 

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    One of my favorite meals to make and eat! This dish is in heavy rotation at our house :]

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    I liked it. I would like to get more recipes

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Fabulous salad! Easy to make and very well-received by our guests. I was gutsy and tried it out on them for the first time with great results.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious! Really enjoyed this recipe. Only change I made was I grilled my chicken And basted it with BBQ sauce.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wish I could go higher on the stars! This is fantastic! Only thing I did different was I made the BBQ chicken on the grill and used iceburg lettuce since that is what I had in the fridge and topped it all with just ranch dressing! Maybe next time instead of lettuce I will use a cole slaw mix!

  12. I realize this might be a stupid question but do you boil/cook the corn? Or just rinse it straight off the cob? Same for the beans – rinsed and dried out of can or cooked on the stove first? Ik
    planning to make this for a party Sunday, so any help would be amazing! 

    • Not a stupid question at all! If you are using canned as directed in the recipe, you can prepare both the corn and beans to your liking, whether that’s straight out of the can (drained and rinsed) or cooked on the stovetop. Completely up to you! 🙂

  13. Great salad. I take this to bbqs and parties. I also add bacon bits

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Easy and delicious!  Perfect for a crowd. I made extra – almost double – and  I needed it as the guys all had extra helpings. I put the dressing (Stubbs Spicy BBQ and a Buttermilk ranch)  and taco chips on the side and let everybody add what they wanted. I will def make this again. 

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Terrific! That salad looks so appetizing and beautiful. Perfect for the season.

    Cheers,

    darah

  16. Loved this salad! I mixed the bbq sauce and ranch and dressed the salad, tossed chicken with bbq sauce too! Green onion instead of red, next time maybe a little jicama, but a perfect salad recipe!

  17. This salad is delicious thanks for a recipe to make it

  18. This was delicious and I am by no means a salad person.

  19. Great taste! Me and my husband enjoy this salad recipe. Thanks 

  20. Made this today with Quorn chikn tenders and salsa-fied the corn. Love love love! Thank you!!

  21. What is the healthy ratio for calories and sodium in a salad? The nutritional info posted for this salad has a good fiber count of 6 grams but sodium is 734 and calories is 401. Is that too high or does the high fiber count compensate? Thank you!

  22. Oh, gosh! I blended the barbecue sauce into the homemade ranch until it was a pink color. Added cilantro to the whole mess and it was AH MAZING!!!

  23. Do you bake the tortilla strips, fry them, season them?

    • I actually use store-bought tortilla strips! 🙂

    • Realize this is in response to a very old post. A trick I learned and use…

      Take a corn tortilla (or stack a few on top of another) and using a pizza wheel cutter, cut into thin strips. Using a toaster oven, line the tray with foil and spray Pam or aerosol cooking oil on the foil sheet. Transfer the cut strips onto the tray and spray a bit more on top of the strips. Hit with salt and toast until golden. Keep an eye as they can burn quickly, but it is a very easy way to get homemade tortilla strips. Hope that helps.

  24. That looks sooo yummy! love it (:

  25. What a great recipe! Love easy recipes and love salads so this is definitely on my to-make-pretty-soon list 🙂

  26. I started a little group with 3 of my co-workers, one of us makes a lunch for the 4 of us each day. This was our day 2 lunch, and it’s amazing! What a great combo! thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  27. wow, this looks so great, I’ll try to do it over the weekend. Pinning it.

  28. I found this recipe in your cookbook and my family loved it, even the kiddos. I’ve got it pinned now so I’ll never forget where to find it. Thx for a great recipe!

  29. How long can this be stores in the fridge when tossed or does it need to be ate the day it’s made?

  30. When you say tortilla strips do you mean tortillas cut into strips? The ones in your pictures look crispy-did you fry them in something? This is on my meal plan for next week & can’t wait!

  31. I just want to say how amazing this recipe was. What a hit with the whole family.

    Thanks so much for the blood, sweat and tears involved in the creation of your site. We have made several recipes that we LOVE. We are HUGE fans and hope that you continue to share.

    Our payback will be the purchase of your first book. Is it available in Canada, yet?

  32. We made this salad for dinner last week (2 nights in a row even!) and it was delicious!
    We used bbq chicken I had cooked in the slow cooker earlier and an avocado cilantro dressing instead of ranch.  We also added avocado and some crispy bacon bits.  We will definitely keep this one in the rotation this summer!  Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  33. So good! I’ve been trying to add some freshness to my menu rotation – this DEFINITELY hit the bill. Super tasty, tons of flavor, and pretty quick to put together. I added avocado and omitted the onion. Would love to see more entree salad ideas! 

  34. I made this salad last night and it was a hug hit with the family. Even my boys said it was hearty enough for dinner. (they are big meat eaters, so never really sure what to expect with them) When I went to buy ranch dressing, I noticed there was a BBQ ranch flavour. It worked perfectly!! I did add a small drizzle of BBQ sauce on top, but really was not needed. Next time I think I will add avocado. thanks for the great recipes, yours are always a hit at our table.

  35. Sounds delicious. be nice to have ago at making own. Thanks for sharing.

    Simon

  36. what kind of ranch dressing do you recommend? I want to make it but have no idea what kind I should buy? 

  37. Do you cook the canned black beans and corn? Or do you just throw them in to the salad right from the can?

  38. which bbq sauce do you recommend?

  39. Amazing salad!
    Thank you for sharing with us

  40. Looks awesome! Only you forgot my favorite part of this salad! The cool crisp crunch of the jicama! So delicious though, gonna make it this week 🙂

  41. This is such a GREAT recipe; I made it last night for dinner, and my husband and I LOVED it; I can’t wait to make it again. Super Delicious!!

  42. I made this last week for the family. I’ve got five little kids and trying to put “salad” in front of them and getting them ALL to eat it is like pulling teeth. THIS yummy concoction though was a huge success – put veggies and protein into all five of my kids, whom ALL got a second bowl. This recipe was a major hit and all the kiddos agreed that it makes “THE LIST” of must make again recipes. Thank you!

  43. My hubby and I barbequed yesterday, I made this salad and it was the best salad i ever had!!!! I substitute the tortilla strips with avacados, and I grilled my chicken breast omg!! So good..

  44. Would love to serve this as a main dish salad to guests this summer. Any ideas what to serve with it to complete the menu?

  45. I like to add julienned jicama for added crunch. and a couple slices of ripe avocado on the top add a nice creaminess. leftover cubed pork tenderloin is a good substitution.

  46. We’ve made this two weeks in a row and everyone is a fan, although one of my kids prefers it without the BBQ sauce so I just pull some out for her before it goes on. I’ve already told them to expect it weekly until further notice.

  47. yum 🙂 i love all your recipes.

  48. This was an awesome recipe. I just bought a smoker and smoked some Chicken Leg Quarters! What an enhancing effect especially with the BBQ sauce. I am a young senior and have just turned to the joy of cooking, vegan style and love most of your recipe’s. Thank you!

  49. ***rotisserie

  50. I love this salad. It is so flavorful!! I am super lazy so I buy my rotissary chicken to add to this salad. It has BBQ sauce on it so I new it had to be good. 🙂

  51. OMG! I just tried out this salad and myyyy godddd! It is absolutely amazinggggg!!!!!! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! Please upload more salad recipes! Even my hubby who isn’t a big fan of salads loved this! !!!

  52. I pinned this recipe a few months ago and have made it 4 times. It is soooo good! I want to make it again tonight but don’t have black beans. Do you think red kidney beans would work?

  53. Hi! I love your recipes. When I try to print this, it just opens a blank page. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks 🙂

    • Internet Explorer has recently made some updates that are causing print problems. I recommend using a different browser, such as Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. But if you can only use Internet Explore, you can highlight the recipe, left-click, and print from there. Easy peasy!

  54. Great salad! Added some real bacon bits and diced avocado to it and used a honey bbq sauce….even the hubby who’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy loved it!

  55. Had this tonight. It was amazing!

  56. If I am serving this salad for a girls night, what appetizer would you recommend to go along with it?

  57. This was so good! I craved it from the moment I saw the pictures, which by the way are so beautiful! Both my husband and I really enjoyed it and I will definitely be placing this in our meal rotation. Thanks so much, I thoroughly enjoyed this, and your blog!

  58. This was EXCELLENT! I didn’t have ranch, so I used sour cream instead. Wonderful! 🙂

  59. Pingback: Menu Monday! | Cup of Tea

  60. Hi, I’m looking forward to trying this recipe this week. I can’t find tinned black beans in the uk (& don’t want to waste time and money on a huge packet of dried). Can you suggest a good alternative, I don’t want to guess and end up with something slushy/mealy. Thanks!

  61. This salad is amazing! My husband & I have made it several times now. Yum!

  62. Thanks so much for posting this salad. I made this today for a bunch of girl friends and they were all raving about it. I grilled the chicken with a little homemade taco seasoning on it, but made the salad exactly as you posted otherwise. Sooo delicious! Having leftovers for dinner!

  63. I am SOOO trying this salad…looks great! I’m also posting this to my blog as part of an article on 7 salads to try for a week. Thanks!

  64. What are the calories per serving?

    • Unfortunately, as I am not a registered dietician, I am not comfortable sharing nutritional information of my recipes. Please use online resources to obtain such information.

  65. I made this salad last night and it was absolutely delightful! I added Jalapeno and replaced the canned corn with raw – a true sucess! Thank you for the recipe! Very inspiring!

  66. I know this is going to sound odd, but what could one put in this salad instead of ranch that would taste good with BBQ sauce? Looks delicious!

    • Unfortunately, this is such a difficult question to answer as I have not tried any other salad dressings with the BBQ sauce. The first thought that does come to mind is blue cheese. Hope that helps!

  67. As I’m making this for dinner tonight, I thought I’d pop in and let you know my family LOVES this salad! I pinned the recipe about 3 months ago and it has been one of my go-to meals. The only difference is I quickly poach the chicken. It is delicious and I’ve shared this recipe and your blog with my friends and on my Facebook pages. Thanks!

    Laura Sweet

  68. Pingback: WHAT I LOVE // SPRING SALADS – GOLD COAST GIRL

  69. We Love Bullseye

  70. The instructions never mention the chicken in the assembly. I would not forget to add it and I know you all would not as well but just to be clear.

  71. I came across your site thru Pinterest and I made this tonight, it was so yummy. My 5 year old even said ” mommy, next time give me lots & lots of salad, it was so good”, not a sentence I thought my daughter would ever say about a salad. I’m looking forward to trying your Chinese orange chicken this weekend.

  72. Hi 🙂 I found this recipe on pinterest some days ago and immediately decided I would have to try it soon. So yesterday I made this salad for my parents and me. It was sooooo good!
    The recipe says it serves 2… I made much more of it and still: we ate all of it! 😀
    When my Mom finished eating she looked at me kind of sad and said: “It’s so sad…. but I’m full! I can’t eat more of it. I want to have this again next week!”
    So, all in all: We enjoyed it a lot! Thanks for this great recipe!

    Greetings from Germany! 🙂
    Jasmin

    • I’m so glad you had a chance to make this. You just reminded me that I need to make this again soon – it’s one of my favorite salads yet!

  73. Do you have a favorite BBQ sauce recipe and also a recipe for homemade tortilla strips. I have loved looking at all of your damn delicious recipes and am getting ready to try one of the enchilada recipes tonight for my family for dinner. Can’t wait to try more of them soon too! They all look delicious!!!!!

    • Sheree, I personally love Trader Joe’s Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce. I also like to stock up on tortilla strips at the grocery store – sometimes, shortcuts are needed! 🙂

    • The very best tasting tortilla strips are made by slicing several corn tortillas and quickly frying them in a half-inch of oil until the bubbling stops. Remove them with a skimmer, draining on paper towels. Don’t overcrowd the skillet! Give them plenty of space! They are so good they don’t even need salt, and you may never want to buy commercial chips again! I do this for tortilla soup, too, and we go through about three tortillas each. If I cut them in wedges, we go crazy with homemade salsa, but it is a very healthy snack, low in sodium. Instead of dollars, it only costs pennies to make your own, and the flavor is SO MUCH better than any chip you’ve ever eaten. I would also have to cut the sugar in this salad for the diabetic I feed. I have a recipe for making ranch dressing that’s low sodium, and I’d have to make a sugar-free, low sodium BBQ sauce, too, but it is all do-able and worth it, as we eat salads for lunch almost every day. I will make this one day soon.

  74. This was really delicious! Thanks for the great recipe. I’m going to try this next time as a mason jar salad.

  75. I’m going to try this tonight but using pulled pork instead of the chicken. It’s clean out the fridge night for me. I have just enough meat, dressing and BBQ sauce.

  76. Looks great and I plan to try it for a ladies lunch…is this really only 2 servings?

    • Jean, that really depends on how you decide to serve this – as an appetizer or as a main dish. This dish serves 2 very large main dish servings – you may even be able to stretch this to 3 servings.

  77. I made this Salad last night… Sooooo good and very easy

    Love it!!!!

  78. Is the nutritional information available for this recipe?

    • Unfortunately, as I am not a registered dietician, I am not comfortable sharing nutritional information of my recipes. Please use online resources to obtain such information.

  79. I made this salad for tonight’s dinner, and the whole family absolutely loved it! My husband said he’d like me to make up a few of these for his lunches this week. Great recipe…thanks so much for sharing. Can’t wait to try out more of your recipes!

  80. All of your recipes look amazing. Like all the different ideas on how to use quiona.

  81. Oh man, I am drooling over this salad! This seriously looks so amazing, I am dying to get this in front of me!

  82. I was looking for something new to cook with some leftover chicken and found this salad recipe. Delicious and so easy! Instead of red onion I used green. This is definitely going into my rotation of meals. Now I can make at home instead of ordering while I’m out.

  83. Awesome! Thank you 🙂

  84. I’m sorry to ask, but can you buy the tortilla strips at the grocery store? I’ve never seen them. This looks so good! Thank you.

  85. This was sooo good, even my 4 & 6 year old loved it (with a few exclusions for the 4 year old)! I used leftover rotisserie chicken from the night before and it turned out great and came together quickly! We love salads and I’m always looking for new ones to try! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  86. Does anyone know how many calories this is?

  87. Perfect!! I was looking for a salad idea for lunch today and everything I found had me headed back to the store for something. But I have everything I need to make this…plus…I LOVE BBQ Chicken Salads!

  88. BBQ chicken is one of my all time faves! I need this salad ASAP!

  89. This looks amazing! I just wanted to let you know that your images and recipes are being posted at http://justagoodrecipe.blogspot.ca/2014/01/bbq-chicken-salad.html. I wasn’t sure if they had your permission.

  90. This looks like salad perfection!!

  91. Gorgeous salad! I want this for Sunday breakfast, LOL! Thank you for sharing. Pinning!

  92. This looks so delish! Pinning! Happy New year, Chung-Ah!

  93. Favorite salad to order when eating out hands down! Why they charge you $15 for it is crazy, well maybe not, bc they know we’ll till order it bc it’s that good. But now I can make it at home and out all the sweet baby rays BBQ I want on it. Yum! Pinning!

  94. This looks yummy but because of my hubby’s diabetics we stay away from BBQ sauce so what would you recommend to replace it.

    • Please refer to online resources for diabetic-friendly BBQ sauces. I also recommend making your own BBQ sauce from scratch using sugar-free products.

  95. Chung-Ah, this looks insanely good! I don’t normally gravitate toward salads, but the fact that there’s barbecue sauce included has me singing a different tune!

  96. I want to dive into this salad, a perfect lunch!

  97. Looks so good. What’s your fav bbq sauce? Mine is Stubb’s by I’m always on the lookout for other options to try!

  98. Love a good BBQ chicken salad! This look so perfect!

  99. Yessss this is so my kind of salad! Plus, Sunday is always salad day in my house (it makes up for saturday night eating 😉 ) I know what’s on the menu tomorrow! Pinned!

  100. Lovely, light and I’m sure, delicious! (@Maureen I want to be where you are. It is -33 in my neighborhood this morning 🙂

  101. It was so hot today I didn’t want to cook. This salad would be perfect for tomorrow! It’s tempting!

  102. I agree, I am so ready to eat salads!! This salad looks delicious and perfect to start the new year.