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A quick and easy BBQ Chicken Salad that is loaded with cherry tomatoes, corn, avocado, black beans, and purple onion covered in a tasty, creamy BBQ dressing. This quick chicken salad can be made in minutes and served as a complete meal that everyone will love!
BBQ Chicken Salad is one of my favorites to order when we go out! Especially if we go to a sandwich and salad spot because here in NC they usually have a house BBQ sauce that is AMAZING!
It is just full of fresh veggies, and delicious BBQ chicken, and always covered in an incredible creamy dressing.
I love it so much that I decided to come up with my own homemade version like when I shared this chicken taco salad.
This chicken salad recipe is fresh, flavorful, creamy and so DELICIOUS! The BBQ dressing is a simple combination of avocado mayo, BBQ sauce, lime, salt, and pepper that is so tasty and the perfect topping for this salad.
If you are out of BBQ sauce then this salad is also amazing with this avocado ranch dressing.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick and easy – you can make it in 15 minutes, or less!
- Fresh and healthy – loaded with healthy ingredients like fresh veggies and bbq chicken.
- A complete meal – this bbq chicken salad is loaded with fiber and protein!
- Family-friendly – this recipe makes a good amount and is a great salad for entertaining or for feeding the family.
- So delicious – creamy, light, crunchy, and loaded with amazing flavor.
Ingredients you will need
- Cooked chicken – I used cooked chicken breast but cooked chicken thighs would also be good in this recipe. For added bbq flavor, you could use this bbq chicken breast.
- Romaine lettuce – makes a wonderful sturdy base for this bbq chicken salad that holds up well to all of the toppings and creamy dressing. Kale would also work!
- Cherry tomatoes – any will work! You can also use regular heirlooms or Roma tomatoes.
- Corn – I used corn on the cobb from the freezer section of the grocery store that I thawed and then cut off the cobb. You can also just use canned corn, or even frozen, thawed corn.
- Red onion + scallions – to give this salad some color and nice punch of flavor.
- Black beans – for added plant-based protein and fiber that makes this salad very filling.
- Cashews + avocado – for some healthy fats.
- Creamy BQ Dressing – avocado mayo, bbq sauce (of choice), lime juice, salt, and pepper.
How to make a BBQ Chicken Salad
- Toss the chopped, cooked chicken with about 1/4 cup of bbq sauce.
- Assemble the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix up the dressing by combining the mayo, barbecue sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour it over the salad and toss.
- Serve cold and enjoy!
BBQ Chicken Salad Tips and Variations
- Slice the lettuce into strips so it is easier to eat. Plus it looks so pretty. To do this, simply roll up a few lettuces leaves like a cigar and slice through them creating nice long strips of lettuce.
- For the dressing, I like to use Kevin’s Paleo BBQ Sauce + Primal Kitchen Mayo to keep it a bit healthier. You can use whatever your favorite varieties are.
- Any kind of cooked chicken will work in this bbq chicken salad. You can use store-bought or homemade rotisserie chicken, shredded chicken, Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Chicken Tenders, or any leftover cooked chicken that you have on hand.
- Mix up the veggies in this salad. You could add shredded carrots, diced cucumber, diced bell peppers, or even chickpeas to this salad.
- Cut the veggies in similar sizes and shapes so it is easier to toss and serve.
Expert tip: cube or shred the chicken and then toss it in the bbq sauce before adding it to the salad for the best results.
Make ahead and storage recommendations
- Use precooked chicken. You can make a big batch of chicken breast to have it on hand for this BBQ chicken salad or use rotisserie chicken that you can buy at most grocery stores as a great shortcut.
- Make the dressing in advance. Mix up the dressing 2 days in advance and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Although it only takes 1-2 minutes to mix it up.
- Storage. BBQ chicken salad doesn’t store very well once you add the dressing, but you can store all of the ingredients separately in the refrigerator then assemble and dress the salad when you are ready to serve it.
- Use premade ingredients. To make this salad even easier, you can use a premade black bean and corn salad and add that in. Similar to the Panera BBQ Chicken Salad.
What to serve with BBQ Chicken Salad
There are so many things that go with this chicken salad. Here are a few of my faves!
- Fries – any fries like these air fryer fries, sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, or even eggplant fries.
- Bread or biscuits – this salad would go great with some warm and fluffy naan bread or homemade biscuits!
- Fruit – serve it with some fresh, chopped fruit or fruit salad!
More healthy salad recipes to try
- Easy Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad
- 10-Minute Crunchy Cashew Chicken Salad
- Crispy Chickpea and Kale Caesar Salad
- Quick and Easy Salmon Salad
- Classic House Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
Did you try this BBQ chicken salad recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear from you!Print
BBQ Chicken Salad – With Creamy BBQ Dressing
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- Diet: Low Calorie
A quick and easy BBQ Chicken Salad that is loaded with fresh veggies like cherry tomatoes, lettuce, onion, avocado, and scallions topped with an incredible creamy BBQ dressing! A great salad for entertaining a crowd or for feeding a family!
For The BBQ Chicken Salad
- 1.5 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce plus more for the dressing
- 6–8 cups of sliced fresh romaine lettuce
- 1 cup cooked black beans – I used store-bought canned black beans that I drained and rinsed
- 1 cup canned, cooked corn
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seed removed and diced
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews
For the Creamy BBQ Dressing
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup bbq sauce – I used Kevin’s Paleo BBQ Sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the cooked chicken to a bowl and pour the BBQ sauce over it and toss to coat the chicken.
- Arrange the sliced lettuce on the bottom of a large bowl and then add the rest of the salad ingredients on top along with the BBQ chicken.
- Mix up the dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mixing until creamy.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and lightly toss.
- Serve cold and enjoy!
- Veggies – cut the lettuce into ribbons by rolling it up in a bunch and running a knife through it. Cut the veggies in smaller sizes so it makes it easier to toss and eat this salad.
- Chicken – I used cooked chicken breast but you could also use cooked chicken thighs or shredded rotisserie chicken in this recipe and make it in advance.
- Dressing – you can make the dressing a few days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just give it a good stir and maybe add a squeeze of lime juice to freshen it up when you are ready to use it.
- Storage – I recommend storing this bbq chicken salad undressed by storing all of the ingredients in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Store the dressing separately as well then dress and toss when you are ready to enjoy it!
- Prep Time: 5
- Category: Quick and Easy Salads
- Method: Tossed
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: BBQ Chicken Salad, Chicken Salad, Panera BBQ Chicken Salad, Salad, BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe
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