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BBQ Chicken Salad

I just whipped up this incredible BBQ Chicken Salad, and I’m absolutely in love! Juicy grilled chicken is coated in a sweet and tangy sauce. It’s paired with fresh veggies and a creamy, zesty BBQ ranch dressing.

The best part? It’s endlessly customizable with your favorite toppings like avocado, red onion, or crushed tortilla chips for an extra crunch. 

It’s my go-to lunch option when I want something hearty yet refreshing. The flavors are out of this world!

Homemade BBQ chicken salad with onions, corn, lettuce, sauce and chips.

Why You’ll Love This BBQ Chicken Salad

Flavor Explosion: The combination of BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, and cheddar cheese creates a rich, tangy, and savory flavor profile.

Creamy & Crunchy Texture: This salad offers a satisfying mix of textures, from the crunchy tortilla chips to the creamy avocado and juicy chicken.

Easy Prep: This recipe is straightforward to prepare, with simple steps and common ingredients. It’s perfect for quick lunches.

Crowd-Pleaser: This salad is versatile and perfect for family meals, potlucks, and parties.


  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: Lean and tender, they’re perfect for grilling and absorbing the smoky BBQ flavors.
  • BBQ Sauce: A sweet, smoky, tangy glaze caramelizes beautifully on the grilled chicken, adding depth and richness.
  • Olive Oil: It adds a subtle richness and helps the chicken cook evenly on the grill.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: A dynamic duo for seasoning the chicken.
  • Vegetables: Crisp Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, corn kernels, and red onion provide a refreshing crunch and vibrant color.
  • Black Beans: They add hearty protein and a creamy texture.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: It balances the sweetness of the BBQ sauce and the creaminess of the ranch dressing.
  • Ranch Dressing: Creamy and tangy, it pairs perfectly with the BBQ sauce to create a luscious dressing for the salad.
  • Toppings: Diced avocado adds a buttery texture, while crushed tortilla chips provide a satisfying crunch.
BBQ Chicken Salad Ingredients: Corn, Black Beans, Avocadoes, Onions and Sauce

How to Make a BBQ Chicken Salad

This salad is so easy to put together in a few simple steps.

1. Preheat the grill. Brush the chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill for 5-6 minutes per side. Brush with ½ cup BBQ sauce during the last minute. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice.

2. Mix the dressings. In a small bowl, whisk together ranch dressing and remaining 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.

3. Combine the salad. In a large bowl, mix the Romaine, tomatoes, black beans, corn, red onion, and cheddar cheese. Add the sliced chicken.

4. Dress and serve. Drizzle the salad with BBQ ranch dressing, toss to coat, and top with avocado and crushed tortilla chips. Serve immediately.

A delicious BBQ chicken salad in a white bowl, garnished with cherry tomatoes, red onions, and avocado chunks.

Tips for the Best BBQ Chicken Salad

Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way to make this salad unforgettable.

  • Take a shortcut. To save time, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken tossed with BBQ sauce instead of grilling your own.
  • Quality is key. Use a high-quality BBQ sauce. Sweet Baby Ray’s, Stubb’s, or Trader Joe’s Bold & Smoky Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce are all great options.
  • Fresh is best. Opt for fresh corn kernels and cherry tomatoes for the best flavor and texture.
  • Toss in extra veggies. For added crunch and nutrition, enhance the salad with additional vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots, or jicama.
  • Do a dressing swap. For a lighter option, use a vinaigrette instead of the creamy BBQ ranch dressing.
  • Make it meatless. Omit the chicken and add extra beans, corn, and veggies to make it vegetarian-friendly.
  • Get a step ahead. Grill the chicken, prep the veggies, and make the dressing in advance. Assemble right before serving.
BBQ chicken salad with vibrant ingredients including black beans, corn, and shredded cheddar cheese.

How to Store

Here’s how to keep your salad fresh to enjoy for lunches throughout the week.

To Store: Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Keep the avocado, dressing, and tortilla chips separate to prevent sogginess and browning. Add these toppings just before serving to maintain freshness and texture.

More Fresh Salad Recipes For Summer

Southwestern Salad
California Spaghetti Salad
Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad
Cowboy Pasta Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





This BBQ chicken salad will be your new favorite summer dish! It’s packed with grilled chicken, Romaine, tomatoes, corn, red onion, and a tangy BBQ sauce!

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  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb. total)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3/4 cup store-bought BBQ sauce, divided

  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen)

  • 1/2 cup diced red onion

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing

  • Crushed tortilla chips, for serving


  • Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Brush with 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce during the last minute of cooking. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ranch dressing and the remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce.
  • In a large bowl, combine the romaine, tomatoes, black beans, corn, red onion, and cheddar cheese. Add the sliced chicken.
  • Drizzle the salad with the BBQ ranch dressing and gently toss to coat. Top with diced avocado and crushed tortilla chips. Serve immediately.

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beautyeval - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm beautyeval. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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