BBQ Chicken Salad {best salad ever!}


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BBQ chicken salad recipe-my absolute favorite salad! This is a hearty chopped salad tossed with fresh greens, BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, tortilla strips and a cilantro lime dressing.

BBQ chicken salad

Okay friends…I think I have finally perfected my BBQ chicken salad recipe. This is my family’s ALL time favorite salad recipe. We could eat it It’s so easy to put together and tastes GREAT as leftovers too. Sometimes I’ll make a large batch of BBQ chicken and then freeze half of it. Then the next time I’m craving this salad…all I have to do is pull the shredded chicken out of the freezer and let it thaw. You can also make the black bean salsa the day before. This is the perfect meal for summer nights. It’s a must try!


BBQ Chicken Salad {best salad ever!}

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (
  • 1 recipe black bean salsa
  • 5 cups lettuce/ spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 juiced lime
  • 1 small tomatillo
  • tortilla strips


1. Place chicken breast in crock pot over low heat. Pour BBQ sauce over the chicken. If I have onions on hand, I will put a few slices on top of the chicken. Cook chicken for 6 hours or until it shreds easily. Can also cook on high for 3-4 hours. Shred chicken and remove any fat.
2. For the dressing: Combine ranch dressing, cilantro, lime and tomatillo in a blender. If you like it spicy, you could throw half a jalapeno in there. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Place desired amount of lettuce on your plate. Then add a few spoonfuls of chicken and black bean salsa. Pour on dressing and top with tortilla strips.

If you want to make this salad without the black bean salad, add your favorite toppings such as tomatoes, avocado, black beans, corn, red bell peppers, cheese, etc.

BBQ chicken salad recipe-my absolute favorite salad! This is a hearty chopped salad tossed with fresh greens, BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, tortilla strips and a cilantro lime dressing.


A few of my other favorite salads:

more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Cranberry Morning posted on June 25, 2012 at 4:36 am (#

    Looks delicious!! And such a beautiful photograph. Did I miss the recipe??

    • Jamielyn posted on June 25, 2012 at 8:20 am (#

      Thank you! Whenever I pre-schedule posts the recipe disappears. Weird! Sorry, it’s up there now. :) Have a great day! xo

  2. Karen At Home posted on June 25, 2012 at 5:18 am (#

    This sounds so good but not sure where the recipe is? Perhaps I missed a link. I love BBQ chicken salads, what sauce so you use?

    • Jamielyn posted on June 25, 2012 at 8:22 am (#

      It’s back in there now. Not sure why it does that. :) I just use a store bought BBQ sauce… but I’m sure a homemade sauce would be amazing!

  3. Pam posted on June 25, 2012 at 5:50 am (#

    Looks delish. I can’t find the recipe either.

    • Jamielyn posted on June 25, 2012 at 8:23 am (#

      Thanks for your comment Pam! The recipe is back in there. Hope you have a great Monday!

  4. skye @ neathering our fest posted on June 25, 2012 at 6:43 am (#

    Okay that looks delicious! I love a creative salad!!

    It was awesome meeting you at Haven! I had so much fun hanging out with like-minded people. It was definitely one of the best weeks ever!! xoxo

    • Jamielyn posted on June 25, 2012 at 8:26 am (#

      Thanks Skye! It was so good to meet you as well! There’s nothing better than being around people who “get” you! ;) Let’s stay in touch! xo

  5. Teddie Gray posted on June 25, 2012 at 7:56 am (#

    Omgosh this looks good! Please let me know when you post the recipe! I already grabbed the Black Bean Salsa! nom nom

    • Jamielyn posted on June 25, 2012 at 8:27 am (#

      Thanks Teddie! It is SO good! The recipe is back in the post. It likes to magically disappear. ;) Hope you have a wonderful day!

  6. Krysten posted on June 25, 2012 at 11:23 am (#

    Mmm that looks SO good!

  7. Kevin Haberberger posted on June 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm (#

    This looks so delicious! The dressing and black bean salsa sound great! Another idea for the chicken is to smoke a whole chicken. It will give this salad another level of flavor! Here’s our recipe:

    I am going to try this next time I smoke a chicken.

  8. Denissa posted on June 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm (#

    This looks so delicious! SO perfect for summer when its too hot to cook! :) thanks for sharing! On my menu for the week!

  9. Leigh Anne posted on June 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm (#

    Oh YUMMY! I can’t wait to try this! Thx for sharing :)

  10. Susan Bewley posted on June 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm (#

    Wow, this sounds absolutely delicious! Normally not a BBQ but this does sound like a interesting recipe!

  11. Kae posted on June 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm (#

    How much water goes in with the BBQ sauce and chicken? and why?

    • Jamielyn posted on June 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm (#

      I usually just put 1/4 cup in the bottom of the crockpot. It seems to make the chicken more moist and helps it shred easier.

  12. tanya posted on June 27, 2012 at 5:49 am (#

    This looks so good, I could jump right in! This is going on my list next week of things to make for dinner, I think my family would gobble it up. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  13. Jane West posted on June 28, 2012 at 1:42 am (#

    I love to eat BBQ chicken salad. I like your recipe. It is so greeny. I love it.

  14. Chartreuse HEART posted on June 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm (#

    Just made this tonight and it was a hit! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe :) DELISH!!

  15. Desiree posted on July 2, 2012 at 7:38 am (#

    Hi Jamielyn!
    I just want to thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. I am featuring your dish on my blog today. Thank you again!!

  16. EditGal posted on July 4, 2012 at 10:07 am (#

    Am I missing the printer friendly link? I’d love to print this out and give it a try.

  17. Tami posted on July 7, 2012 at 10:24 am (#

    Oh yum! This looks a whole lot like my favorite bbq chicken salad from Panera! I will definitely try your recipe!

  18. Cheryl posted on August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm (#

    just had this for supper tonight!! oh man, was it ever good!!!! the black bean salsa was such a fresh topping!!! thank you!

  19. Denise posted on August 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm (#

    Great blog! I love this post, I’m a big fan of bbq chicken salads, used to love CPK’s but it’s too rich for me now, This looks like a healthy version and easy to make. Can’t wait to try it out, just got a crock pot! Beautiful photo too btw:)

  20. The Queen Vee posted on March 27, 2013 at 8:30 am (#

    Do you make your own Tortilla strips or are they purchased. If you make them how do you do it?

    • Jamielyn posted on March 27, 2013 at 11:48 pm (#

      I purchased mine at Fry’s. :)

  21. The Queen Vee posted on March 28, 2013 at 5:09 am (#

    LOL, thanks for the quick response but due to the fact that I live in Virginia I think shopping at Fry’s not possible. I’ll have to check out my local stores although I’ve never seen those nice little Tortilla strips in any of them.

  22. Patti posted on March 19, 2014 at 9:07 pm (#

    Not sure if you realized that the ingredient list on the prior page (where I found the link to get here??) lists the quantity of ranch dressing as 5 1/2 cups.

    • Jamielyn posted on March 20, 2014 at 1:12 pm (#

      Hi Patti! I can’t seem to find the page where it lists 5 1/2 cups, do you have a link? It is 1 1/2 cups! :)

  23. Emily posted on April 8, 2014 at 1:45 pm (#

    Thank you for the recipe! It is yummy! To save a little time, I just got a rotisserie chicken and shredded it with some BBQ sauce. I also added some queso fresco. MMMmmm

    • Jamielyn posted on April 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm (#

      What a great idea to use a rotisserie chicken to make it a quick meal! Thanks for sharing Emily! :)

  24. Faren posted on May 22, 2014 at 8:18 pm (#

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! My family enjoyed it, even my picky ten year old.:)

    • Jamielyn posted on June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm (#

      Oh I am so happy to hear that! It is my favorite salad and my two little ones will eat it too, so it is a win win!

  25. Dale posted on November 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm (#

    Hi. The receipe looks delicious but I cannot get the salsa receipe. A blank screen just comes up.

  26. Mary Wyatt posted on January 17, 2015 at 1:53 pm (#

    I love all your recipe 

    • Jamielyn posted on January 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm (#

      Thank you Mary! :)

  27. mary ann smith posted on May 6, 2015 at 3:36 pm (#

    great tips ! Cant wait to try!

  28. Laura Lust posted on February 21, 2017 at 10:32 pm (#

    Just sent another recipe to my daughter. The cashew chicken lettuce wrap.Looks Delicious! Can’t  wait for her to make it so I can visit 😊