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 recipe


BBQ Chicken Salad

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ Chicken Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Refrigerate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 583 kcal
Author: Jamielyn

BBQ Chicken Salad - A hearty chopped salad tossed with fresh greens, BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, tortilla strips and a cilantro lime dressing.



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


  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.

Recipe Notes

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

Click here for black bean and corn salsa recipe.

Want to make homemade tortilla strips? Click here for recipe. 

Nutrition Facts
BBQ Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 583 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 54%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 1938mg 81%
Potassium 1070mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 22g
Protein 35g 70%
Vitamin A 19.6%
Vitamin C 14.2%
Calcium 8.2%
Iron 10.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
BBQ chicken salad

Original photo 2012



A few of my other favorite salads:

more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

of I Heart Naptime

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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40 comments on “BBQ Chicken Salad {best salad ever!}”

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

  2. 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?

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

  4. 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

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

  6. Mmm that looks SO good!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  21. 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. 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.

  23. 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

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

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

  26. I love all your recipe 

  27. mary ann smith Reply

    great tips ! Cant wait to try!

  28. 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 😊

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