BBQ Chicken Salad

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    A hearty chopped BBQ chicken salad tossed with fresh greens, BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, tortilla strips and a delicious cilantro lime dressing. My absolute favorite salad!

    If I want to get my family to eat salad, this is my go-to recipe. It’s loaded with so much goodness and is super flavorful. I know they’ll eat it right up, as well as my Mexican salad and shredded chicken taco salad.

    pouring cilantro lime dressing on top of bbq chicken salad

    This BBQ chicken salad is my family’s all-time favorite salad recipe. We could eat it every single day! It’s so easy to put together and tastes GREAT as leftovers too. Seriously so delicious.

    It’s made with lettuce, BBQ chicken and black bean salsa and is topped with a creamy cilantro lime dressing. The flavors are fantastic and will turn anyone into a salad lover! It’s definitely a staple in our weekly menu and is a recipe my whole family would eat again and again.

    bbq chicken in crockpot

    Make the BBQ chicken in the crockpot!

    The beauty of this recipe is that the BBQ chicken cooks on low all day in the crockpot. You only need two ingredients to make it: BBQ sauce and chicken breasts. Just throw them both in the crockpot and cook on low for about 6 hours. Then when dinnertime rolls around, all you have to do is shred the meat and it’s ready to go. You could also make baked BBQ chicken if you’d rather use the oven instead of the slow cooker.

    Sometimes I’ll double the chicken and freeze half of it. Then the next time I’m craving this barbecue chicken salad…all I have to do is pull the shredded chicken out of the freezer and let it thaw. Freezer meals to the rescue!

    Cilantro lime dressing

    The cilantro lime dressing may be my favorite part about this dish. The fresh flavors pair perfectly with the salad and really help to round out the recipe.

    To make the dressing, simply combine ranch dressing, cilantro, lime and a tomatillo in a blender. You can even throw in half of a jalapeno if you like spice. Then blend until smooth. I’d recommend refrigerating the dressing for at least 30 minutes prior to serving, so the flavors have time to meld together and the consistency thickens up.

    making cilantro lime salad dressing

    To assemble BBQ chicken salad:

    1. Place desired amount of chopped lettuce or spinach on your plate.
    2. Add a few spoonfuls of the BBQ chicken on top.
    3. Next add a few spoonfuls of the black bean salsa.
    4. Drizzle cilantro lime dressing on top.
    5. Top with any extras like tortilla strips, diced tomatoes or guacamole.

    Helpful tips

    • Feel free to use grilled BBQ chicken during the warmer months. You can even bake it in the oven if you’d rather cook it that way.
    • Make a large batch of the chicken and freeze half. This way you can pop it out of the freezer anytime you’re craving this delicious salad recipe!
    • Skip the black bean salsa and simply add your favorite toppings like tomatoes, sliced avocado, corn, red bell peppers, cheese, etc.
    • Easily make your own homemade tortilla strips if you don’t have any on hand. All you need is flour tortillas!
    • Store-bought cilantro lime dressing works great, as well as ranch or a chipotle dressing.

    bbq chicken salad recipe on a white plate

    More easy dinner recipes:

    bbq chicken salad

    BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

    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
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    A hearty chopped BBQ chicken salad tossed with fresh greens, BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, tortilla strips and a delicious cilantro lime dressing. My absolute favorite salad!


    • 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 cups ranch dressing
    • 1/2 cup cilantro
    • 1 lime (juiced)
    • 1 tomatillo (small)
    • tortilla strips for topping


    • Place chicken breasts 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 for 6 hours, or until the chicken shreds easily. Can also cook on high for 3-4 hours. Shred chicken and remove any fat.
    • 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.
    • 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.


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


    Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 1938mg | Potassium: 1070mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 980IU | Vitamin C: 11.7mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1.9mg


    bbq chicken salad
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