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BBQ Chicken Salad

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!

pouring cilantro lime dressing on top of bbq chicken salad

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Family-favorite salad recipe

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

BBQ chicken in crockpot

The beauty of this recipe is that the crockpot BBQ chicken cooks on low all day in the slow cooker. 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 pull it out of the freezer on a busy weeknight to make BBQ chicken tacos or a BBQ chicken pizzaFreezer 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. Simply combine the 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

Tips + substitutions

bbq chicken salad recipe on a white plate

More easy salad recipes:

bbq chicken salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

4.88 from 8 votes
A hearty chopped salad tossed with fresh greens, BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, tortilla strips and a delicious cilantro lime dressing. My absolute favorite salad!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs
Refrigerate dressing: 30 mins
Total Time: 6 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 6


  • 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.
    bbq chicken
  • For the dressing: Combine ranch dressing, cilantro, lime and tomatillo in a blender or food processor. If you like it spicy, you could throw half a jalapeno in there. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
    cilantro lime crema ingredients in food processor
  • 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.
    bbq chicken salad


Black bean salsa: This is my favorite 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.
Chicken: You can also make this easy baked BBQ chicken for a quicker alternative. Or shred a rotisserie chicken and mix with your favorite BBQ sauce. 
Dressing: This salad also tastes delicious with ranch dressing or an avocado lime dressing
Tortilla strips: These homemade tortilla strips are give the salad the best crunch. 

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

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

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bbq chicken salad

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