BBQ Chicken Salad

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This BBQ chicken salad is better than any restaurant! Flavorful BBQ chicken, carrots, toasted corn, avocado, green onions, croutons and more combine to make the best barbecue chicken salad ever!

a bowl of BBQ Chicken Salad

This BBQ chicken salad is one of my all-time favorite dinner recipes. It’s my choice when I’m craving a hearty, savory dinner that’s still healthy and satisfying.

Made with fresh cornbread croutons and homemade ranch dressing, this bbq chicken salad is my version of comfort food!

In this recipe, BBQ chicken (either grilled BBQ chicken or crockpot bbq chicken), is served on top of a bed of greens loaded with toasted corn, green onions, cilantro, croutons, avocado and more.

Toss it with this homemade ranch dressing or this avocado dressing for an irresistible salad you’ll make on repeat.

up close photo of BBQ Chicken Salad in a bowl

BBQ Chicken Salad: Ingredients & Substitutions

overhead photo of the ingredients in this BBQ Chicken Salad recipe
  • Barbecue chicken. I suggest using either this crockpot BBQ chicken or this grilled BBQ chicken recipe!
  • Spring mix. Choose your favorite lettuce: romaine, iceberg, baby spinach, etc.
  • Carrot/Cucumber. Choose your favorite veggies. Some suggestions include bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
  • Green onions. Red onions are a great substitute.
  • Croutons. I suggest making these homemade croutons, or my absolute favorite choice with this salad are these cornbread croutons.
  • Toasted corn. You can just use leftover corn on the cob (cut off the cob, of course), or warm up some frozen corn in the microwave. However, toasting it with butter takes the flavor the the next level!
  • Ranch dressing. use this ranch dressing mix to make your own homemade dressing, or choose your favorite store-bought variety. You can also use this avocado dressing, homemade
BBQ Chicken Salad on a plate with a fork

How to Make BBQ Chicken Salad

Let’s walk through how to make the best barbecue chicken salad! I have seriously perfected this salad over the years because it’s my favorite! So I promise if you follow the recipe you will love it! Don’t forget to watch the video.

Prepare the BBQ chicken

Make the BBQ chicken – use this grilled BBQ chicken recipe (note, the chicken needs to marinate) or this Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe.

grilled BBQ chicken to use in this BBQ Chicken Salad recipe

Toast the Corn

The toasted corn is key to making a delicious BBQ chicken salad that stands out from the rest. Begin by cooking the corn with 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat until lightly browned.

two photos showing toasting corn to use in this BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

Once browned, sprinkle with sea salt. Then set it aside to use on the salad.

two photos showing toasting corn to use in this BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

Assemble the BBQ Chicken Salad:

Once the chicken and corn are ready, it’s time to assemble the salad.

Combine the lettuce, carrot, green onions cucumber, and cilantro and toasted corn in a large salad bowl, reserving about 1 tablespoon of each ingredient to use to garnish the top, toss to combine.

BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe being assembled in a large bowl

Then toss the salad with your dressing of choice. Mine is always ranch dressing, however this avocado dressing tastes amazing on this salad.

dressing being poured over BBQ Chicken Salad

Finally, top the bbq chicken salad with the remaining ingredients and sliced or shredded BBQ chicken and serve!

BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe in a bowl

Individual Servings

I like to serve this barbecue chicken salad in individual portions so guests can make it their own.

To do this, combine all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl besides the dressing and BBQ chicken.

Then let guests/family members build and dress their BBQ chicken salads individually. I prefer this because undressed salad keeps better and longer than dressed, so we can enjoy leftovers for a day or two after we make it!

a plate of bbq chicken salad

Serve

What I love about this recipe is that it’s an entire meal all on its own. So I suggest serving it as a main dish (especially if you make homemade croutons or cornbread croutons).

You can serve it with other sides like homemade pretzel bread or no knead bread. I like to make a large bowl of this summer fruit salad to serve on the side as well!

BBQ Chicken Salad on a plate with a fork

Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days if the BBQ chicken salad is undressed, 1-2 if it is dressed.

I suggest storing the salad and chicken separately so you can warm up the BBQ chicken before using it to make a leftover salad.

a fork taking a bite of BBQ Chicken Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe FAQs

What kind of BBQ chicken can I use on this recipe?

I suggest this grilled BBQ chicken or shredded crockpot BBQ chicken.

What dressing goes well on BBQ chicken salad?

Ranch dressing is my favorite on this salad (use this homemade ranch dressing mix). I also suggest this avocado dressing – yum!

What’s the best BBQ sauce for chicken?

I always buy this organic BBQ sauce – it’s my favorite.

BBQ Chicken Salad in a large serving bowl

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BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

Laura
This BBQ chicken salad is better than any restaurant! Flavorful BBQ chicken, carrots, toasted corn, avocado, green onions, croutons and more combine to make the best barbecue chicken salad ever!
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 238
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 2 Pounds BBQ Chicken* (cooked)
  • 5 oz spring mix or romaine lettuce
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 4 green onions sliced thin
  • 1 cucumber peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 cup croutons

Toasted Corn

  • 1 ½ cups corn frozen or fresh cut off the cob.
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Ranch Dressing (or your preferred dressing)

Instructions 

Prepare the BBQ chicken

Toast the Corn

  • Cook corn with 1 Tablespoon butter over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
  • Once browned, sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Set aside to use on the salad.

Assemble

  • Combine lettuce, carrot, green onions cucumber, and cilantro and toasted corn in a large salad bowl, reserving about 1 TBS of each ingredient to use to garnish the top, toss to combine.
  • Toss the dressing of your choice like avocado dressing or ranch dressing.
  • Top with remaining ingredients and sliced or shredded BBQ chicken.**

Video

Notes

*Use either this crockpot BBQ chicken or this grilled BBQ chicken recipe!
Serving
**You can serve this as one large salad, or in individual portions (my preference) and let your guests dress their own salad.
Ingredient Substitutions 
  • Spring mix. Choose your favorite lettuce: romaine, iceberg, baby spinach, etc.
  • Carrot/Cucumber. Choose your favorite veggies. Some suggestions include bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
  • Green onions. Red onions are a great substitute.
  • Croutons. I suggest making these homemade croutons, or my absolute favorite choice with this salad are these cornbread croutons.
  • Toasted corn. You can just use leftover corn on the cob (cut off the cob, of course), or warm up some frozen corn in the microwave. However, toasting it with butter takes the flavor the the next level!
  • Ranch dressing. use this ranch dressing mix to make your own homemade dressing, or choose your favorite store-bought variety. You can also use this avocado dressing.
Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days if the BBQ chicken salad is undressed, 1-2 if it is dressed.
I suggest storing the salad and chicken separately so you can warm up the BBQ chicken before using it to make a leftover salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1786IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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