This healthy and hearty BBQ Chicken Salad is loaded with fresh vegetables, grilled BBQ chicken, and crunchy tortilla strips. It’s topped with a flavourful BBQ, ranch and lime dressing. Quick and tasty, it’s guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family!
Disclosure: I am participating in the Chicken Farmers of Canada campaign managed by SJ Consulting. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.
You might be surprised to learn that one of my kids’ favourite foods is a salad, as with myself. Ordinarily best known for being a plain old side dish, it was a lightbulb moment when I made a hearty entree salad and the requests for more started coming in. We’re talking a salad with all the food groups and textures, and so good that you’d never know it was a healthy option. Now that is my kind of salad!
Recently our neck of the woods was hit with quite a doozy of a heatwave, and for those affected – you know exactly what I mean. It was a challenge to navigate usual daily life, right down to eating. It might have been the first time I referred to a friend as ‘crazy’ for baking. There weren’t many people turning on an oven during that time, that’s for sure.
To prep for the heatwave I grilled a big batch of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and that act was a summer saviour. Chicken leftovers are simply the best because there are endless choices when it comes to new meals made with this popular protein.
One recipe I made was BBQ Chicken Salad; yet don’t let the simple name fool you into thinking it’s a basic, plain and boring salad. This might be super easy to make and put together, but the taste is about as big as you can get with a hearty entree salad. Plus, a filling cold bbq chicken salad was ideal for such hot summer days. It was a total win, win.
The best part about a grilled bbq chicken salad is the mix of textures. You have the crisp variety of vegetables, crunch of tortilla strips, tang of bbq chicken, and a creamy robust dressing. It’s a combination that you’d see on a restaurant menu, but made at home with ease and for a much lower cost.
BBQ SALAD INGREDIENTS
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- BBQ sauce
- Romaine Lettuce
- Red onion
- Grape tomatoes
- Tortilla Strips
- Havari Cheese
- Ranch Dressing
- Fresh lime
HOW TO MAKE BBQ CHICKEN SALAD
The first step is grilling your chicken and brushing them your choice of BBQ sauce. Make sure to choose your chicken with the ‘Raised by a Canadian Farmer’ logo on the package, and help support our local farmers. If you don’t spot it in your grocer, you can request they bring it in!
While the chicken is cooking, chop your veggies. Add your chopped romaine, cucumber, red onion and tomatoes to large bowls. Place tortilla strips and shredded cheese on top of the tossed vegetables.
Once the chicken is cooked, set it aside and make the dressing which consists of BBQ sauce, ranch dressing and the juice from a half of a lime. This trio makes the best dressing, confirmed by my kids as well.
To finish making your salad, add your chicken and dressing. Voila!
TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS
- Feel free to change this recipe to suit tastes or preferences. Add corn kernels, black beans, and/or cilantro for instance to make this a Panera BBQ chicken salad. We don’t have them here in Canada, yet I’m told this is pretty close to the famous bbq chicken salad at panera.
- I buy tortilla strips in the same section you’d find salad toppings. Crushed tortilla chips will also work in their place.
- I love Havarti cheese, which is why I chose it for this recipe. Yet Monterey, Cheddar or Mozzarella will work as well.
MORE ENTREE SALAD RECIPES
- Oriental Chicken Salad – an Applebee’s copycat recipe
- Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad – with sour cream and taco seasoning
- Taco Salad – a potluck favourite
- BLT Pasta Salad – so good you’ll want it as a main dish
- Taco Pasta Salad – a quick salad recipe that won’t go soggy!
- 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil or spray, for cooking chicken
- 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
- 2 heads of Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 Cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 small Red Onion, chopped
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup Havarti Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Tortilla Strips
- 3 tbsp BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
- juice squeezed from 1/2 Lime
- Preheat grill to medium and cook the chicken breasts on both sides until fully cooked. Brush each side with BBQ sauce and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside before slicing
- Make the dressing by combining the bbq sauce, ranch dressing and the juice from half a lime.
- Assemble the salad with chopped romaine, cucumber, red onion and tomatoes. Top with tortilla strips and shredded cheese
- Slice the chicken and top over the salad and finish with the made dressing
- Add or omit vegetables types for individual preference.
- Can substitute type of cheese, or use crushed tortilla chips instead of strips.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 645Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 1034mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 9gSugar: 31gProtein: 50g
I made this wonderful recipe in partnership with Canadian Chicken Farmers, as I am an ambassador again this year, sharing with consumers across the country. I’m proud to support for many reasons.
Did you know that over 90% of Canadian chicken farms are family owned and operated? For citizens, provided by citizens – the highest quality chicken is backed by programs and standards to give Canadians the best.
For our economy, employment, livelihood and right down to our love of chicken – we can all stand behind that. That is why it’s important to choose your chicken with that signature ‘Raised by a Canadian Farmer’ logo, and make sure to ask for it, if you notice that a grocer doesn’t give the option for their customers.