This BBQ Chicken Salad has crispy lettuce topped with tender, BBQ grilled chicken, grilled corn, black beans, shredded cheese and more!
We’ve been on a big salad kick lately—and this BBQ Chicken Salad is at the top of our list.
It’s fresh and flavorful and loaded with lots of healthy ingredients. It’s also a salad that our entire family enjoys, or it’s a great option when you are hosting a crowd for dinner.
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How do you make BBQ Chicken Salad?
We like to make this easy and delicious salad with a combination of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs. You can, of course, use all breast meat or all thigh meat if you prefer.
You’ll start by marinating the chicken in a lime and apple juice marinade that is flavored with a touch of our Homemade BBQ Sauce, as well as chopped fresh garlic and seasonings. The chicken should marinate overnight to ensure it tenderizes and picks up all of the delicious marinade flavors.
When ready to serve, you’ll grill the chicken — brushing on more of our delicious, Homemade BBQ Sauce.
You’ll also grill ears of fresh corn on the cob. The char from the grill adds fantastic flavor to this salad! Then, use this method to easily cut corn off the cob.
Next, assemble your BBQ Chicken Salad on a bed of crisp lettuce that has been tossed with our homemade Ranch Dressing. Add slices of red onion, that delicious grilled corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, corn chips and fresh cilantro.
We like to serve the BBQ Chicken Salad “disassembled” on a platter as shown above — for a bit of a dramatic effect. Then go ahead and toss everything together and serve on individual salad plates – with more of our homemade Ranch Dressing over the top.
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Serve your BBQ Chicken Salad with:
You may enjoy these other Salad recipes:
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs
¼ cup lime juice
1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce (see our homemade version here)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple liquor (optional)
1 ½ tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh garlic (3–4 cloves)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
4–6 ears fresh corn on the cob
1 cup vegetable oil, for grilling
Salt and pepper for grilling
1 cup Homemade BBQ sauce
1 medium head iceberg lettuce, cut into chunks
1 cup Homemade Ranch Dressing
10-ounce container cherry tomatoes
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup red onion slices
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small bag corn chips
Butterfly the chicken breasts, cutting them open so all pieces are approximately the same thickness. Place breasts and thighs in a gallon zipper seal bag.
Place all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine, then pour over chicken and marinate eight hours, up to 18 hours.
An hour before serving, discard marinade and rinse and pat chicken dry. Place on a platter and brush with some of the vegetable oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Flip and repeat.
Brush the corn with vegetable oil.
Heat grill to high on one side and medium on the other.
Clean and brush grill grates with remaining oil using tongs and paper towels.
Place chicken and corn on the hot side and sear the chicken (about 2 minutes), flip and sear the other side then move to the cooler side and brush both sides with the BBQ sauce.
Keep the corn on the hot side and keep turning and grilling to get a nice char.
While the chicken and corn are grilling, prepare the other salad ingredients.
Remove chicken and corn from grill and let chicken rest 3-4 minutes.
Place corn on end and with a sharp knife, slice off the corn kernels.
Slice the chicken into strips.
To assemble, toss the iceberg with ranch dressing and pour out onto a platter.
Assemble the cooked chicken, cooked corn, cherry tomatoes, black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, red onion slices, cilantro and the Frito corn chips and serve with extra ranch dressing.
Keywords: BBQ chicken salad
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Meet The Author: Martha
Martha is part of the husband-wife team that creates A Family Feast. She loves to cook and entertain for family and friends, and she believes that serving a great meal is one of the best ways to show someone that you care. Martha is a self-taught home cook, who loves to read cookbooks and try new recipes. After a decades-long career in business and online marketing, she now runs A Family Feast full-time. Her specialties are baking, desserts, vegetables and pasta dishes.