I love a big entree salad and our BBQ Chicken Salad recipe is a sure favorite! Packed with so many fresh ingredients, this salad always hits the spot. This is probably one of my favorite summer salads (that I totally eat year round)!
Our bbq chicken salad is one of our favorite prep ahead salads. When you’re ready to dig in, it takes just a few minutes to throw everything together and enjoy!
How to Make a BBQ Chicken Salad
BBQ Chicken Ingredients
- In a hot skillet cook seasoned boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Chop cooked chicken thighs.
- Add cooked and chopped chicken thighs and barbecue sauce to a bowl.
- Toss chicken and bbq sauce together. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
BBQ Yogurt Ranch Dressing Ingredients
Yogurt Ranch Dressing Process
- Add all dressing ingredients into a small bowl.
- Whisk together until fully combined.
Salad Assembly Ingredients
Salad Assembly Process
- Toss together shredded cabbage and chopped romaine lettuce and spread onto a large platter. Arrange black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onions, and jicama over greens. Top salad with bbq chicken and sliced green onions. Serve with dressing on side or drizzle dressing over salad.
What is Jicama?
Jicama (also called, yam bean, Mexican turnip or Mexican Potato) is a root vegetable native to Mexico. It’s most commonly eaten peeled and raw with a flavor that’s a cross between a potato, carrot and apple. It’s light, crunchy and very mildly sweet and perfectly adds texture to dishes like our loaded bbq chicken salad.
Make Ahead Instructions for our BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe
The dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, until ready to use.
The chicken can be cooked, chopped and tossed in bbq sauce up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, until ready to use.
The salad can be built on a platter or in a large bowl 1 day ahead of time, tightly covered in plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. When building the salad ahead of time, add the bbq chicken and dressing right before serving to avoid the greens getting soggy.
Variations and Substitutions
There are indefinite ways to make this entree salad, but a few variations we like from this version is:
- Adding chopped apples in place of the jicama.
- Finely dicing cauliflower and tossing it in a little oil and salt for a healthier option to replace the corn.
- Adding some crumbled queso fresco for a salty bite.
- Adding diced avocados in place of or in addition to the black beans for a fresh and creamy texture.
- Replacing the chicken for some flaked salmon
- Replacing the chicken thighs with boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Some seared and diced tofu or roasted chickpeas also works great to replace the chicken for a vegetarian option
- Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save on time.
- Replace the green onion for fresh cilantro leaves or sliced chives.
Looking for more salad recipes? Check out our post for all of Best Salad Recipes!
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BBQ Chicken Salad
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup prepared bbq sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
bbq ranch yogurt dressing
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced chives
- 2 tbsp minced parsley
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup prepared bbq sauce
- 1 romaine heart, shredded
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 fresh corn on cobb, charred under broiler and kernels removed (cobbs discarded)
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1/2 jicama, peeled and diced
- 2 green onions, sliced on bias
- Place large skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot add oil.
- Generously season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Sear thighs for 3 to 4 minutes. Lower heat to medium and flip thighs. Continue to cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes or until thighs have just cooked through.
- Transfer thighs to a cutting board and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add bbq sauce andtoss together until well coated. Set aside.
- Place all dressing ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Combine romaine and cabbage together in a large bowl and toss together. Transfer mixture to a platter.
- Top greens with black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onion, jicama, and bbq chicken.
- Sprinkle salad with sliced green onion. Serve with dressing.