Perfect for your next BBQ, potluck, or picnic, this better-than-Panera-Bread BBQ Chicken Salad recipe with hearty black beans, crisp corn kernels, and creamy avocado paired with BBQ chicken is the perfect side to all your summer favorites.
Loaded with the best flavors, this next-level side dish salad is a 15-minute meal packed with tastes you may enjoy as a quick light dinner.
Why you will love making a BBQ Salad Recipe
Classic salad with a twist: The creamy ranch dressing combined with BBQ creates one of the most hearty salads ever. Serve as a complete meal or a side dish salad; the smoky flavor and barbecue chicken are one of those summer recipes you can’t get enough of.
Fresh Salad Ingredients:
- Chicken: We recommend rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded or cubed into bite-sized pieces (about one boneless, skinless chicken breast).
- Favorite BBQ Sauce: Any sweet, favorite barbecue sauce will do. We like Sweet Baby Ray’s.
- Vegetables: canned corn kernels (drained), black beans, ripe tomatoes (halved cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes also work fine), ripe avocado, and romaine lettuce hearts (any leafy green, but fresh romaine lettuce has a nice bite to it).
- Homemade Salad Dressing Ingredients: chopped fresh cilantro, buttermilk, ranch dressing (liquid, not dry), fresh dill, kosher salt, and black pepper.
How to make BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad
- Mix pre-cooked and shredded chicken and 1/4 cup sweet barbecue sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocados, crunchy romaine hearts, and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Combine buttermilk, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, and dill in a separate small bowl. Whisk BBQ ranch dressing well until smooth; season with salt & pepper.
- Pour the homemade ranch dressing into the salad bowl and mix well. Serve immediately or cover in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Easy Salad Variations to Try
There are unlimited ingredients and extra flavor ways to mix up simple salad recipes based on your tastes.
This flavorful salad can be enhanced with fresh ears of corn or by switching plain corn to roasted corn, a hard-boiled egg, chunks of cheddar cheese (or Monterey Jack), or sliced green onions.
Are you looking for texture? Add a layer of crunchy tortilla strips or chips or crispy fried onions as a topping.
Mixing up the creamy dressing is just as easy! Try a little lemon or lime juice, a common ingredient in summer salads.
Quick Tip: Have leftover chicken tenders? This is a time-saving step when you want to make your favorite salads. Just cut up and add!
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BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad (Skip Panera!)
- 2 Mixing Bowls one medium and one large
- 4 cups rotisserie chicken , cooked and shredded or cubed (about one chicken)
- ¼ cup BBQ Sauce
- 15 oz. whole corn can drained
- 15.25 oz. black beans can, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups tomatoes chopped
- 2 avocados cubed
- 3 romaine hearts chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
BBQ Ranch Dressing
- ¼ cup BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- ¼ cup ranch dressing
- 4 tbsp. dried dill
- salt & pepper
- Mix together Rotisserie chicken and 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine drained corn, drained and rinsed black beans, chopped tomatoes, avocados, chopped romaine hearts, and fresh cilantro. Mix well.
- In a separate small bowl, combine buttermilk, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, and fresh dill. Whisk well until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour BBQ Ranch dressing onto the salad and mix well.
- Serve BBQ Chicken Salad immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.