BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Published May 1, 2014. Updated March 7, 2020

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When we go out to eat at a local restaurant I often get their BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch. Since it has started to warm up outside and I can finally use my grill again, I’ve decided I’m just going to start making this salad at home.

This tastes just like the restaurant version but I’m sure it cost half the price. Not to mention my corn tortilla strips are way better than theirs because they’re fresh :).

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch | Cooking Classy

I love salads like this because they are healthy and filling and they even make great left overs for lunch the next day (as long as you don’t toss it all together of course).

This one has all the flavors of a Southwestern meal in one loaded salad (and no I’m not skimp with the toppings.

It’s always crazy when you pay $10 for a salad and they put 3 tiny pieces of chicken on top. If it’s going to be a meal for me it needs to have a lot in it).

The other great thing about this salad is it’s a mans salad too, my husband doesn’t go for any of those dainty salads that have a few pieces of fruit and a light vinaigrette for a main meal. We can both agree on this one.

It’s simply amazing.


BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch | Cooking Classy

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BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch

A delicious hearty salad packed with fresh flavor and smokey bbq chicken.
Servings: 4
Prep20 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes



  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (could sub light mayo for a healthier opt)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (could sub plain greek yogurt for a healthier opt)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 tsp buttermilk ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (about a handful)
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 - 3 pinches cayenne pepper (optional)


  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Brush grill grates lightly with canola or vegetable oil then place chicken on grill and cook rotating once halfway through cooking and brushing both sides with BBQ sauce during last minute or two of grilling (it will take about 4 mins per side, check to 165 degrees in center).
  • Transfer chicken to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 - 10 minutes then slice into small strips.
  • Layer all remaining ingredients into large salad bowls, beginning with salad (then from there the order doesn't matter). Serve topped with Cilantro Lime Ranch.
  • For the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until cilantro is finely chopped.


*I made homemade corn tortilla strips by slicing 6 6-inch corn tortillas into strips (and each strip into halves), then I fried in about 1-inch of hot canola oil in a skillet (vegetable oil works too), rotating once halfway through with metal tongs, until they just began to turn golden. Then transferred to a plate lined with paper towels and immediately sprinkled with salt. Store bought is fine too if you don't want to make them.
Nutrition Facts
BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch
Amount Per Serving
Calories 993 Calories from Fat 486
% Daily Value*
Fat 54g83%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 162mg54%
Sodium 1909mg83%
Potassium 1983mg57%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 17g71%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 58g116%
Vitamin A 12954IU259%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Calcium 400mg40%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.