BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Servings: 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (I sliced mine in half through the thickness before grilling)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce , homemade or store bought
  • 1 large head (18 oz) Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 3 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1 - 2 avocados , diced
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen corn (thawed and drained if frozen)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 green onions , chopped
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups cheese (I used half cheddar half monterey jack, a Mexican blend would be fine too)
  • Corn tortilla stips*


  • 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
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 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)


  1. 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 (mine only took about 4 minutes per side, but grill time it will vary based on thickness of chicken and temp of grill). Transfer chicken to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 - 10 minutes then slice into small strips.
  2. 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.
  3. For the dressing:
  4. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until cilantro is finely chopped.
  5. *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.
  6. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy