Grilled Barbecue Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing is packed with crunchy veggies, crispy tortilla strips, tender barbecue chicken, and the most intoxicating dressing EVER! Better than your favorite restaurant salad at a fraction of the cost, but with ALL the flavor… And then some!
Its been uncharacteristically muggy here in San Diego, so much so that it flash rained for an hour today just to let off some steam. The last thing I wanted to do was pull my hair farther back and step into a sauna of a kitchen, so I whipped up this Grilled Barbecue Chicken Salad and dove into crunchy, crispy, flavor-filled refreshing, taste bud heaven.
This salad is packed with your favorite fixings of fresh corn, black beans, tomatoes, crunchy red peppers, and my personal favorite, sweet mangoes. Oh, how I love mangoes and barbecue sauce together! – especially when the barbecue sauce is smothering spiced, moist barbecue chicken. The chicken is massaged with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper then grilled to tender perfection and tossed with your favorite barbecue sauce. Finally, the salad is drizzled (or doused if you prefer) with the most addicting creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing. The salad is almost just an excuse to consume the ranch by the spoonfuls AND eat chips in salad AKA tortilla strips. Almost. The crispy goodness of the tortilla strips is the crowning tipping point that pushes this salad into can’t-stop-eating – never-want-to-stop-eating deliciousness.
Barbecue Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch is perfect for entertaining a crowd or simply for a party of one – with leftovers – and you are going to want leftovers.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded thin (2-3 breasts)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup sweet barbecue sauce
- 1 head romaine lettuce chopped (about 8 cups)
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1 ear corn kernels cut off
- 3/4 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 mango chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Avocado Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese shredded
- Tortilla strips for garnish
- Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl. Massage all over chicken and let rest 15-30 minutes (time permitting) at room temperature before grilling. (You may also let marinate in refrigerator up to overnight then bring to room temperature before grilling.) Meanwhile, grease and preheat the grill to medium heat, 375-450°F.
- Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-8 minutes per side depending on thickness, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 155 degrees F.) Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before chopping. Add chicken to a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce or enough to generously coat.
- To assemble, add the Salad Ingredients and chicken to a large bowl and toss to combine. If you don’t expect leftovers, drizzle salad with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with tortilla strips. If you do expect leftovers, garnish individual servings with Dressing and tortilla strips.
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