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bbq chicken salad on a white platter with cilantro lime ranch
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5 from 2 votes

BBQ Chicken Salad

This healthy BBQ chicken salad is better than the restaurant! It includes classic southwest toppings and a creamy (dairy free) cilantro lime ranch that takes 5 minutes to make.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq chicken, chicken salad, cilantro lime ranch, dairy free, paleo, shredded chicken, southwest
Servings: 6
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Molly


For the salad:

  • 1 2 and 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken shredded with 1/2 cup sugar free BBQ sauce(I like primal kitchen) OR 1 serving bbq chicken in the slower cooker
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce (could also use spinach)
  • 1 cup black beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup canned corn (fire roasted if you can find it)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1-2 avocados chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • Additional optional toppings: shredded mexican cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips

Creamy Cilantro Jalapeno Dressing

  • 3/4 cup paleo mayo (I like primal kitchen)
  • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk shaken first to combine cream and liquid
  • 1/2 cup cilantro tightly packed about 1/2 bunch
  • 1 tablespoon honey omit for whole30 option
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 2 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 clove of garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeno roughly chopped with or without seeds for more spice *see notes
  • 1/4 cup mild salsa verde * see notes
  • 3 tablespoon almond milk more or less depending on your consistency preference


  • Add all of the ingredients, except for the almond milk, to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth, scraping sides down as needed. Add the almond milk a few tablespoons at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Place in the refrigerator to chill before using.
  • If you are using rotisserie chicken, add it to a medium bowl and toss with BBQ sauce. Set aside.
  • Prep all of your ingredients including draining the beans and corn and chopping the onion, avocado and tomato. Add the lettuce to a large bowl and top with BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, onion and cilantro. Top with any additional ingredients and serve with cilantro lime ranch dressing.


For the dressing:
You can swap a fresh jalapeno for 3/4 cup pickled jalapeno.
You can swap the salsa verde for 1 can of diced green chilis.
Add more almond milk if you want the dressing thinner.
*Nutrition information does not include dressing


Serving: 1g | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.2g | Protein: 40.9g | Fat: 11.3g | Fiber: 9.2g | Sugar: 11.9g