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BBQ Chicken Salad in a large white bowl with a jar of buttermilk jalapeno ranch dressing on the side

BBQ Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Jalapeno Ranch

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 40 reviews
  • Author: Whip & Wander
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads & Dressings, Mains
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This BBQ Chicken Salad offers a delicious blend of grilled chicken basted in sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, served over crisp salad greens and vibrant veggies, and topped with a light and creamy Buttermilk Jalapeno Ranch Dressing that adds a gentle heat. This hearty dinner salad is perfect for summer grilling season!


  • 1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved if thick (or boneless skinless thighs)
  • ⅓ cup Spicy Red BBQ Sauce (or BBQ sauce of your choosing), plus more to taste
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce (500 g), chopped
  • 150 g (1 cup) English cucumber, sliced
  • 70 g (¾ cup) carrot chips or slices
  • 120 g (¾ cup) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 90 g (¾ cup) black olives, sliced
  • 1 medium avocado (about 8 oz), pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 3 oz (½ cup) blue cheese, crumbled
  • 20 g (¼ cup) green onions, chopped
  • Buttermilk Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, to taste (or dressing of your choosing)


  1. Preheat your grill: Allow the grill to fully preheat before adding the chicken. The grill should be approximately 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit / 205-232 degrees Celcius).
  2. Grill the chicken: Place the chicken breasts on the hot grill. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until they easily release from the grill grates. If they stick continue cooking for an additional minute then try flipping the chicken breasts again. Cover and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, then open the lid and baste with BBQ sauce. Flip and cook for 2 minutes on the basted side. While the basted side finishes cooking, baste the second side with BBQ sauce. Flip a final time to cook the second basted side for a final 2 minutes.
  3. Check internal temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of chicken breasts reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit / 74 degrees Celsius. If using chicken thighs, aim for an ideal temperature between 175-195 degrees Fahrenheit / 80-90 Celsius for maximum tenderness.
  4. Rest chicken: Remove chicken from the grill and reserve to the side to cool for a minimum of 5-minutes. This helps the chicken retain its juices. Once rested, slice as desired. I like to drizzle a little bit of additional bbq sauce over the finished chicken (just make sure not to use BBQ sauce from the same dish you basted from!)
  5. Assemble the salad: You can assemble the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl and serve it family style, or assemble it into individual plates or bowls. Drizzle some Buttermilk Ranch Dressing over the top, as desired.


Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.

3 tbsp dressing was calculated per serving.

8/2/23 This recipe was updated and may no longer fit specified dietary preferences from previous versions of this post. Previous version 8/12/19.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 483
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 1333 mg
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 42 g
  • Cholesterol: 113 mg