BBQ Chicken Salad

BBQ chicken salad on top of a wooden board

Yes, we are definitely on a chicken salad kick, we admit it, okay. And I think that this BBQ Chicken Salad has been our absolute favorite of all the recent chicken salad recipes. If you haven’t made Phillip’s BBQ sauce from our BBQ Sliders with Jalapeno Slaw, it is a MUST! This BBQ sauce has been a weakness to us for months now and I am very okay with it. Maybe the next recipe will be a pasta salad with this BBQ sauce.

BBQ chicken salad on top of a wooden board

BBQ Chicken Salad

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people


Rib Seasoning

  • 1 ½ tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tbsp black pepper
  • ¼ tbsp ginger powder
  • ¼ tbsp onion powder
  • ¼ tbsp rosemary
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tbsp salt

BBQ Ranch Sauce

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rib seasoning
  • 2 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce use just the sauce and 1-2 peppers
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing

Chicken Salad

  • 2 chicken breasts shredded
  • 1 can corn drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 limes squeezed
  • 3 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 jalapeno finely chopped
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 1 cup tortilla strips


  • Grill or bake chicken until it reaches 160° internally. Once cooked, set aside and shred
  • In a mason jar or small bowl, mix together all Rib Seasoning ingredients together
  • Over medium heat bring a small sauce pan to heat
  • Add apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, and tomato sauce and bring to simmer
  • Mix in brown sugar, rib seasoning, and adobo sauce and stir well
  • Once sauce gets up to a simmer again, take off the heat
  • In a large mixing bowl, add together chicken, corn, black beans, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno and mix until combined
  • Now that the chicken and veggies are mixed, add in the lime juice and BBQ sauce and mix well
  • Carefully add in the avocado and tortilla strips and slowly mix to not break the tortilla strips and mush up the avocado
  • Serve over your favorite bread
Wooden board with bbq chicken salad

At first we were nervous to mix the BBQ and ranch together, but after we got the right ratio it took out the bite from the BBQ Sauce and replaced it with a creaminess. In addition, the avocado brings another level of smoothness that brings the flavors together perfectly. Not a ranch fan? A tablespoon of softened cream cheese also takes that bite out of the BBQ sauce. We didn’t add any cheddar cheese to this, although it would be delicious. We didn’t want to take away from the flavors.

BBQ chicken salad with tortilla strips

What can I add this to?

We made this into sandwiches for these pictures but we also love this as a wrap. A lot of weeks I make this as a meal prep on Sunday so I have easy lunches ready to go during the week. I add this to salads or even just eat it by itself. Any way I make this, I go back for seconds. One night we even made this as a dip. We spread cream cheese to the bottom of a baking dish, layered this BBQ Chicken Salad over the cream cheese and then sprinkled cheddar and pepper jack cheese on top and baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. We were VERY happy with the result.

From our kitchen to yours, cheers!

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