Chicken, SaladMalia Howe

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Lime Cilantro Dressing

Chicken, SaladMalia Howe
BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Lime Cilantro Dressing

This is the salad of my dreams. Before I continue rambling, I will say this: If you are a vegetarian and yet you happen to love BBQ sauce (I'm talking to you, JT) you can totally do this salad sans chicken (just toss your beans with BBQ sauce and add a full 1/2 cup BBQ sauce to your dressing) and it will be amazing. Oh, this salad is divine. My husband and I were practically shouting its praises as we devoured it last night. It's like everything wonderful about a BBQ chicken pizza without the guilt of the excess cheese and pizza crust. I am watching the clock closely this morning because I am dying to have another salad for lunch. It's that good. There's nothing magic about ingredient proportions here, so I'm just going to list what the recipe suggests you add and then you can build your salad as you'd like. Main dish salads work well at my house because I just set all ingredients out and let the kids build their own. My oldest is doing a great job of actually using most of the ingredients (only declined tomatoes and onions below), but I did leave some of the chicken sauce-less to make it more appealing to her. The almost 3 year old accepted most of it on her plate, but little entered her mouth. Baby steps. 

BBQ Chicken Salads with Creamy BBQ Lime Cilantro Dressing

-proportions adapted from

For the dressing, food process the following: 

  • -3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I roasted 2 lbs of boneless skinless breasts)
  • -1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (I cannot endorse anything other than KC Masterpiece)
  • -iceberg lettuce, chopped (the crunch is great)
  • -romaine lettuce, chopped (I used about a 2:1 ratio of romaine to iceberg in our salads)
  • -1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • -ΒΌ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • -1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • -corn (I cooked a bag of frozen corn and let it cool)
  • -cheese (I grated a block of cheddar jack)
  • -1 cup light mayo
  • -1/3 cup milk
  • -1/3 cup buttermilk
  • -2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • -1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • -1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • -1 teaspoon sugar
  • -1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • -1/2 teaspoon salt
  • -1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • -1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • -1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • -1/3 cup BBQ sauce

Build your salads as you desire, top with dressing and BBQ chicken. Clap your hands with glee over this awesome meal you just made!!