BBQ Chicken Chop Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Main dish salads may be my absolute favourite kind of dinner.  Of course, I feel like I call a lot of things my favourite in this space.  I like food?

But I DO really love salads.  I could happily eat salad for supper every night and not get bored.  I mean, so many combinations and flavours!  Salads just don’t get boring in my world.  Of course, I live with someone who would vehemently disagree with that statement, so we don’t have salads for supper every night.  But seriously, it’s too bad, because main dish salads are amazing.

BBQ Chicken Chop Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This BBQ chicken chop salad is no exception.  Full of flavour, and it even has a bit of a southwest note to it which is, of course, my favourite.  Um, I might need a new word.  Everything IS, evidently, my favourite.  But, you know what, you don’t start a food blog if you don’t love food and trying new things, and having lots of favourites, so I guess it’s okay.

BBQ Chicken Chop Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

I love the melding of flavours in this particular main dish salad.  It’s BBQ chicken, but it also seems almost like a taco salad.  And that combination somehow works.  The creamy cilantro lime dressing with a hint of BBQ flavour in it complements the salad perfectly, so don’t just use a bottled dressing.  It takes very little time to make and is so good.  It is a large amount of dressing though, so you may not use it all (we didn’t) depending on how much dressing you like on your salad.  But the leftovers will keep for a bit in the fridge so you can have salads for a few days.  Yay for salad!

Also, this BBQ chicken chop salad just plain feels like summer, which is a definite bonus in March!

BBQ Chicken Chop Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing


BBQ Chicken Chop Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Yield: serves 4-6

Note: This recipe calls for cooked chicken, so plan ahead. If I’ve forgotten, I toss 2-3 frozen chicken breasts in the slow cooker with 1-2 cups of chicken broth for 4-5 hours on low. They cook perfectly from frozen the morning I need them if I don’t remember to cook the chicken a day or two before.

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For the salad:
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
2 romaine hearts, chopped
1/4 red onion, diced (1/4-1/2 cup)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed small
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, cubed small
For the dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped finely
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup BBQ sauce


  1. For the salad, toss the cooked, shredded chicken with the BBQ sauce, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth, or blend them if you’d like it really smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Serve the salad with the BBQ chicken on top and dressing on the side. Or you can toss it all together and serve.
  3. If you keep the components separate, then leftovers will keep well for 3-4 days.


Source: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe .


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