BBQ Chicken Salad With Cilantro Ranch

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This is one of my all time favorite salad recipes. It is light and fresh but super satisfying. If nothing else, the cilantro ranch is a must try! It is so flavorful and is definitely one of my go-to salad dressings.


Start this one by making the dressing. I really like this dressing because you can get very creative with it and add in almost any flavor you want. Almost every salad dressing I make starts with smashed garlic.


Next, I dice up a jalapeno.


Then, in a food processor or blender, add the mayo and sour cream.


Next, add in the cilantro.


Then, for a little more heat and flavor, add in a dash of Cholula hot sauce.


Add in the salt and pepper.


Finally, add in the buttermilk. When you have all of the ingredients in the blender, give it a whirl and blend until smooth. If the dressing is too thick, slowly add in a little more buttermilk.


Usually, a buttermilk ranch has a thick and creamy texture, but this one  actually has a thinner consistency closer to a vinaigrette. I think the thinner consistency keeps it lighter.


To get the salad started, you will need to bake the chicken in your favorite BBQ sauce. Before you coat the chicken in the sauce, season both sides with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder.


The rest of this salad is pretty simple. I chop up some fresh romaine hearts.


Then some green onion


A few cherry tomatoes


Some more cilantro


Then I dice up an avocado.


Finally, shred some pepper jack cheese and you are ready to put the salad together.


When the chicken is ready, let it cool for about 5 minutes and then slice it into 1/2 inch strips.

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Put everything together and drizzle a little of the hot BBQ sauce from the chicken pan over the top. I like to serve the dressing on the salad, but if you are making it for a crowd, I would serve it on the side. Enjoy!


  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce (or enough to coat both sides of the chicken)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 5 dashes of Cholula hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-5 tablespoons buttermilk


  • Preheat the oven to 425
  • Season both sides of the chicken with the salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Coat both sides of the chicken with the BBQ sauce and bake for about 20-25 minutes
  • In large bowl, assemble the salad by incorporating the romaine, onion, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and pepper jack
  • Toss the salad in 3 tablespoons of the dressing and serve the rest on the side
  • When the chicken is ready, let it cool for about 5 minutes and slice it into 1/2 inch strips
  • Top the salad with the chicken and drizzle some of the hot BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken
  • Put all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, if the dressing is too thick slowly add in more buttermilk
  • You can make this up to 4 hours before serving

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