Salads

BBQ Chicken Salad With Cilantro Ranch

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Aug
19


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.

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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.

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Next, I dice up a jalapeno.

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

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Next, add in the cilantro.

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

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Add in the salt and pepper.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Then some green onion

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A few cherry tomatoes

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Some more cilantro

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Then I dice up an avocado.

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

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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!

Ingredients

{salad}
  • 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
{dressing}
  • 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

Directions

{salad}
  • 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
{dressing}
  • 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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