30 Minute BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Kid Friendly30 Minute MealsGluten Free

This light & easy 30 Minute BBQ Chicken Salad makes the perfect family dinner and comes together fast. Filled with juicy grilled bbq chicken, fresh veggies, black beans, avocado and a cilantro lime dressing – it’s hands down better and healthier than Panera’s BBQ Chicken Salad!

30 Minute BBQ Chicken Salad in a bowlBBQ Chicken Salad

We made it. It’s finally Friday and I hope you’ve enjoyed all the flavor bursting salad recipes this week. I know I enjoyed making them. 

In case you missed it –>

Monday was this an amazing 15 Minute Avcocado Caprese Chicken Salad

Wednesday I posted this delicious Grilled Steak Fajita Salad with Chimichurri Dressing – which was my husbands favorite. Although, I guess that was a no brainer because it has steak in it! 🙂 

Also, there were a bunch I posted on Instagram. So, if you want more salad recipes make sure you click over there to check those out too!

side photo of 30 minute BBQ Chicken Salad in a bowl with cilantro lime dressing on top

Easy Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

Ok. Now, let’s talk BBQ Chicken Salad today. This one was my personal favorite, which is why I saved it for last!  Most people probably think of Panera’s BBQ Chicken Salad when you say BBQ Chicken Salad. But, let me tell you. In my opinion, this one is way better and healthier than Panera’s version. 

What’s in BBQ Chicken Salad?

BBQ Chicken Salads usually have a base of lettuce (you could use green leaf lettuce, spring mix or romaine), chicken breast slathered in your favorite BBQ Sauce, fresh vegetables (tomato, corn, black beans, onions, etc.), tortilla strips for some crunch and then a creamy dressing. 

My version omits the tortilla strips and I make a homemade cilantro lime dressing instead of using a creamy ranch dressing. These substitutions cut down on the calories.

How many calories in BBQ Chicken Salad?

Most BBQ Chicken Salad recipes are 500 calories +, and that’s including the dressing. This Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing is only 403 calories, and you get the peace of mind of knowing exactly what’s in it because it’s homemade!

overhead photo of 30 Minute BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

close up photo of grilled BBQ Chicken on a plate with grilled corn

The reason this salad was my favorite of all the others I posted this week is because of the various flavors. It was almost like the BBQ world met the Tex-Mex world and had a baby, a gloriously delicious baby!

How to Make the BEST BBQ Chicken Salad

  1. Heat grill to medium high heat, about 350-400 degrees F.
  2. Season both sides of chicken breast with salt & pepper.
  3. Spray grill grates with cooking spray or rub down with olive oil soaked rag.
  4. Place chicken and corn on grill. Grill corn for 2 minutes per side, just to cook and slightly char.
  5. Grill chicken breast for 4 minutes per side. Brush with bbq sauce on both sides, grilling an additional 1-2 minutes per side once the sauce is on. The chicken will be done when it is no longer pink on the inside.
  6. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Then slice chicken and cut corn kernels off the cob.
  7. Assemble the salad: to a large bowl add green leaf lettuce. Top with sliced bbq chicken, corn, cherry tomatoes, black beans, avocado slices and red onion. Serve with dressing on the side.

close up photo of 30 minute BBQ chicken salad with cilantro lime dressing

Everything about this salad screams light, refreshing and freakin delicious to me! It is gluten free and dairy free for those of you who fit in that arena AND it comes together in 30 minutes for all you busy moms out there! 

I guarantee this BBQ Chicken Salad will be a hit with everyone in the family, even those picky eaters! P.S. one of my favorite tricks for the kids is to cut everything up super small, almost like a chop salad so they can’t “see” what’s in the salad. You’ll avoid those “what’s this” question and they’ll devour it!

Hands down this is the perfect summer salad recipe. I know you’ll be adding to your weekly menu and eating it on repeat, because I am! Bon Appetit friends!

Other BBQ Chicken Recipes you’ll like:

close up photo of 30 minute Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing in a bowl

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overhead photo of 30 Minute BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Grilling, Chicken, Salad, Gluten-Free, 30 Minute Meals, Kid Friendly
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This light & easy 30 Minute BBQ Chicken Salad makes the perfect family dinner and comes together fast. Filled with juicy grilled bbq chicken, fresh veggies, black beans, avocado and a cilantro lime dressing – it’s better and healthier than Panera’s BBQ Chicken Salad!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 (6 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 1/2 cup favorite bbq sauce
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups chopped green leaf lettuce

Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon shallots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Heat grill to medium high heat, about 350-400 degrees F.
  2. Season both sides of chicken breast with salt & pepper.
  3. Spray grill grates with cooking spray or rub down with olive oil soaked rag.
  4. Place chicken and corn on grill. Grill corn for 2 minutes per side, you’re just looking for a slight char then remove from grill.
  5. Grill chicken breast for 4 minutes per side. Brush with bbq sauce on both sides, grilling an additional 1-2 minutes per side once the sauce is on. The chicken will be done when it is no longer pink on the inside.
  6. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Then slice chicken and cut corn kernels off the cob.
  7. In the meantime, make the dressing. To a food processor add shallots, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped. Add in olive oil and pulse until it forms a dressing. (oil and vinegar no longer separate) Set aside.
  8. Assemble the salad: to a large bowl add green leaf lettuce. Top with sliced bbq chicken, corn, cherry tomatoes, black beans, avocado slices and red onion. Serve with dressing on the side.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups of salad + dressing
  • Calories: 403
  • Sugar: 12 g
  • Sodium: 618 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 22 g
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg

Keywords: BBQ Chicken Salad, BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe, BBQ Chicken Recipes, Summer Salad Recipes, Summer Grilling Recipes, Easy Chicken Recipes, Panera copycat recipe

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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9 Responses
  1. Are you kidding? 30 minutes salad? I should try this so I will know if I can prepare this for 30 minutes. Less time and no hassle to make a yummy and healthy salad.

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