BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch

Diced grilled chicken doused in Stubb’s barbecue sauce and served atop a bed of green leaf lettuce. It’s then drizzled with a jalapeño ranch that is delicious and SO easy to make.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch //

Yuh guys. My life totally changed this weekend. How? Let me tell you.

  1. My ten-month-old daughter took her first steps. I’m dying! She already gets into anything and everything and I am not sure how I am going to keep up with her once she’s walking (ahem, and running… because that inevitably comes next).
  2. I found, like, 5 new grey hairs. I swear, I’m only 25.
  3. My very inquisitive three-year-old son has gone from asking what everything is to asking “why?”. About everything. EVERYTHING. In a one minute period I answer about 700 questions. You other moms will understand why, at the end of the day, it’s a miracle that I haven’t gone completely insane.

Honestly, that’s why I write this blog. Because even though I love love love my children and motherhood in general, there are still times when I desperately need an escape (aka what I choose to do during nap time). And, to me there’s no better escape than taking pictures of mouthwateringly delicious grilled chicken, and other food in general.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch //

Are you salivating yet? I am.

This BBQ Chicken Salad uses my favorite barbecue sauce ever: Stubb’s. You can find it in most grocery stores, and the reason why I love it is not only because it tastes great, but also because it contains no high fructose corn syrup.

This is not a sponsored post by the way. I’m just a weirdo in love with a great brand of BBQ sauce and I want to tell the world.
BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch //

The grilled chicken I used in this salad comes straight from Chungah @ Damn Delicious, and it is AMAZING. I like to make a double batch one night, and then we chop up the leftovers for salads and such throughout the week.

This chicken and that BBQ sauce make me want to bathe in this salad.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch //

And then there’s the jalapeño ranch, which just… uh. You guys, this salad is so good.

When I made the salad for my parents about a month ago, I still hadn’t settled on a dressing for it. So, my mom bought Lighthouse jalapeño ranch and I had a total “aha!” moment: BBQ Chicken Salad + Jalapeño Ranch = match made in heaven .

If you don’t want to make your own jalapeño ranch for this salad, the Lighthouse version is certainly a tasty and convenient option, though it’s a little pricey in my opinion (you can find it in the produce section at most stores with the refrigerated dressings). But I really really recommend making the homemade version. It’s delicious, has only a handful of ingredients, and it’s made lighter with greek yogurt!

BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch //

You can toss the salad all together in one big bowl, or you can serve it salad bar style and let your family pick and choose which salad toppings they want! I personally love the salad bar option.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: © Amanda Jenks
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
  • For the dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayo*
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tsp lime juice**
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 jalapeño, halved and seeded
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 2 1/2 cups leftover diced grilled chicken
  • 1/2 cup Stubb’s BBQ sauce, approx.
  • 2 heads green leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (leftover steamed, canned, or thawed frozen will do)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • santa fe style tortilla strips (optional)
To make the dressing:
  1. Put all of the dressing ingredients together in a food processor, except for the milk, kosher salt and pepper. Pulse until dressing ingredients come together.
  2. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the milk starting with 3 tablespoons. Add up to 1 additional tablespoon of milk if a thinner dressing is desired. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour dressing into a bowl or salad dressing container and place in refrigerator to chill.
  4. Meanwhile, prep the salad ingredients.
To assemble the salad:
  1. Toss the chicken with the BBQ sauce to coat in a medium bowl. Use more or less BBQ sauce as desired. Set aside.
  2. Combine the green leaf lettuce and cabbage in a large bowl.
  3. Put the remaining salad toppings- green onion, black beans, corn, and grape tomatoes- in separate small bowls for serving salad bar style, or add them to the green leaf lettuce and cabbage in the large bowl if serving as one large salad.
  4. I like to serve the chicken, dressing, cheese, and optional tortilla strips on the side regardless of whether I am serving this large salad style or salad bar style.
  5. Toss the salad together, or build individual salads, and serve!
*I use full fat mayo[br]**I use bottled lime juice.

5 thoughts on “BBQ Chicken Salad with Easy Jalapeño Ranch

  1. I’m soooo happy you’re food blogging! You’re great at it and your photos really are perfect. Excited to try this recipe! It’ll be on next week’s menu.

    Also, I’m remembering you guys have that indoor grill thing and I’m jealous. We have one as well but with no ridges and I’m sad about it. I’ll have to roast the chicken breasts. 😦


    1. We actually have an outdoor grill now too! It was the best investment, since we don’t have A/C. I’ve been cooking on it a lot this summer. But roasting the chicken will probably work well! 🙂


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