The following recipe, video and photography were provided by our partner, Alissa DiSanto of Sauced By Sunday.
While some Midwesterners brave the elements to grill outside year-round, many of us are just now dusting off our grills and smokers for the warm weather season!
If you find yourself in the latter group, this Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad is a great recipe to warm up your grill skills, while also loading up on leafy greens.
Grilled chicken salads are one of the more common items on restaurant menus, so to give it a summertime spin at home, I coated each chicken breast in BBQ sauce for that sweet and smoky flavor we all crave as temperatures rise!
Easily cooked on an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan, this simple, yet flavorful BBQ Chicken Salad makes an effortless weeknight meal, dinner party dish or picnic side!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 3-1 lb. Gerber’s CARE Certified boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ Tbsp. Heinen's olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, divided
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 can Heinen's corn, drained
- 1 can Heinen's black beans, drained
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup Heinen's shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- ¼ cup Heinen's shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 avocado
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- ¼ cup cilantro, torn
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 Tbsp. Heinen's olive oil
- Heinen’s chicken stock or water
- Tortilla strips, for garnish (homemade recipe in notes below)
- Prepare the chicken by slightly pounding it so that it is even in thickness, about ½-inch thick. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Using olive oil or nonstick spray, prepare the grill prior to turning it on. Once done, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. If using a grill pan, follow the same method.
- While the grill is heating, prepare the dressing by placing the avocado, smashed garlic, torn cilantro, sour cream, lime juice and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If the dressing is too thick, add ¼ cup of chicken stock or water to the mixture and blend again. Keep doing this until your desired consistency is reached. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Once the grill is hot, grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side. About 1-2 minutes before the chicken is done, brush each side with BBQ sauce.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to rest, then chop into bite-size pieces.
- While the chicken rests, chop the lettuce, cherry tomatoes and red onion. Set aside.
- Build the salad by placing the lettuce in the bottom of a serving bowl. Top with the chopped chicken, tomatoes, corn, beans, onions and cheeses. Drizzle the dressing over top. Leave as is or toss to combine.
- Garnish with crunchy tortilla strips and serve immediately.
- If desired, you can make your own tortilla strips by simply cutting flour or corn tortillas into thin strips and frying them in oil over medium heat. They fry fast (less than 30 seconds), so watch carefully. Season with salt once removed from the oil. Alternatively, you can cut the tortilla strips, line them in a single layer on a sheet pan, spray them with cooking spray and bake for 450˚F for 4-6 minutes. Flipping once during cooking.
- This salad can be served family-style in one large bowl, or divided amongst 4 bowls.