Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad: Smoky Goodness on a Plate

Embark on a flavor-packed journey with our Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad, where the bold and smoky essence of barbecue meets the vibrant and zesty flair of Southwest cuisine.

This salad is a celebration of textures and tastes, featuring tender grilled chicken, crisp vegetables, and a medley of Southwestern-inspired ingredients. Get ready to savor the mouthwatering combination of smoky goodness on a plate.

Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad
Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad


For the BBQ Chicken:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups mixed salad greens (romaine, iceberg, or your choice)
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the Avocado Lime Dressing:

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad
Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad


  1. Grill the BBQ Chicken:
    • In a bowl, mix barbecue sauce, olive oil, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
    • Coat the chicken breasts with the marinade and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes.
    • Grill the marinated chicken over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing it into strips.
  2. Prepare the Salad Base:
    • In a large salad bowl, combine the mixed salad greens, corn kernels, black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and fresh cilantro.
  3. Make the Avocado Lime Dressing:
    • In a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, Greek yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Assemble and Serve:
  5. Drizzle with Avocado Lime Dressing:
  6. Garnish and Enjoy:
    • Garnish the Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad with additional cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime for an extra burst of freshness.
    • Serve immediately and revel in the smoky goodness of this Southwest-inspired masterpiece.
  7. Pairing Suggestions:
    • Accompany this salad with tortilla chips or warm cornbread for a complete Southwest experience. A glass of iced tea with a splash of lime or a cold Mexican beer can enhance the flavors of the dish.
  8. Variation:
    • Add sliced jalapeƱos for a spicy kick or include diced avocado for an extra creamy texture.
  9. Final Thoughts:
    • Immerse yourself in the bold and smoky flavors of the Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad, where every bite is a journey through the heart of barbecue country. This salad is a perfect blend of savory, tangy, and fresh elements that will leave your taste buds craving more.