BBQ Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

healthy dinner salad

Anyone else’s vegetable bin overflowing with lettuce this time of year?  Besides growing some leafy greens in our own backyard, Asheley and I excitedly joined this season’s Golden Earthworm Organic Farm CSA.  And for the past three weeks, there has been no shortage of lettuce.  Red leaf.  Boston.  Baby arugula.  Green leaf.  Romaine.  Baby spring mix.  With all that lettuce, you better believe salads have become a weeknight dinner staple.

Not every meal I make shows up here on Shared Appetite… and for good reason. Some are just big flops.  But hey, that’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t, right?  The good news for you is that there is a critical development phase before I ever post a recipe for you to see.  And that development phase is Asheley. When she first tasted this salad, her fork speed quickly increased until every last morsel was eliminated from her bowl.  She demanded I share this recipe with you. And like any good husband, I listen.

healthy dinner salad

But seriously, this BBQ Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing is beyond great.  It’s a wonderfully healthy summertime salad that’s substantial enough to fully satisfy me at dinner.  And that’s no easy feat for a salad.  I’m a growing boy (of the horizontal variety, not the vertical).

Although Asheley thought I was totally weird for putting the hot elements of grilled bbq chicken and spicy southwest corn on a cold salad, she was quick to admit she was very, very wrong.  Music to my ears.  It rarely happens.  Say it again Asheley.

healthy dinner salad

The creamy avocado dressing is key.  I wouldn’t substitute it with anything else… and this is coming from a guy that would happily put thousand island dressing on most salads.  I know.  It’s a weird nostalgic thing.

And good news, the avocado dressing is incredibly healthy since it uses greek yogurt.  You may actually recognize the recipe for it since its a variation of that avocado lime cream from those addictive little Southwest Wontons.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 - 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • BBQ sauce (homemade or your favorite store-bought variety)
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large head of lettuce (any variety will do), rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Spicy Southwest Corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
For the Avocado Dressing
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat grill to medium. Lightly coat chicken breasts with a little drizzle of canola oil and season liberally with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill, with the lid closed, approximately 5-7 minutes, then flip and baste cooked side with bbq sauce. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155°F (it will continue to cook while resting). Remove from grill, baste with a bit more bbq sauce, and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Layer each bowl with lettuce, a hefty spoonful or two of Spicy Southwest Corn and black beans, anywhere between a half to a whole sliced chicken breast (we normally do half), a ½ of avocado diced, and a handful of halved tomatoes. Drizzle generously with the Avocado Dressing.
For the Avocado Dressing
  1. In a food processor, purée the avocado, greek yogurt, juice from ½ of the lime, and garlic. Drizzle in olive oil and fully combine. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add the juice from the other ½ lime if needed.


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  1. says

    This BBQ chicken salad looks so scrumptious! I am absolutely thrilled to try this out especially that I am to make my own avocado dressing. I am used to using guacamole so this would be a first. I hope I get this right. Thank you for sharing this incredible recipe!


  1. […] 1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top of the foil. Set aside. 2. Rinse and pat dry chicken tenderloins. Season both sides of each tenderloin with salt and pepper. Place chicken on wire rack. Brush the top side of each tenderloin with 1/2 of the BBQ sauce. Reserve the remaining BBQ sauce.  3. Bake chicken in oven for 15 minutes. 4. Remove chicken from oven, flip, and brush on remaining BBQ sauce. Place back in oven and bake an additional 15 minutes. 5. While chicken finishes baking, add avocado, salt, pepper, lime juice, garlic, and yogurt to food processor. Puree together. Add extra virgin olive oil and blend until well combined.  6. Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice each tenderloin into bite-sized pieces. 7. Build your salad by placing two cups of lettuce in each bowl. Add the following to each bowl: about 3 tbsp of corn about 3 tbsp of black beans 5-7 cherry tomatoes 1.5-2 BBQ chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces 8. Drizzle each with 2 tbsp avocado dressing.   Yields 6 servings, serving size 1 complete salad with all listed components  8 points on Weight Watchers Points+ System   I am in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers.   Recipe modified from http://www. […]

  2. […] September 3, 2013chicken, dinner, Healthy, main, SaladCremedelaCrumb1 This recipe is soooo easy and soooo so good. Basically a bunch of my favorite ingredients and flavors all piled on top of a bed of lettuce. Which makes it a salad. Which makes it healthy. Right? Right. You already know I love cilantro with a passion unparalleled (just check out these quesadillas or this incredible 30 minute shrimp pad thai for proof!) and you are also aware of my fondness of avocados (enter tangy bacon feta quacamole here).  But did you know that I crave black beans regularly? No, you probably didn’t. But one look at this Mexican Volcano Dip and these Pineapple Mesquite Chicken Wraps will tell all.  And this summer I’ve fallen in love. With grilled corn. Ohhhh my. I’m not sure how I lived so many years of my life not grilling corn. I mean, how on earth was I eating it before?? I can’t even remember. All I can think is grill it grill it grill it……  And I really really like barbecue flavors. Remember those Chipotle BBQ Burgers? Yeah. Barbecue heaven.  This salad has all of those flavors guys. So naturally it must be insanely delicious. And the best part is the slow cooker. Just threw it in the pot on my way out the door the other morning. Done deal. BBQ chicken salad for dinner. Loved it. Try it, you will too!!!  *Dressing slightly adapted from Shared Appetite […]