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This supremely sastisfying BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad is the perfect summer dinner loaded with leftover barbecued chicken, salty bacon, hard boiled egg, creamy avocados, and more, on top of crispy romaine lettuce.
We love a good dinner salad, especially when the weather is hot! Some of our other favorites are Tex-Mex Doritos Taco Salad, Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad with Creamy Cajun Dressing, and BLT Pasta Salad.
BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad
This bbq chicken cobb salad is one of my go-to recipes each summer when the days get long and hot, and I find that there are days when I just. cannot. cook. The idea of turning on gas burners on the stovetop when it is 100+degrees outside just starts to bum me out.
Plus, we are often trying to beat the heat by spending all afternoon at the splash pad or pool and getting back home starving and impatient for dinner, so I’m also looking for something fast.
This super satisfying bbq chicken cobb salad is easily one of my favorites. It is so fresh and simple and easy to pull together but it looks and tastes like wayyyyyy more effort went into it. It is loaded with proteins of bbq’d chicken, crumbled bacon and hard boiled egg and healthy fat with avocados on top of cold, crispy romaine lettuce, so it is super filling but also fresh and refreshing.
What is even better is that as long as you think a tiny bit ahead, there is no cooking required on the day you make it. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Like a lot of people, we like to grill or use our smoker during the summer, and bbq chicken is one of our favorite meals to make when we are grilling. So whenever we are making bbq chicken for dinner, I cook a few extra pieces of chicken and put them in the fridge for use later in the week in this salad.
Leftovers don’t taste like leftovers when you turn them into a totally new meal. And when it means I only have to do the cooking one time and I get more dinners out for the effort, well that’s a definite win in my book.
The same goes with the bacon for this salad – I just do a few extra slices if I am already making bacon for breakfast and save them so that all I have to do is chop them up and use them in the salad.
And hard boiled eggs are great to keep in the fridge during the summer for quick lunches or snacks (egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, or just plain), so those are usually already prepared as well.
Of course, all of these components can be easily made the night you want to have this bbq chicken cobb salad for dinner, and I have done that too. But man is it convenient to pull this together when you have most of the prep-work done with other meals.
Since there are so many salad toppings, you don’t need a ton of each ingredient to have a really full plate. You can make this family style by piling everything on a large platter or serving bowl. But everybody loves when I plate for them so they have a lovely presentation in front of them when it is time to eat.
Quick and easy homemade ranch dressing
I’m completely obsessed with the quick and easy ranch dressing included in the recipe card below. It’s made with dried herbs instead of fresh, so I always have what I need on hand. Even the buttermilk can be made using 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice mixed into 1/2 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes to curdle.
Another favorite dressing that would also be delicious on this salad is my new creamy parmesan peppercorn dressing. It has a bit more kick to it that is fantastic with the creamy avocado and grilled bbq chicken.
More ideas for cobb salad toppings
You can always sub out ingredients for whatever you have on hand or happen to like best. Use green onions instead of red, pepper jack or bleu cheese instead of cheddar, etc. These are some other salad toppers we have used in the past that we love in this grilled chicken cobb salad. It usually just depends on what we have on hand.
- Canned black beans that have been rinsed and drained first
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Sliced or chopped jalapenos
- Marinated grilled chicken in place of bbq grilled chicken
- Tortilla strips or crispy fried onion strings
- Jicama sticks, for crunch
More salad recipes you’ll love
- Spring Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Watermelon Basil Feta Salad
- Chopped Kale Salad
- Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad
- Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Dressing
- Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing
- Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Pistachios
- Classic Frog Eye Salad
- Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups BBQ chicken (we especially like thigh meat for this salad), chopped into bite-size pieces
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into bite-size pieces
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Wash the lettuce and pat dry with paper towels. Then chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces and arrange on large individual serving plates. Prepare remaining ingredients by chopping the bbq chicken, bacon, avocado, eggs, tomoatoes and onions and grating the cheese.
- Arrange remaining salad components on top of the lettuce in rows with the chicken, hard boiled egg, bacon, and avocado as the middle rows and the tomatoes, onions, and cheese toward the outer edges of the salad.
- Make the quick and easy ranch dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a shaker jar or bowl and shaking or whisking well. Serve the salad with ranch dressing drizzled over the top or on the side.
- You can use marinated grilled chicken instead of bbq chicken if you prefer.
- Rinsed and drained black beans, chopped cilantro or jalapeno, or grilled corn that has been sliced off of the cobb are all additional toppings for this salad that would be delicious.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 909Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 425mgSodium: 1348mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 14gSugar: 22gProtein: 60g
This post was originally published June 22, 2016 but was updated May 4, 2021 with new pictures and additional tips. Here is an image from the original post!