Sep 9, 2015

Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This salad is one of my favorites to whip together for a quick weeknight salad that is actually filling enough to be a meal.

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I love the cilantro lime dressing in this salad, it is light and pairs perfectly with sweet lettuces such as the butter lettuce, and it can also double as a marinade. It is a perfect way to use any leftover cilantro in the fridge that will otherwise go bad.

This salad is one of my favorites to whip together for a quick weeknight salad that is actually filling enough to be a meal.

Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Chipotle BBQ Chicken salad with cilantro lime dressing ingredient shot

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Chicken – I use chicken thighs in this recipe because they are both a cheaper cut as well as extremely flavorful. As the chicken is grilled it remains tender through chicken breasts can be substituted as well.
  • Chipotle powder – Chilies are given different names once the peppers are dried and the flavor profile changes; chipotles are jalapeño peppers picked when they are fully ripe and red, then dried and smoked. Ground chipotle powder adds a smokey, sweet and slightly spicy chili flavor and dresses up store-bought BBQ sauce.
  • Lettuce – I use a combination of green leaf lettuce and butter lettuce in this recipe.
Chipotle BBQ Chicken salad with cilantro lime dressing recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe

For the cilantro lime dressing:

  1. Make the dressing. Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until all ingredients are combined.

For the chicken:

  1. Make the chipotle BBQ sauce. Heat the grill to high. In a small bowl add the chipotle powder to the barbecue sauce and stir until completely combined.
  2. Brush and grill the chicken. Brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce until completely coated. Grill the chicken until completely cooked through. Remove the from grill and let stand on a cutting board for 5 minutes. Cut into 1” pieces.

To assemble the salad:

  1. Toss lettuce with dressing. Place the butter lettuce and green leaf lettuce in a bowl. Then, add dressing to  the salad, 2 tablespoons at a time and toss until all lettuce is lightly and evenly coated.
  2. Add toppings and serve. Add the avocado, queso fresco and green onions, and toss to combine. Divide the salad evenly into salad bowls, top each with some of the chicken, then serve.
Chipotle BBQ Chicken salad with cilantro lime dressing recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Chipotle BBQ Chicken salad with cilantro lime dressing-23.jpg

Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

For the chicken:

For the salad:

  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed and cut or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and cut or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed and diced
  • ¼ cup queso fresco
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

For the dressing:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until all ingredients are combined.

For the chicken:

  • Heat the grill to high. In a small bowl add the chipotle powder to the barbecue sauce and stir until completely combined.
  • Brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce until completely coated. Grill the chicken until completely cooked through. Remove the from grill and let stand on a cutting board for 5 minutes. Cut into 1” pieces.

To assemble the salad:

  • Place the butter lettuce and green leaf lettuce in a bowl. Add dressing to  the salad, 2 tablespoons at a time and toss until all lettuce is lightly and evenly coated.
  • Add the avocado, queso fresco and green onions, and toss to combine. Divide the salad evenly into salad bowls, top each with some of the chicken, then serve.

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