Chicken BBQ Salad with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This sneak-peek recipe from the ‘Fed & Fit' book takes a classic Cobb salad and transforms it into a BBQ Chicken Cobb with Jalapeño Ranch.  This is a Cobb salad unlike any other. Made with Paleo BBQ Sauce-baked chicken, an easy creamy jalapeno ranch, bacon, avocado, and fresh, flavorful vegetables to bring you a filling meal the whole family will love!

a plate of BBQ chicken Cobb salad with jalapeno ranch

I am pretty dang thrilled to share this recipe with you today! This BBQ Chicken Cobb salad with Jalapeño Ranch is on the short list of salads that actually made me swoon. SWOON, I tell you! And before you start judging me, thinking that “oh she just must be one of those salad-loving kind of people,” I have to tell you that I am NOT. I love a hot, filling, comforting meal …three qualities most salads (in my opinion) lack. THIS salad, however, is bursting at the seams with fresh flavor, hot chicken, filling co-stars, and is incredible comforting. Maybe it's the BBQ sauce baked on the chicken, maybe it's the creamy jalapeno ranch, or maybe it's the bacon. I'm not sure …but I'm completely in love with this salad.

I'm so in love with the salad, in fact, that a photo of it shows up three times in my book. THREE! Once for the actual recipe and two other times because we needed a b-roll shot.

overhead view of a plate of BBQ chicken Cobb salad with jalapeno ranch

Don't be intimidated by the number of steps below. You can absolutely skip the brine (saves some time), pre-chop the veggies, and make the jalapeno ranch in advance. Once it's all said and done, you'll be left with a healthy, colorful, flavorful plate that you can't help but admire.  You can also take down the spice by using a simple ranch instead if you like!

I hope you love this BBQ Chicken Cobb with Jalapeño Ranch recipe as much as I do!

a plate of BBQ chicken Cobb salad with jalapeno ranch

For more flavor-packed, squeaky-clean Paleo recipes, be sure to check out my book, ‘Fed & Fit'! It has over 175 recipes, a wealth of healthy lifestyle science, and a copy of my 28-day Fed & Fit Project!


BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe with Creamy Jalapeno Ranch

Program Compliance: Nut-Free, GAPS

  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 18
  • Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x




  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 2 cups warm water


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup BBQ Sauce(2.0 option in the ‘Fed & Fit' book!)
  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped (4 heaping cups)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced and fried until crispy
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped purple onion, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped, for garnish (optional)


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayo, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno, deseeded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)


  1. To make the brine: Dissolve the salt in the warm water and allow the water to cool. Place the chicken in the brine for 15 to 30 minutes, or up to overnight. If brining the chicken longer than 30 minutes, place it in the refrigerator. After the chicken is finished brining, rinse and pat it dry. (If you have brined the chicken in the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature before baking.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat the chicken breast halves with the BBQ sauce. Set them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the sauce on the chicken starts to turn brown.
  3. While the chicken is baking, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients: Arrange the lettuce on one large platter or 3 or 4 individual plates. Top the lettuce with rows of egg, bacon, avocado, and tomato.
  4. When the chicken is finished, let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
  5. While the chicken is resting, make the dressing by blending the mayo, jalapeño, and lime juice together in a blender or small food processor.
  6. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and plate its row alongside the others.
  7. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and onion, if desired, over the top. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
  8. Enjoy warm or cold.


  1. This amount of dressing will lightly dress the salad. If you prefer a more heavily dressed salad, the recipe is easily doubled.


Approximate Nutrition Breakdown (based on 1 of 4 servings)

BBQ Cobb Chicken Salad: Calories: 332; Protein: 32 g; Fat: 16 g; Carbohydrates: 14 g

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch: Calories: 404; Protein: 0 g; Fat: 44 g; Carbohydrates: 0 g

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Recipe rating

  1. Laura says:

    I love this salad! I think the brain he makes the chicken that much better.

  2. Clare says:

    Such a yummy salad. I noticed that the ingredients list says limes for the dressing but the directions say lemons. Which is it supposed to be?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Good catch, Clare! It should be lime juice — it’s fixed now!

  3. Lexi says:

    This is SO SO good! I just made it last night and my husband made the comment that the spicy dressing and BBQ chicken is the perfect combination. I forgot the avocado and bacon, so next time I’m sure it’ll taste even better!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo! So glad to hear that, Lexi. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!