Spin your craving for chicken bacon ranch into a delicious, fully-loaded salad (478 calories/ 9 WW points) with the easiest ever bbq chicken, crumbled bacon, black beans, corn, avocado, fried onion strings, and a homemade healthy ranch dressing drizzled on top.
We can all safely put to rest the notion that salads are boring and tasteless because this salad is anything but. It’s flavor, texture, and variety galore, with sweet and smoky barbecue chicken, crispy bacon, canned black beans, corn, creamy avocado, crunchy fried onion strings, and a light ranch dressing that you’ll make over and over.
Barely-a-Recipe Easy Barbecue Chicken
I’ll let you in on a little secret: the barbecue chicken part of this chicken bacon ranch salad is deliciously, blissfully, semi-homemade. I keep things quick and easy by pan-frying chicken breast tenderloins in olive oil and then tossing them with a few spoonfuls of my favorite store-bought barbecue sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Make a Healthier Ranch Dressing
Most bottled light ranch dressings have an off-tasting pickled flavor that turns me off. This homemade, pretty healthy ranch dressing is deliciously fresh, bright, and just as creamy as the good stuff. The base is a mix of nonfat Greek yogurt and a dollop of mayo, with a splash of skim milk (or water) to thin it to a pourable consistency and lemon juice for brightness. The herby, refreshing flavor comes from dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and a bit of chopped fresh parsley.
BBQ Ranch Salad
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Salads
- Cuisine: American, Southwestern
For the Salad:
4 slices bacon
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons store-bought barbecue sauce
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
1 medium cucumber (peel stripes, cut into coins)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
⅓ cup Crispy Fried Onion Strings
½ cup light ranch dressing, recipe follows
For the Light Ranch Dressing:
2 tablespoons full-fat mayonnaise
¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon skim milk (or water)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or white vinegar)
½ teaspoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
⅛ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Make the ranch dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, yogurt, milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Add the dill, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and whisk until combined. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. It will keep, stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you need to thin it out any further, start by adding a teaspoon of skim milk (or water) and stir, adding more as needed.
Preheat your oven to 400° F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the slices of bacon on the baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how you like your bacon. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Season the chicken breast tenderloins with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tenderloins and cook, turning occasionally to brown all sides, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat, add the barbecue sauce, and toss the tenderloins to coat them. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes. Chop into 1-inch pieces.
In a large bowl, toss the chopped romaine, carrots, cucumber, corn, and black beans. Divide the salad among 4 bowls or plates. Crumble the bacon and distribute it evenly over the salads, along with the chicken, avocado slices, and fried onion strings. Drizzle each salad with 2 tablespoons of dressing and serve.
1 serving salad with dressing: 9 WW Freestyle Points
1 serving salad without dressing: 7 WW Freestyle Points
422 Calories, 35g carbs, 17g fat, 33g protein, 376mg sodium, 10g sugar, 10g fiber
2 tablespoons light ranch dressing: 2 WW Freestyle Points
56 calories, 1g carbs, 5g fat, 2g protein, 60mg sodium, 1g sugar 0g fiber
- Serving Size: 1/4 salad with 2 tablespoons dressing
- Calories: 478
- Sugar: 11g
- Sodium: 436mg
- Fat: 22g
- Carbohydrates: 36g
- Fiber: 10g
- Protein: 35g