Cowboy Caviar BBQ Chicken Salad


Cowboy Caviar BBQ Chicken Salad is about as tasty and easy as dinner can get. Last week I introduced you to my bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, an appetizer I made for my hard-working husband. Those were a precursor for this delicious salad with grilled BBQ chicken. Suffice it to say that with bacon, meat straight off the grill, and an entree with the word “cowboy” in the title, my husband was a happy man!

The BBQ Chicken

Start with the chicken first. Usually I prepare 2 or more pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs by trimming the fat and smothering them in a cup or more of my favorite BBQ sauce. (Sweet Baby Rays is my favorite!) I put them both in a Ziplock gallon-sized bag, seal it tight, and squish it all together. I let it set on the counter and come to room temperature while I prepare the “Cowboy Caviar” and heat the grill.

Grill the chicken on medium to high heat, nearest the flames. You’ll need to grill the chicken for about 10 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reads 160-165 degrees on a meat thermometer. When it’s done, I lather on more BBQ sauce and let the chicken rest.

Cowboy Caviar

For the cowboy caviar, I took a more creative, unconventional approach. Most cowboy caviar recipes have a bean base and no lettuce. I decided to change things up and start with a bag of mixed greens. Then I rinsed and drained a can of corn and added 1/4 cup of diced red onion.

To that I added a can of drained and rinsed black beans and 4 grilled and chopped green chiles. I usually put these on the grill with the chicken, but if they are not available from my garden like the ones in the picture, a 4 oz can of chopped green chiles does the trick just as well. Then I threw on a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half. Oh…and bacon. Don’t forget the bacon! Adding chopped bacon gives this salad a smoky flavor that compliments the sweetness of the corn and tomatoes.

The BBQ Chicken Salad

Putting the Cowboy Caviar BBQ Chicken Salad together is a piece of cake. Simply toss the salad in your favorite ranch dressing and divide it among bowls. If I have to use a dressing from a bottle, this JUST brand is pretty nice because I can actually pronounce all the ingredients and it is dairy, egg, and gluten-free. It’s good for dipping pizza crust on too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(BTW, the delicious appetizers in the background of this picture are my Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers). ๐Ÿ™‚ But fair warning: once you pop, you can’t stop!

Slice 1-2 grilled chicken thighs in slivers and lay them on top of the salad. Done! 30 minutes is all it takes to have this healthy, low carb meal on your table!

If you’d like to save this recipe for later, feel free to pin or share the image above. And if you’d like to explore other quick dinner ideas, check out my 30 Minute Meals recipes. But if you’re staying on the salad train, I have some other delicious Salad Recipes too, like my favorite Crunchy Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce. For even more great ideas, follow my Pinterest boards below. Happy cooking y’all!

Cowboy Caviar BBQ Chicken Salad

Heidi Davison
This is a meaty yet refreshing twist on the traditional cowboy caviar. It is more like a hearty and healthy salad that is also low carb.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -5


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce plus more for slathering
  • 1 bag spring mix
  • 14.5 oz can of corn rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 14.5 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 4 oz chopped green chiles
  • 1/2-1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 4 slices cooked and chopped bacon
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing or dressing of choice for topping


  • Smother chicken thighs in BBQ sauce and let come to room temperature.
  • Cook chicken on the grill on medium to high heat for about 10 minutes each side.
  • Make sure chicken comes to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let rest.
  • Mix the lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Toss the cowboy caviar salad mixture in the ranch dressing or the dressing of your choice.
  • Divide the salad among bowls and top with chicken slices.


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  • 5 stars
    I made this salad tonight for supper! It was awesome! I will definitely be making it often ! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, Heidi!!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe Sharon! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

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