Grilled Chicken BLT Salad is an easy salad recipe filled with grilled chicken, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. It's topped with a creamy pesto ranch dressing that’s bursting with flavor and so easy to make.
Easy BLT Chicken Salad
This BLT Chicken Salad recipe is one of my favorite summer recipes. It can be made with just a few minutes of prep, then grilled and assembled in under 30 minutes. As an added bonus, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen!
If you have picky eaters at your house, feel free to switch things up. It’s still going to taste amazing even with a couple of salad toppings missing. For a fun switch up, try our Honey Mustard Dressing Recipe.
Also, If you're a grilled chicken fan, be sure to check out this California Grilled Chicken Salad, BBQ Chicken Salad, Classic Grilled Chicken Salad, or add some chicken or a low carb tortilla to this easy Wedge Salad Wrap for an easy dinner idea.
BLT Chicken Salad Ingredients
- Avocado Oil: I use avocado oil because it has a high smoking point and doesn’t add a lot of flavors. You could also use olive oil.
- Lemon Juice: fresh lemon juice has the best flavor.
- Italian Seasoning Mix: you can find Good Seasons Italian Seasoning Mix in the salad dressing aisle by the ranch packets. Feel free to substitute ranch dressing mix.
- Avocados: You can use these sliced or in chunks. Be sure to cut up your avocados right before you serve them they are fresh and don’t brown.
- Tomatoes: You can use your favorite tomato here. I used some halved cherry tomatoes but a large tomato, cut into chunks would work great too.
- Bacon: Cut into ½" chunks and cook until golden brown. Pre-cooked bacon bits work great for this recipe too. Just put them on a paper plate and microwave for 1 minute.
- String Cheese: You can cut string cheese sticks into bite-sized pieces or use another type of mozzarella cheese like cheese balls or shredded cheese.
- Lettuce: Romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, or any other greens work great.
- Pesto Ranch Dressing: This is hardly a recipe but still worth sharing. I love this dressing on everything and even just a dip for fresh veggies. To make the pesto ranch dressing, use a ratio of ⅓ pesto to ⅔ Ranch dressing. Just mix it up and voila - an incredible ranch dressing variation!
How to Make This Chicken BLT Salad
- Tenderize your chicken breast in a Ziplock bag.
- Mix the marinade (oil, lemon juice, seasonings) to the Ziploc bag. Roll it around to mix and Refrigerate for 4-24 hours.
- When you're ready to grill, put them on the grill on medium-high heat (350ºF). Wait 6-7 minutes and flip them. Keep cooking them until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Take the chicken off the grill and put on a plate or platter, cover with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes.
- Slice it either into strips or bite-size pieces.
- Make your salad and place chicken on top. Drizzle with Pesto Ranch Dressing
BLT Salad Recipe Tips
Be creative and experiment with your own twists. No matter which variation you choose, you can be sure it will be a delicious meal that everyone loves.
- Buffalo BLT Chicken Salad: Substitute buffalo sauce for the Pesto Ranch dressing.
- Mexican BLT Chicken Salad: Add chili powder, cumin, and lime juice to the marinade for a unique and spicy twist.
- Asian BLT Chicken Salad: Add sliced almonds, sesame seeds, edamame, and sesame dressing.
- Vegetarian "BLT" Salad: For a plant-based version, skip the chicken and bacon and use chickpeas and vegan bacon instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to get really tender, juicy, grilled chicken breasts. Always be sure to tenderize the chicken breast, marinate the meat, and don’t overcook! When it reaches 165º F, it’s done.
Tenderizing your chicken makes a big difference. It’s really easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes. Place the chicken between two sheets of parchment paper and whack it on the thickest part of the chicken breast with a rolling pin or mason jar.
Another way is to put it in a gallon Ziplock bag and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Only hit the thickest part of the meat to help even it out. The chicken will cook a lot more evenly if the meat is the same thickness all the way through. Make sure you don’t over-pound your meat. A few good whacks will do the trick.
You can serve the chicken in this BLT salad either warm or cold - it's entirely up to you!
Storing BLT Salad
- Refrigerator: store components separately in the fridge for up to 3 days. Do not cut the avocado ahead of time, or it will turn brown.
- To reheat: to reheat the grilled chicken, either microwave or warm in a 400 degree oven.
Grilled BLT Chicken Salad Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice or vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
- 1 package Good Seasons Italian Seasoning Mix
Chicken BLT Salad Ingredients
- 3-4 large Chicken Breasts 4-6 oz of chicken per person
- ½ pound Bacon
- 8 sticks String Cheese
- 1½ cups Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1 large Avocado cut into ½" chunks
- 10-12 cups Lettuce chopped
Creamy Pesto Ranch Dressing
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 packet Ranch Dressing Mix
- ½ cup Pesto
To Marinate the Chicken
- In a large bowl or freezer bag, add the avocado oil, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning mix. Combine and set aside.
- To tenderize the chicken, place between two sheets of parchment paper and pound the thickest parts with a rolling pin or mason jar until about ¾" thick.
- Add the pounded chicken to the chicken marinade and let it marinate in the fridge for 2-24 hours.
Grilling the Chicken
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the hot grill. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Use a digital thermometer to make sure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Once cooked, transfer chicken to a platter and cover with foil. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into bite-sizes pieces or strips.
Assembling the Salad
- Bacon bits: Slice bacon into ½" pieces and cook in a saute pan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel until cool.
- Creamy Pesto Ranch Dressing: in a blender, combine the mayo, buttermilk, ranch dressing mix, and pesto. Blend on low until all ingredients are creamy and well-combined.
- Prepare the string cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and lettuce then add to a large serving bowl. Add the bacon bits, grilled chicken, and drizzled with the prepared Pesto Ranch Dressing.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
More Grilled Chicken Recipes
- Rosemary Garlic Chicken Breasts Marinade
- California Grilled Chicken Salad.
- Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
- Mediterranean Chicken Drumsticks
- Grilled Apricot Chicken
- Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
- Southwest Crispy Chicken Salad
- More Chicken Recipes
- More Salad Recipes
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Grilled Chicken BLT Salad is an easy recipe filled with grilled marinated chicken, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and butter lettuce. Topped with a creamy pesto ranch dressing, it's the perfect simple summer salad.