Grilled Chicken BLT Salad is an easy summer salad recipe filled with grilled marinated chicken, bacon, tomatoes, cheese and butter lettuce. Topped with a creamy pesto ranch dressing that’s easy and flavorful, this salad is a huge hit!
Chicken BLT Salad with avocados and a creamy Pesto Ranch Dressing is one of my favorite summer recipes. It can be made with just a few minutes of prep for the marinade and then grilled and put together in under 30 minutes. Bonus, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen!
This grilled chicken BLT salad is also a great family dinner recipe. It’s easily customizable. If you have picky eaters at your house, it’s still going to taste amazing if it’s missing a couple of salad toppings.
How to make Creamy Pesto Ranch
To make creamy Pesto Ranch you’ll need 1 cup mayo, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix, and 1/2 cup Pesto, prepared.
In a blender, combine the mayo, buttermilk, ranch dressing packet, the pesto. Pulse the blender a few times to mix all the ingredients.
How do you keep chicken moist on the grill?
There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to get really tender, juicy, grilled chicken breasts:
- Tenderize the chicken breast.
- Marinate the meat.
- Don’t over cook the chicken! When it reaches 165º F, it’s done.
How do you tenderize chicken?
Tenderizing your chicken makes a big difference. It’s really easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes.
One way is to 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.
How do you marinate chicken?
To marinate chicken, you need to need a rub. The rub I use to make Grilled Chicken BLT Salad is just oil, lemon juice, and a couple seasonings.
I use avocado oil because it has a high smoking point and doesn’t add a lot of flavors.
Good marinates call for some kind of acidic element, like lemon juice. White vinegar also works well. The acidity helps breaks down the muscle fibers and tenderizes the chicken as it cooks.
The seasoning and spices (I like to use Italian seasoning) just add that good flavor without adding the calories.
The easiest way to apply the rub to the chicken is to just combine everything and the chicken in a gallon Ziplock bag, and roll it around.
Let the chicken sit in the fridge and marinade for 2-24 hours. 24 hours is ideal, but 4 hours works too. The marinate will give the chicken so much flavor and it makes the most tender and juicy grilled chicken!
Ingredients in this delicious Chicken BLT Salad Recipe:
- Chicken Marinade: Oil, lemon juice, seasoning
- 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 1/2″ 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: Or 1.5 oz of your favorite kind of cheese.
- Lettuce: Romain lettuce, butter lettuce–use your favorite variety of lettuce!
- Pesto Ranch Dressing: This is hardly a recipe but still worth sharing. We love this dressing on everything and even just a dip for fresh veggies. To make the pesto ranch dressing, use a 3/1 ratio. (1/3 cup pesto to 2/3 cup ranch dressing) Just mix it up and wa-lah! An incredible ranch dressing variation!
How to Make Chicken BLT Salad
This is how to make Chicken BLT Salad:
To start, tenderize your chicken breast in a Ziplock bag. Then add the marinade (oil, lemon juice, seasonings) to the Ziploc bag. Roll it around to mix. Refrigerate for 4-24 hours.
After the chicken breasts have marinated, 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.
When the chicken has cooled, slice it either into strips, or bite size pieces.
Combine the chicken with tomatoes, avocado, bacon, cheese, and lettuce.
In a blender, mix the buttermilk, mayo, pesto and ranch packet together to make the dressing. Drizzle that over your salad, and there you go! You’ve got yourself a tasty, healthy salad!
Chicken BLT Salad
Easy Chicken Marinade
- 3-4 large Chicken Breasts Plan on 4-6 oz of chicken breasts per person
- 1 large Lemon Juice or 2T vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons oil Avocado oil, Canola Oil, or Olive OIl
- 1 package Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Spice Mix You can find this in the salad dressing isle by the ranch packets
Ingredients for Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Salad
- 1/2 lb Bacon
- 8 regular String Cheese Sticks
- 1.5 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
or just a large tomato cut into 1/2 " chunks works great.
- 1 large Avocado Cut into 1/2" chunks
- 10-12 cups Chopped Lettuce
The Best Chicken Marinade
- Tenderize your chicken. Put the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin, mason jar, or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound the thickest part of the chicken breast. Pound until it about 3/4" thick, similar to the rest of the chicken breast. (This should only take a few good whacks.)
- Add the cooking oil and juice the lemon into the Ziplock bag. Add the Good Seasonings Italian packet and seal the ziplock bag. Roll the bag around gently to mix all the ingredients together.
- Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 2-24 hours. (If you can let the chicken marinate for up to 24 hours, that's ideal. The marinate will give the chicken so much flavor and it makes the most tender and juicy grilled chicken.)
- Grill the chicken. Use a digital thermometer to ensure the chicken breast is done. When the chicken is done, the internal temp of the chicken should be 165 degrees, place it on a platter with foil over it for 5 minutes to redistribute the juices and to keep the chicken warm and juicy. Slice the chicken into bite-sized strips.
Preparing Ingredients for the Grilled Chicken BLT Salad
- Wash and cut the lettuce and slice cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces. Cube cheese sticks into bite-sized pieces and wash the lettuce. Cut the lettuce into bite-sized pieces.
- To prepare the bacon, cut the bacon strips in to 1/2" pieces. Sauté in a pan until all the bacon bits are golden brown and just a little crispy. If you are using pre-cooked bacon bits (the ones from Costco are the best) Just put a paper towel on a paper plate and add the bacon bits. Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the bacon bits are barely crispy.
- Assemble the salad by adding the Lettuce, tomatoes, sting cheese, bacon, and avocado. Add the sliced grilled chicken and drizzle with the prepared Creamy Pesto Ranch Dressing. Enjoy!
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Hungry for more? Try some more grilled chicken recipes!
- Easy Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
- BBQ Chicken with Pineapple Salsa Recipe
- Easy Smoked Chicken Legs Recipe
- Greek Chicken Souvlaki Recipe
- BBQ Chicken Kabobs with Bacon and Pineapple Recipe
- Sweet and Spicy Grilled Sticky Chicken Recipe
- Ranch Chicken Kabobs Recipe
- Cheesy Grilled Pineapple Chicken Recipe
Chicken BLT Salad is the best summer salad recipe. You don’t even need to heat up your kitchen. It’s made with grilled chicken, with the best chicken marinade, bacon, and tomatoes on a bed of lettuce. It also comes with a creamy pesto ranch dressing. This is going to be a favorite grilled chicken summer salad recipe!