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Satisfy your craving for barbeque with this keto BBQ chicken salad recipe while using up leftovers in the fridge! Sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, sharp cheddar, garlicky pickles, smoky bacon, creamy avocado, and homemade keto croutons make this salad a winner.

shredded bbq chicken salad

We all have our irrational little pet peeves.

Those things that make us want to flip our lids even though – in the grand scheme of things – they’re the smallest non-issue “issues” ever.

I have an aunt (if you’re reading this, I love you!) who shouted down my sister a few years ago for not rolling the toothpaste tube after she used it.

A very dear friend of mine feels the need to be 45 minutes early to every single meeting/event/appointment/function (even if it’s just a meetup for coffee). Which isn’t really a problem until he imposes his weird need to be early on me and calls me late when I’m on time, lol.

But I have plenty of quirks too.

front view of chicken salad bowl with leftover bbq chicken

It drives me nuts to see 20 different small containers of various leftovers in my fridge.

And it also makes me bananas to see a huge jar of pickles with just a single lonely pickle floating inside. It just feels wrong. It feels like I should just eat the dang pickle and get rid of the jar already.

Not long ago I found myself in exactly this predicament. Part of a wedge of cheese, a little bit of leftover keto barbecue chicken, half a bag of lettuce. A few glorious pickles taunting me from inside a huge jar. Homemade ranch dressing beckoning to be used. It was fate, I tell you; this salad had to happen.

top view of keto bbq chicken salad bowl with creamy dressing

Keto BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe Ingredients Explained

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

There are quite a few components going on in this salad! But don’t let that deter you. That’s how to transform an ordinary salad into an interesting meal.

You can make substitutions based on what you prefer or what you have on hand.

Chicken or turkey will work well here, and leftovers are fine. I like to make this salad after I make a big batch of my Instant Pot BBQ Chicken.

instant pot bbq chicken with fixings like onion and pickles
Leftover Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is perfect for making this salad.

If you have scallion instead of red onion, go ahead and use it. If you don’t have avocado, but you have a tub of guacamole, use a dollop of it. My preference is beef bacon, but any bacon you like will work, and so will any kind of cheese.

Keto croutons are optional here, but they add a savory crunch and are easy to make if you have keto bread on hand.

And perhaps the best part of this salad was that it helped me use up the bottom of a huge jar of pickles! It really doesn’t take much to make me a happy girl.

low carb barbecue chicken salad with bacon and cheese

Keto Croutons from the Keto Bread Cookbook

The biggest surprise item of this salad is probably the croutons! These croutons do a pretty darn good job of simulating real croutons. They have a delicious savory flavor and pack a nice crunch.

Yes, you can eat croutons while following a ketogenic diet! Just use keto bread to make them. And don’t worry, they’re very easy to make; they basically babysit themselves in the oven.

Keto Bread Cookbook Cover

I used the recipe for keto Croutons from my Keto Bread cookbook. You can find the croutons recipe on page 80 of the cookbook as part of the Panzanella Salad recipe.

More Low Carb and Keto Salad Recipes to Make

keto barbecue chicken salad with leftovers

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Keto BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Satisfy your craving for barbeque with this keto BBQ chicken salad recipe while using up leftovers in the fridge! Sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, sharp cheddar, garlicky pickles, smoky bacon, creamy avocado, and homemade keto croutons make this salad a winner.

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  • 2 slices beef bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup leftover chopped or shredded chicken or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free BBQ sauce
  • 3 cups chopped lettuce or baby spinach
  • 1 ounce sharp cheddar cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 4 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle chips
  • 1/2 cup keto croutons optional; recipe from the Keto Bread cookbook
  • 2 tablespoons Low Carb Ranch Dressing


  • Cook the bacon in a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and cool slightly.
  • Stir together the chicken or turkey and BBQ sauce in a small bowl.
  • To arrange the salads, add the lettuce to the bottom of a large salad bowl. Place the bacon, bbq chicken, cheese, avocado, onion, tomato, pickles, and croutons (if using) on top.
  • Serve along with ranch dressing to drizzle on top.


  • Net Carbs: 12g per serving (the whole salad is 1 serving)
  • Nutrition Information: The nutritional information for this recipe was calculated using 2 tablespoons of G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce Original. The homemade keto croutons are not included in the nutritional information.
  • Keto Croutons: The keto croutons are optional, and they are not included in the nutritional information for this recipe. The recipe for keto croutons is from the Keto Bread cookbook.
  • Keto BBQ Sauce: If you want to make your own keto barbecue sauce instead of using store-bought barbecue sauce, check out the Keto BBQ cookbook for tons of inspiration.


Serving: 0.5salad | Calories: 655kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1103mg | Potassium: 1492mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 9303IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 350mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ Keto, Chicken Salad with Leftover BBQ Chicken, Keto Barbecue Chicken, Keto BBQ Chicken, Keto BBQ Chicken Salad, Low Carb BBQ Chicken, Shredded BBQ Chicken Salad

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keto bbq chicken salad recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on February 23, 2018 and updated on April 3, 2024.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Lola Osinkolu | Chef Lola's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    wow what an amazing mix! Definitely a perfect use of the all the remaining stuff!

  2. Love that you added pickles to this salad! I love dill pickles, and love that you used sugar free. Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to make these bbq bowls at home!

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