Whoever thinks that salad recipes are boring meal options or reserved for strict dieters clearly hasn’t tried this chicken bacon ranch layered salad!
This keto salad is packed with deliciously wholesome and flavorful ingredients that can easily be adjusted and customized to suit individual preferences, even though I think it’s perfect just as it is!
The layered effect of the salad ingredients provides a stunning visual addition to the dinner table, to be enjoyed as a meal on its own or as a side to other dishes such as Chicken Wings or Mexican Street Corn.
Enjoy an array of crunchy textures from the fresh lettuce, crumbled bacon, and diced tomatoes mixed together with creamy copycat hidden valley ranch dressing and avocado. The boiled eggs, chicken, and bacon will ensure that you get a healthy dose of protein to sustain you until your next meal!
What is Chicken Bacon Ranch Layered Salad?
This chicken salad recipe is a layered salad made with fresh lettuce, crumbled bacon, and diced tomatoes mixed together with creamy ranch dressing and avocado. The boiled eggs, chicken, and bacon will ensure that your protein requirements for the day are met and sustain you until your next meal!
Variations and Substitutions
Most salads give you the freedom to customize the ingredients and this Chicken Bacon Ranch Layer Salad is no exception! Here are some great ideas for customizing this salad:
- For a smaller layered salad that feeds 1-2 people, simply reduce the quantities of your ingredients by half or more. This is a great way to ensure that no salad will go to waste.
- If you have any leftover shredded chicken, go ahead and use this in place of the cubed chicken breasts called for in the recipe. You could also use rotisserie chicken for convenience.
- Gouda, Mozzarella, or even blue cheese can be used in place of Jack or cheddar cheese.
- Substitute Avocado dressing for Ranch dressing if you are looking for a healthier dressing option. This cilantro-lime salad dressing will also work very well with the rest of this salad’s ingredients. You could also coat this salad with mayonnaise.
- Bump up the vegetable crunch factor in this salad by adding in grilled corn and red bell pepper, or other veggies of your choice. Cucumbers, celery, green onions, and red onion also work in this salad.
- Top this salad with croutons just prior to serving for added crunch.
- Add in parsley or dill for some fresh herbs.
- Turn this salad into a pasta salad by omitting the lettuce and using your favorite pasta instead.
If you are going to make this salad ahead of time as part of your weekly meal prep routine, I suggest that you prepare and store the individual components of this salad in separate airtight containers or Ziploc bags in the refrigerator. This will help prevent your salad from becoming soggy before you get a chance to eat it.
The salad components will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and I recommend that you cut the avocado just prior to assembling and serving the salad so that it doesn’t brown during the storage time.
Any leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, preferably to be eaten within a day to ensure that the salad still tastes fresh with as much crunch left as possible.
Yes! You can assemble your salad a few hours prior to serving. If you do so, keep it in the refrigerator with plastic wrap positioned tightly over the salad bowl.
Yes, it is! All of the ingredients are low in carbs – great for anyone following a keto diet.
- Spraying your cut avocado with some lemon juice prior to adding it to the salad will help to prevent it from browning while it sits prior to serving. Some people dip their avocado in a bowl of lemon but that can waste lemon juice unnecessarily which is why I suggest using a small spray bottle that you can then keep in your refrigerator for other uses too.
- This Chicken Bacon Ranch Layer Salad can be enjoyed as a main dish or you can add other side dishes such as homemade dinner rolls or burger buns to feed a larger crowd. You could also serve it alongside some wraps as a “build-your-own-wrap” meal for an easy midweek meal. Leftovers can also easily be enjoyed on sandwiches or in wraps.
- Use compartmentalized containers when storing your separate salad ingredients for later assembly. Something like these glass storage containers will work well and will also save you space in your refrigerator.
- This chicken bacon ranch salad is ideal for picnics, potlucks, and other large gatherings.
- For a hot and cheesy twist on these flavors, try our chicken bacon ranch casserole.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Layer Salad
- 6 cups. Fresh romaine lettuce chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup sliced black olives 3.8 oz. can, drained
- 1 cup crumbled bacon
- 2 avocados diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 to matoes diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 grilled chicken breasts diced into pieces (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups grated cheddar/jack cheese
- 3 hard-boiled eggs peeled and diced (reserve ½ for top if desired)
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- In a trifle bowl, spread half of the chopped romaine lettuce. Squirt or drizzle some of the Ranch dressing over the lettuce (vary the amount according to taste, you can also skip the dressing to keep the salad fresh longer or if people like to have their own choice of dressing).
- Sprinkle half of the chicken over the lettuce. Continue layering half of each ingredient: the olives, bacon, avocados, tomatoes, cheese, and egg.
- Repeat with a second layer of all the ingredients, topping with a final drizzle of dressing, a few chopped tomatoes, and a half egg. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over the top, if you like.
- The separate components of the salad can be prepared a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in separate airtight containers or bags until ready to serve. Wait to cut the avocado until just before assembling the salad.
- The ingredients and amounts are completely customizable.
- Other ingredients might include: blue cheese, pepperoncinis, grilled corn, red bell pepper
- A little lemon juice on the avocado will prevent it from browning. You can assemble the salad several hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.