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Cowboy Chopped Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 16 min
  • Active: 16 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Bacon and Tortilla Strips:

12 slices bacon, chopped

Vegetable oil, for frying

4 corn tortillas, cut into strips

BBQ Ranch Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream 

1/4 cup barbecue sauce 

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

2 tablespoons chopped chives 

1 clove garlic, finely chopped 

Buttermilk, as needed to adjust the consistency 

Hot sauce, as needed 

Kosher salt


1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into chunks and sliced

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved 

1 bunch scallions, sliced 

1 pound Cheddar, grated 

Pico de gallo, store-bought or homemade, recipe follows, for topping

Pico de Gallo:

12 Roma tomatoes (slightly underripe is fine)

3 yellow or red onions 

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves 

1 to 2 jalapenos, plus more if needed

1 lime 



  1. For the bacon and tortilla strips: Fry the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add some vegetable oil to the bacon skillet and fry the tortilla strips until crisp, approximately 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.
  2. For the BBQ ranch dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, barbecue sauce, parsley, chives and garlic. Adjust the consistency with buttermilk to make it a little thinner. Taste and add hot sauce and salt as needed.
  3. For the salad: Put the lettuce, tomatoes, scallions, bacon and most of the cheese into a bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and stir. Scatter over some pico de gallo, the tortilla strips and the reserved cheese, then serve.

Pico de Gallo:

  1. Dice up equal quantities of the tomatoes and onions. Roughly chop the cilantro. Now slice 1 or 2 jalapenos in half. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds. (If you like things spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.) Dice the jalapenos very finely; you want a hint of heat and jalapeno flavor, but you don't want to cause any fires. Now dump these 4 ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the bowl. Sprinkle with salt and stir together until combined. Be sure to taste the pico de gallo and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, lime juice or more diced jalapeno as needed. Yield: 8 servings