This salad is so much a staple in our diet, I’ve never even thought to post it.
It’s my go-to, family-favorite, crowd-pleasing dinner.
I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ve made it more than any other meal in our family’s history (unless you count PBJ’s, obviously.)
But when I serve it to guests, they often ask me for a recipe.
And I’m like “A recipe!? There isn’t one…” as if everyone out there makes barbecue chicken salads. Off the top of their heads.
But maybe not?
I do clearly remember the first time I discovered it. I was in high school and my mom and I went to lunch at Red Robin. (btw–we don’t have Red Robin in Hawaii, isn’t that sad?) Anyways, we ordered their Barbecue Chicken Salad and we loved it so much that we just sat there and stared at it and then began discussing how EASY it would be to make it at home.
So a day or two later, we did just that. And then we did it again. And again. And again. And we never stopped.
Anyways, if you do not already make a barbecue chicken salad on a regular basis, may I suggest that you begin? It’s not hard at all…And if you are able to chop a few ingredients ahead of time, then it’s really easy. I like this salad best with chicken hot off the grill, but honestly, you can use leftover rotisserie chicken (heated up just before serving,) or cold cubed chicken. Or leave out the chicken and let the beans be boss. Its the mixture of barbecue flavor, and cold veggies that make this salad special. Or maybe it’s the avocado and corn. Or the black beans, cheese, and chips. Oh, I don’t know what makes it so good.
But one thing I do know: When I make this–my boys eat salad like a girl on a diet. (shh, do not tell them I just said that.)
You can, of course, throw in extra chopped veggies (I often use colorful sweet peppers, cucumbers, or carrots.)
I usually serve this with a side of dressing made of half barbecue sauce, half fresh ranch dressing. Tossing it in the dressing is pretty incredible (just make sure everyone looks at the pretty salad before you toss!) (and crunch up the chips and toss those in too!) Personally, I think that if you slather the chicken real good with barbecue sauce, you don’t even need dressing. All of those flavors mix up and give it plenty of flavor and texture. But I’ll let you decide.
As for the salad underneath all of the goodies…you can really use whatever you like. I love a chopped salad, combining kale, romaine, cabbage, spinach, and this particular salad also had some arugala. Yum!
Even if you now have fall weather, (and quit bragging, I’m sweating over here!) you’ll still love this salad. Served with hot chicken and a warm loaf of bread, it is great year-round!
Hope you try it! And Pin it! 🙂
Barbecue Chicken Salad
- 4-5 cups mixed greens of choice
- 1-2 chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 1 cup corn frozen or fresh
- 2 large chicken breasts cooked and slathered with barbecue sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup extra barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh ranch dressing
- tortilla chips to garnish
- Clean and dry salad greens of choice, and place in the bottom of serving bowl
- decorate as you like with each of the ingredients.
- Optional to use chicken breast hot off the grill, reheated, or cold.
- garnish with tortilla chips
- Combine barebecue sauce and ranch dressing and serve it on the side, or toss if you prefer.
With lots of Aloha,