BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad Recipe

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon favorite BBQ spice rub (or mix of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

For the salad

  • 10 oz bag chopped romaine lettuce (or roughly 2 heads chopped)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced avocado (optional)
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  • Ranch dressing (or your favorite)
  • Additional BBQ sauce (for drizzling)

Optional add-ins

  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Grilled pineapple chunks
  • Crumbled bacon

Instructions

1. Cook the chicken

  • Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  • Rub chicken with olive oil and BBQ spice rub.
  • Grill chicken for 4-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through (internal temp of 165°F). In the last few minutes, brush chicken generously with BBQ sauce.
  • Remove chicken from grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or chopping.

2. Prep the vegetables

  • While chicken cooks, wash and chop the lettuce.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes.
  • If using fresh corn, slice kernels from the cob.
  • Chop the red onion.

3. Assemble the salad

  • In a large bowl, combine chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cheeses, black beans, corn, and red onion. Add sliced avocado if using.
  • Slice or chop the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad.
  • Toss everything with ranch dressing (start with a small amount and add more to taste).

4. Serve

  • Divide salad among bowls or plates.
  • Top with tortilla chips, optional add-ins of choice, and a drizzle of extra BBQ sauce.

Tips

Make it ahead: You can grill the chicken and prep the vegetables in advance so that assembling the salad at mealtime is super quick.

Customize it: This is a very adaptable recipe. Use your favorite BBQ sauce, dressing, and any additional ingredients that sound good.

Adjust spice: Control the heat level with the amount of spice rub you use and consider offering pickled jalapenos on the side for those that like it hot.

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