We have been enjoying this BBQ chicken chopped salad for years! A tasty, quick and easy to make, main course salad for those hot summer evenings.
I love a good main course salad for dinner.
Not even just in the summer. Salad is an acceptable meal in my mind no matter what time of year it is.
My family doesn’t necessarily agree, but they do all get on board with this kind of salad. It has BBQ chicken, creamy cilantro lime dressing, and lots of ingredients to pick and choose from when making up your salad.
I always serve salads for dinner as a “make your own” affair. All of the possible ingredients go on the table in their own bowls and everyone chooses what they want for their meal.
This is likely why everyone still enjoys this meal, even though it’s just salad for supper. Because they all get to have what they like. You don’t like peppers, don’t add any. Everyone is happy.
I, of course, like all of the things in my BBQ chicken chopped salad. The more ingredients the better as far as I’m concerned when it comes to main course salads!
And, of course, I always add extra cilantro. Whereas most of my family leaves it out completely. Because they’re crazy.
How to make BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad:
- This main course BBQ chicken chopped salad is very easy to make. All that’s required is chopping up the veggies and mixing up the salad dressing. Everything can be prepped ahead of time if you like and assembled at the table.
- If you don’t like cilantro, you can leave it out. The dressing will still be delicious without it.
- If you don’t have any cooked chicken on hand, you can make it easily the day you’re serving this salad. I like to make either Instant Pot Shredded Chicken or Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken whenever I need cooked chicken for a recipes. If you are starting from frozen go with the Instant Pot version.
- The dressing recipe makes quite a lot of dressing and you likely won’t use it all. The leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two (go with the date on the milk that you used). It’s great on salad of any kind. I like to use the leftovers for lunch time salads consisting of whatever veggies and meat I have on hand and it’s always great.
Here are some more great salad recipes for you:
For the salad:
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
- 2 romaine hearts, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, diced (1/4-1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed small
- 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, cubed small
For the dressing:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped finely
- 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- In a medium bowl, toss the cooked, shredded chicken with the BBQ sauce, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss together.
- For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth, or blend them if you’d like it really smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve the salad with the BBQ chicken on top and dressing on the side. Or you can toss it all together and serve.
- If you keep the components separate, the leftovers will keep well for 3-4 days.
- This recipe makes about 2 cups of dressing so you likely will not need it all. The leftover dressing will keep in the fridge for a week or two (I usually go with whatever the expiry date is on the milk I used for it).
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, using more milk works just fine.
If you don't like cilantro, you can leave it out of the dressing. It will still be delicious.
Use whatever cheese you would like. This time I used marble cheese instead of Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar because that's what I had on hand. I've also used just cheddar or just Monterey Jack - any of those options is delicious.
Source: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
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Serving Size:1/6 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 803 Total Fat: 48g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 33g Cholesterol: 95mg Sodium: 1630mg Carbohydrates: 64g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 34g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 32g