I’m not sure if anyone can relate to this, but growing up we would go to California Pizza Kitchen all the time. And instead of ordering pizza, every single time (and I mean every.single.time) I would order their barbecue chicken chopped salad and sesame ginger dumplings.
I’ve recently been craving their barbecue chicken chopped salad but realized that I could probably make a way more delicious version of it myself.
This is a SUPER easy “recipe” and comes together relatively quickly.
I started marinating chicken breasts in some barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, and barbecue seasoning. After about 2 hours in the marinade, I grilled the chicken along with some corn. You don’t have to grill the corn, you could always just use the raw kernels, but I love the char flavor that the grilling gives.
- Note: make sure your grill is properly cleaned/greased before putting the chicken on it. I made this mistake and was left with a very messy grill.
The chicken cooks for about 3-4 minutes per side, and I just continue to rotate the corn until there are nice char marks all around.
For the dressing I whipped up a spicy chipotle lime ranch dressing.
In the mix went 1 cup of store bought ranch dressing, 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce, and the juice of one lime. They sell a lot of vegan/yogurt based ranch dressings now if you want to make this more healthy.
This is what I use for the adobo. You can use the actual peppers but I just use the sauce because the peppers are extra spicy. I always like to keep a jar of this on hand. It adds a really nice spice/smoky flavor to sauces and soups.
I chose to set this up as a “build your own” salad bar because my family likes it that way. But feel free to arrange everything in one big bowl! All the mix in’s :
- Grated Cheddar
- Daikon Radish
- Black Beans
- Grilled Corn
- Cucumber (only because my dad can’t have a salad without cucumber lol)
- Red Bell Pepper
- Grilled Barbecue Chicken
- Dressings: Chipotle Lime Ranch + More Barbecue Sauce
Just like California Pizza Kitchen but WAY better. Also tortilla chips on top is optional but highly recommended 🙂
Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad with Chipotle Lime Ranch
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
- Apx 3 cups Barbecue Sauce (plus extra for garnish)
- 3 tbsp poultry seasoning/barbecue seasoning (or a mix of garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, and paprika)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 ears of corn
- 5 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 1 cup daikon radish (or jicama) , chopped
- 3 small tomatoes, chopped
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2-3 avocados, chopped
- 5 oz cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- 2 tbsp adobo sauce (from chipotle in adobo can)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Tortilla chips and/or cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season each breast on both sides with salt and pepper, along with the barbecue seasoning, or whatever seasoning mixture you are using.
- Coat the chicken breasts in the barbecue sauce and marinade in the fridge for 2-4 hours. (I just do this in a large ziplock bag)
- Preheat the grill to high heat. Grill the corn and the chicken alongside. The chicken will take about 3-4 minutes per side. Just grill the corn until you get nice char marks all around.
- Mix the dressing: combine the ranch, adobo sauce, and juice of 1 lime. Season to taste.
- Assemble the salad with all the toppings however you prefer. Once the chicken and corn are cooked and off the grill, slice or dice up the chicken and cut the corn kernels off of the cob.
- Dress with ranch dressing and another drizzle of barbecue sauce. Garnish however you please! Serve immediately.
This salad is so delicious and fun! I hope you give this a try!