This BBQ chicken salad is a fresh and colorful combination of grilled BBQ chicken, veggies, cheese, beans and tortilla strips, all tossed in ranch dressing. WAY better than the California Pizza Kitchen version!
I understand that California Pizza Kitchen is technically a pizza restaurant, but I cannot resist ordering their BBQ chicken chopped salad every time I go there. I’ve made my own version of this awesome salad, and honestly? I think it’s way better than the original! This BBQ chicken salad is full of amazing flavors and textures, I could probably eat it every day and never tire of it.
How Do You Make BBQ Chicken Salad?
The base of this salad is romaine lettuce, which is tossed in ranch dressing. I like to use a refrigerated ranch dressing or make my own, I feel like it tastes much fresher than the shelf stable ranch dressings out there. The greens are topped with corn, black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, tortilla strips tomatoes, green onions, avocado, BBQ chicken and jicama. For the BBQ chicken, I simply grill or pan sear some chicken breasts, then cut them into cubes and toss them in barbecue sauce. You can really use any cooked chicken here, leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken would also work great!
After I assemble my salad, I top it with an additional drizzle of ranch, then serve. I managed to find southwest flavored tortilla strips in my grocery store (in the crouton area), and they were extra delicious, so if you see those, grab em!
The next time I go to CPK I can actually order a pizza now that my BBQ chicken salad cravings can be fulfilled at home. This makes a great meal prep lunch too, simply cut up extra ingredients and store in the fridge in small containers. The only exception is the avocado, which will need to be cut fresh when you’re ready to eat. When it’s time for lunch, assemble and enjoy!
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BBQ Chicken Salad
- 3 cups cooked chicken cubed (You can use grilled, baked or rotisserie chicken)
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 6 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 3/4 cup ranch dressing I prefer the refrigerated type or any other high quality dressing
- 1 cup corn canned or thawed from frozen
- 1 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1 cup jicama diced
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/2 cup green onions thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups tortilla strips
- Place the lettuce in a large bowl and toss with 1/2 cup of the ranch dressing.
- Toss the chicken in the BBQ sauce and place it on top of the lettuce.
- Arrange the corn, beans, tomatoes, jicama, cheese, avocado, green onions and tortilla strips over the lettuce.
- Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of ranch dressing and serve.