Are you a fan of Panera Bread? If you are, then you’re probably familiar with the disappointment of your favorite menu items disappearing. For my husband, it was the BBQ Chicken Salad that always seemed to come and go. So, in an attempt to recreate his favorite dish, I ventured to make my own version. And let me tell you, it was a game-changer.
The Perfect Combination of Freshness and Flavor
Imagine a salad that combines the crispness of lettuce, the smoky goodness of BBQ chicken, and the tanginess of tomatoes. Add a touch of sweetness with a drizzle of BBQ sauce and some BBQ ranch dressing. Top it off with a sprinkle of french fried onions for that extra crunch. It’s a refreshing bowl of happiness that’s also hearty enough to be a satisfying meal.
Tips for Making Your Own BBQ Chicken Salad
Here are a few tips to help you recreate this flavorful salad:
- If you have leftover chicken, this is a great way to repurpose it. Whether it’s grilled or shredded, neutral-flavored chicken works best.
- As for the salad greens, choose your favorite variety. Romaine or leaf lettuce are excellent options.
- Don’t skip the roasted corn salsa. You can either make your own using the full corn salsa recipe or use a pre-made substitute.
- And of course, the dressing. Mix equal parts of your favorite BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing for that perfect blend of tangy and creamy.
Prep and Serving Suggestions
Preparing the BBQ Chicken Salad is a breeze, and you can even make it ahead of time. Just remember to pack the dressing and french fried onions separately to keep everything fresh. If you prefer, you can cook the chicken just before serving. Grilled chicken adds a smoky flavor, but a rotisserie chicken works well too.
Looking to round out your meal? Here are a few recipes that pair perfectly with this salad:
- 2 Ingredient Applesauce
- Savory Butternut Squash Soup
- Everything Pita Chips
- Detox Lentil Soup
- Copycat Panera Bread Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich
Storage and Leftovers
If you happen to have leftovers (although it’s so good, it’s hard to imagine), the BBQ Chicken Salad will stay fresh without dressing for 4-5 days when covered in the refrigerator.
Helpful Tools for Your Kitchen Adventures
To help you make this delicious salad, here are a few tools that come in handy:
- Mixing bowl
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
If you decide to give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear your feedback and answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram with @thelifejolie so I can share your creation. And if you’re looking for more recipe inspiration, check out the full index of my recipes here.
Let’s keep the conversation going! Join my Facebook group for more foodie discussions and recipe sharing. And if Pinterest is more your style, don’t forget to follow The Life Jolie for even more mouthwatering ideas.
So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to indulge in a copycat BBQ Chicken Salad that will have you coming back for more!