Salads are a fantastic way to eat healthy while enjoying a burst of flavors. Inspired by the popular blackened chicken bowls at Sweetgreen, this BBQ chicken salad meal prep is here to make your week a breeze. But we’re not stopping there – we’ve doubled down on salad prep this time, along with our delicious Salmon Taco Bowls. Both recipes share similar ingredients and feature the same zesty jalapeño lime vinaigrette.
Storing Made Easy
You might be wondering, what’s the best way to store this throughout the week? Well, fear not! We’ve got you covered. Here’s how you can keep everything fresh and delicious:
- Store the veggies individually in the fridge using airtight containers. The lettuce goes in an airtight bag with a piece of paper towel to maintain its crispness.
- As for the cooked and raw veggies, you can store them separately in their own Tupperware.
- To make things even easier, portion the chicken and quinoa into individual-sized containers. You can choose to freeze them and defrost overnight or keep them fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Each morning, simply assemble the ingredients into a large salad container, pour the dressing, and grab an individual portion of chicken and quinoa.
Let’s break it down with an example:
- On Monday, prep all the veggies, quinoa, and chicken. Enjoy one portion for dinner, and refrigerate the remaining veggies, quinoa, and chicken. Freeze two portions for future use.
- On Tuesday, assemble the salad by adding romaine, red cabbage, and roast broccoli into a large container. Fill a small container with 3-4 tablespoons of dressing, and grab the refrigerated chicken and quinoa. Defrost one frozen portion of chicken and quinoa for the next day.
- Repeat the same process on Wednesday.
- And on Thursday, it’s a breeze! Simply follow the steps from the previous day.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Let’s dive into the key ingredients you’ll need for this delightful salad and explore some possible substitutions:
Greens – We love the combination of romaine lettuce and arugula for a delightful crunch and a hint of aromatic spiciness. Feel free to experiment with your favorite greens like spring mix or spinach.
White Quinoa – Adding quinoa to salads is always a win. It’s light, protein-packed, and blends seamlessly with the flavors, turning your salad into a satisfying meal.
BBQ Chicken – Our succulent BBQ chicken steals the show. While we usually sear it in a cast iron pan, this recipe calls for roasting it in the oven for a more hands-off approach. If you prefer, you can easily substitute chicken breast, firm tofu, or even portobello mushrooms.
Roast Broccoli – Tender and flavorful roast broccoli adds a delightful texture to the salad. You can switch things up by using broccolini or cauliflower instead.
Cherry Tomatoes – Vibrant and juicy, these little gems add both color and flavor to your salad. If you have the time, keep the tomatoes whole and slice them right before enjoying your meal.
Red Cabbage – We’ve included crunchy red cabbage in this recipe, as we’ve already prepped it for the Salmon Taco Bowl. However, feel free to omit it or substitute shredded carrots.
Crafting the Perfect JALAPEÑO Lime Vinaigrette
Now, let’s talk about the star of the show – the JALAPEÑO Lime Vinaigrette. Here’s what you’ll need:
Jalapeño – This little pepper adds a punch of flavor to the entire bowl. While some jalapeños are spicier than others, we find that omitting the seeds balances out the heat. If you prefer a milder dressing, you can skip the jalapeño or replace it with 1/4 of a green bell pepper.
Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice brings a burst of tangy deliciousness to the vinaigrette. Squeeze the juice from 3 limes, or adjust the amount if your limes are less juicy. In a pinch, you can substitute vinegar or lemon juice. Aim for around 3 tablespoons of acid for every 1/3 cup of olive oil.
Honey – A touch of sweetness is essential in this vinaigrette. The combination of honey and lime creates a delightful harmony of flavors. If you prefer, you can substitute maple syrup or brown sugar.
Cilantro – Our go-to herb for freshness and flavor is cilantro. Even if you’re not a fan, we’d recommend giving it a try in this recipe. However, if you need a substitute, mint works well too.
Garlic – A single clove of garlic adds just the right amount of kick to the dressing. The raw garlic flavor is balanced by the fresh lime juice, resulting in a well-rounded dressing.
Seasonings – We keep it simple with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. This way, the herby and citrus flavors take center stage.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Choose a high-quality extra virgin olive oil to bring all the ingredients together and emulsify the vinaigrette.
Stay Tuned and Get Cooking!
To visualize the entire process, check out our video tutorial for BBQ Chicken Salad Meal Prep here. We’ve also included a couple of other protein-packed salad meal prep recipes for you to explore: Green Goddess Chicken Salad and Salmon Taco Bowls.
Remember, this is your chance to get creative with your salads. Experiment with different ingredients, dressings, and toppings to find your perfect combination. And when it comes to BBQ chicken salads, this recipe is a definite winner. So get prepping, get cooking, and enjoy the fresh flavors! For more delicious recipes and BBQ inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.
Note: The original YouTube video and additional recipes mentioned in the article have not been included.