BBQ Chicken Salad: A Flavorful Delight

Are you a fan of the famous BBQ Chicken Salad from California Pizza Kitchen? Well, get ready for a treat! This quick and easy recipe captures all the fantastic flavors and crunchy textures of the restaurant version while adding a unique twist. If you’re a fan of main dish salads that burst with flavor, this BBQ Chicken Salad is a must-try. And the best part? It requires no cooking!

A Salad That Hits All the Right Notes

Imagine a salad with the perfect crunch of romaine lettuce, combined with the delightful addition of jicama and crispy tortilla strips. Picture vibrant colors and flavors from sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, and creamy avocado. Add to that a protein boost from tender chicken breast and hearty black beans. It’s a symphony of deliciousness! This mouthwatering medley is then tossed in a tangy Ranch dressing and drizzled with BBQ sauce, creating a harmonious blend that will leave you craving more.

A top-down shot of two salads with chicken, BBQ sauce, tomatoes, and other ingredients.

A Copycat Recipe Worth Celebrating

If you’re a diehard fan of the BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad from California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), you’re in luck! This homemade version comes incredibly close to replicating the flavor and texture of the restaurant original. And the best part? It’s much more budget-friendly!

Two bowls of BBQ Chicken Salad with tomatoes, cheese, and tortilla strips.

The Perfect Combination of Ingredients

Let’s dive into the key components that make this salad outstanding:

  • Romaine lettuce: Crispy, crunchy, and the star of this salad.
  • Cilantro: A flavorful complement to the Southwest-inspired ingredients.
  • Fresh basil: Adds a refreshing touch that elevates the overall taste.
  • Green onions: Thinly sliced for a subtle yet tangy punch.
  • Corn: Whether fresh or frozen, it adds a burst of sweetness.
  • Jicama: This white root vegetable adds a satisfying crunch, reminiscent of a crisp apple.
  • Canned black beans: A hearty addition that complements the other flavors.
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese: Stick with Jack for an authentic CPK experience.
  • Ranch salad dressing: Choose your favorite brand, like Litehouse Homestyle Ranch.
  • BBQ sauce: Opt for the mouthwatering flavors of Kinder’s.
  • Cooked chicken: Rotisserie chicken breast meat works perfectly, but feel free to use your own cooked chicken.
  • Freshly ground black pepper: A dash of this adds a subtle kick to the dish.
  • Limes: Don’t forget to squeeze the juice over the salad for an extra burst of freshness.
  • Roma tomatoes: Bright and firm, they are the ideal choice for this salad.
  • Avocado: While optional at CPK, it’s a mandatory addition in our kitchen!
  • Tortilla strips: Find them in the salad topping section of your grocery store, or use crushed tortilla chips.
Further reading:  The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Smithfield Pork Loin

The ingredients for BBQ Chicken Salad in bowls with text.

Crafting Your BBQ Chicken Salad Masterpiece

Now let’s get to the fun part – making the salad!

  1. Toss the Salad: In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, cilantro, basil, green onions, corn, jicama, black beans, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Toss everything together with the Ranch dressing, ensuring each ingredient is evenly coated.

  2. Prep the Chicken: In a separate small bowl, toss the cooked chicken with freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce, and 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice. This simple marinade adds a burst of flavor to the chicken.

  3. Assemble the Salads: Divide the salad mixture evenly between four bowls. Spoon the seasoned chicken into the center of each bowl and drizzle it with the remaining BBQ sauce. Scatter the roma tomatoes and avocado around the edges of each salad and sprinkle with the tantalizing tortilla strips.

Three images showing salad ingredients in a large bowl and two assembled BBQ Chicken Salads in white serving bowls.

Serve your creations with a lime wedge tucked into each bowl for that perfect finishing touch. Squeeze the fresh lime juice over the salad before digging in to enhance the flavors even further.

A close-up of a chicken salad in a white bowl with a lime wedge.

More Delectable Salad Recipes

If you’re a salad enthusiast, here are a few more recipes to add to your repertoire:

  • Thai Crunch Salad (CPK Copycat)
  • Southwest Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Caesar
  • Easy Chicken Cobb Salad

A chicken salad in a white bowl topped with BBQ sauce and tortilla strips.

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