The Perfect BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

Are you looking for a flavorful and satisfying salad? Look no further than the Panera BBQ Chicken Salad! This mouthwatering salad features grilled chicken, black bean corn salsa, crispy fried onions, and a tangy barbecue ranch dressing. Whether you’re preparing a hearty lunch or a wholesome dinner, this salad is sure to impress.

Panera BBQ chicken salad and a fork on a napkin

What Sets the Panera BBQ Chicken Salad Apart?

With the growing popularity of low-carb diets, it’s no surprise that the Panera BBQ Chicken Salad has become a fan favorite. This salad boasts juicy grilled chicken, a hearty black bean corn salsa, and crunchy fried onions on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce. Topped off with a mouthwatering apple cider-BBQ sauce dressing, this recipe checks all the right boxes.

Why You Need to Try This Panera BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

Though there may be a lot going on in this recipe, don’t worry! You can easily prepare each component of the Panera BBQ Chicken Salad in advance and have them ready to assemble whenever you’re ready for a delicious meal. Check out our “Make Ahead Tips” section below for some helpful suggestions.

Ingredients for the Perfect Panera Bread BBQ Chicken Salad

To make the Ranch-BBQ Salad Dressing, you’ll need:

  • Premade ranch salad dressing
  • Kraft Hickory Smoke BBQ Sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar
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For the Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Drizzle, you’ll need:

  • Kraft Hickory Smoke BBQ Sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar

For the Black Bean Corn Salsa, you’ll need:

  • Canned black beans
  • Mexicorn
  • White vinegar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder

To assemble the salad, you’ll also need:

  • Thinly sliced grilled chicken breast
  • Romaine lettuce
  • French’s Original Crispy Fried Onions (or store brand french fried onions)

Panera BBQ chicken salad ingredients on a baking sheet

Preparing the Panera BBQ Chicken Salad

While this recipe involves multiple steps, each one is incredibly easy. You don’t need to be a seasoned chef to create this flavorful salad.

To make the Ranch-BBQ Salad Dressing:

  1. Combine ranch dressing and BBQ sauce.
  2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.

Panera barbecue ranch dressing ingredients in a bowl

To make the BBQ Drizzle:

  1. Mix the BBQ sauce and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.

To make the Black Bean Corn Salsa:

  1. Combine vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the well-drained black beans and Mexicorn.
  3. Add the vinegar mixture to the black bean mixture and mix well to coat.
  4. Cover the bowl of Black Bean Corn Salsa and refrigerate.

Panera black bean corn salsa ingredients in a bowl

To assemble the salad:

  1. Cut the romaine lettuce into large pieces, then wash and dry it.
  2. Place a generous amount of lettuce on each plate.
  3. Top the romaine with a few tablespoons of the Black Bean Corn Salsa and five or six slices of grilled chicken.
  4. Drizzle a little of the Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Drizzle over the top of the salad.
  5. Serve the salad with BBQ ranch dressing.
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Copycat Panera BBQ chicken salad with barbecue ranch dressing

Serving Suggestions for BBQ Chicken Salad

For a personalized touch, allow your guests to add their preferred amount of Ranch-BBQ Salad Dressing and crispy fried onions. Additionally, here are some toppings that we highly recommend:

  • Crispy tortilla strips
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • A squeeze of lime juice
  • Sliced red onions

Pairing Suggestions for BBQ Chicken Salad

While the BBQ Chicken Salad from Panera can be a meal on its own, serving it with some buttermilk biscuits or traditional cornbread will make it even more filling.

Make-Ahead Tips

To maximize convenience, you can prep the Black Bean Corn Salsa in advance to allow its flavors to meld together. Also, take the Panera Bread BBQ Chicken Salad ingredients out of the refrigerator a few minutes before assembling the salad for optimal taste. However, remember not to cut the romaine lettuce ahead of time to maintain its freshness.

Storing Leftover BBQ Chicken Salad

If you have leftovers, store each component of the salad separately in the refrigerator. The Black Bean Salsa, salad dressing, and BBQ Drizzle should last for about four to five days. However, if you’re using freshly grilled chicken, it’s best to consume it within a day or two. Packaged grilled chicken strips will last longer.

Overhead view of copycat Panera BBQ chicken salad and a fork on a napkin

More Panera Bread Copycat Recipes

If you’re a fan of Panera Bread, be sure to try these other copycat recipes:

  • Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • Panera Butternut Squash Soup
  • Panera Mac and Cheese
  • Panera Muffins

Favorite Salad Recipes

Looking for more delicious salad options? Here are some of our favorite salad recipes:

  • Chick-Fil-A Cobb Salad
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Copycat Olive Garden Salad
  • Fajita Salad
  • Original Cobb Salad
  • Oriental Chicken Salad
  • Taco Bell Salad
  • Thai Noodle Salad
  • Wendy’s Strawberry Salad
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For more exciting salad ideas and the best Panera Bread recipes, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ!

Now you have all the information you need to create the perfect BBQ Chicken Salad. Enjoy the flavors and savor every bite of this delightful dish.