Helllllllllllllllllo summah.

BBQ chicken chopped salad with grilled garlic croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com

First up, I should alert you that this salad is no where near as healthy as it looks. But you should know that by now. It’s me. You GET me.

But wait. This IS salad so I say no matter what, it is healthy. I mean here in Pittsburgh we cover our salads in fries and hard boiled eggs and buffalo chicken and call it a salad and a health food. YEP. Trashy salads for the win.

This salad is the epitome of everything I love to eat, starting with all things grilled. You’re going to grill half the salad. Heck, you can even grill some romaine if you’d like before chopping it up. Or don’t even chop it up.

Me? I need to chop things. Salads just work for me when chopped.

I don’t have as much of a distaste for them when all the things are semi-uniformly sized. No clue what it is. Maybe that fact that it’s easier to pick up with a big fat tortilla chip? Nah.

Except probably.

BBQ chicken chopped salad with grilled garlic croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com

First you’re going to grill the bread, which is the best part of, well… everything. Douse it in olive oil, covering it with some garlic, grill the daylights out of eat. Eat a million pieces before cutting into toasted little squares. Hint: make extra.

Next you’re going to grill the green onions, which seriously almost rank up there with grilled bread for me. I have no idea why but grilled scallions just do me in. I love the charred flavor with the mild onion taste. They add so much to any dish.

Then you’ll grill the corn, which should come as no surprise since it’s me and I grill corn practically every day of my life. Grilled corn is to die for. Give it to me.

Finally you’ll grill your barbecue chicken which is also delicious but pales in comparison to all the other things going on here.

BBQ chicken chopped salad with grilled garlic croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com

Like bacon.

And avocado.

And two lettuces: sweet butter and spicy arugula, to be exact.

And cilantro.

I know I know. Leave it out if you’re not a fan. Trust me, I feel you. I’d rather chew nails that bite down on a fennel seed, so I while I don’t fully understand cilantro hate I have the utmost respect for it. Last week I accidentally watched Rachael Ray sauté a bunch of fennel seeds in olive oil and it was a terrible no good very bad day.

Oh and one more good thing! White cheddar. Like white cheddar cubes. Contrary to what you may be thinking, no, those are mini cubes of butter that I’m throwing in your salad.

But you probably wouldn’t be surprised anyway, now would you.

BBQ chicken chopped salad with grilled garlic croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com

This whole chopped mess is finished off with my favorite part: the honey mustard vinaigrette. Oh mah gahhhhh. It’s like practically a chicken nugget explosion with the whole barbecue and honey mustard thing but minus the nuggets.

So much flavor. !!!!!!!!!!

BBQ chicken chopped salad with grilled garlic croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com


Two of my favorite salads are chopped: this BLT chopped salad with feta, corn and avocado and this Thai chicken chopped salad. And I must say. This rivals both. I love them all. And will continue to eat them all.


Just yes.

BBQ chicken chopped salad with grilled garlic croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com


BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad with Grilled Garlic Croutons

Yield: serves 4 appropriately, 2 obnoxiously

Prep Time: 1 hour/overnight to marinate chicken

Cook Time: 1 hour


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (my fave is bone suckin!)
4 slices italian or sourdough bread (or whatever you love!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 scallions
2 ears sweet corn
8 ounces butter lettuce, coarsely chopped
4 ounces arugula greens, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup torn fresh cilantro
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, chopped into tiny chunks

honey mustard vinaigrette
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup golden balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Add the chicken to a baking dish or ziplock bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, onion powder, salt, paprika and pepper. Season the chicken with the spice mixture. Add the garlic cloves to the barbecue sauce and pour the sauce over top. Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight) before grilling.

Turn on your grill to high heat and let it heat up for about 20 minutes before grilling. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil on both sides and cover it with the garlic powder. To grill the bread, place it on the grates and grill under it toasts and becomes brown - about 2 minutes per side. Watch closely as the thickness of your bread will determine how long to grill it. Remove the bread and set it aside.

Next, add the green onions to the grill. I add them whole and grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side, until charred on each side. I adore the flavor this brings to scallions! You can also add the two ears of corn to the grill at this time. I do not season them before grilling because they are going right into the big salad. I simply throw them on the grill and grill until toasted all around. Remove the scallions and corn from the grill and set it aside.

Next, grilled your chicken until cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes per side for chicken that is around one inch thick. You want an internal temperature of 165, or cut through the center and make sure there is no pink.

Once your vegetables and chicken have cooled, chopped them. I discard the white ends of the scallions and chop the rest. Slice the corn from the cob and chop the chicken into chunks. Take the bread and cut it into chunks. The size of the food does not matter - as long as it all is around the same size. For the perfect chopped salad!

Assemble the salad in a large bowl. Mix together the butter lettuce, arugula and cilantro. Season them with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss. Add in the chicken, scallions, corn, tomatoes, bacon, avocado and white cheddar. Toss and add in the croutons, tossing once more. Serve immediately with the honey mustard vinaigrette. I find that this salad even holds up well the next day as long as you don't dress the entire thing (the avocado might brown a but) - the croutons may just be a bit soft.

honey mustard vinaigrette
Add the honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the vinegar and whisk again until smooth. While whisking, stream in the olive oil and whisk constantly until emulsified. You can keep this in the fridge for about a week - it may separate but just shake or whisk well before using.

BBQ chicken chopped salad with grilled garlic croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com

I mean…. RIGHT?

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62 Responses to “BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad with Grilled Garlic Croutons.”

  1. #
    Emily — June 2, 2014 @ 7:02 am

    Would spicy brown mustard destroy the experience?


  2. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — June 2, 2014 @ 7:09 am

    This is summer in a bowl! I am totally into making crutons more than just a side player. Creamy, crunchy and fresh. ALL the things you can ask for in a salad.


  3. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 2, 2014 @ 7:09 am

    I need this for dinner asap!


  4. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — June 2, 2014 @ 7:37 am

    Grilled croutons? MIND BLOWN.
    I am in love with everything in this salad, and I am totally pretending it’s healthy. I’m not eating cheesecake for dinner, so this is obviously a good, healthy life choice.
    P.s Cilantro? ALL THE THINGS. Pinned!


  5. #
    Trisha (Stew or a Story) — June 2, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    Chopped salads are my jam! Can’t get enough fresh summer corn and everything on the grill. You’re the best.


  6. #
    Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission — June 2, 2014 @ 8:27 am

    I bet this would be amazing for dinner – tonight. Looks so easy and absolutely delicious. Lovin’ the grilled croutons – I bet those are amazing. Have a great week! :)


  7. #
    Kim in MD — June 2, 2014 @ 8:29 am

    Chopped salads are my favorite. This looks amazing, and it will be dinner tonight!


  8. #
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles — June 2, 2014 @ 9:22 am

    I am all about salads being chopped however I find it rude when restaurants want to charge me extra for it lol…Love BBQ themed salads- just like my fave salad at The Cheesecake Factory. I often recreate it at home but must now try your dressing.


  9. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — June 2, 2014 @ 9:25 am

    Sign me up! This looks fantastic and if it’s an entree salad, it needs all those things to be filling. I cannot wait to try this. Tonight maybe?!


  10. #
    Sues — June 2, 2014 @ 9:36 am

    This doesn’t look TOO unhealthy. I mean, considering. I love hard-boiled eggs in salad And think BBQ chicken is the best idea!


  11. #
    Melanie — June 2, 2014 @ 10:01 am

    Ahh, we made something like this last week, with blackened chicken instead of BBQ. I’m totally with you on the fennel seeds–can’t stand the stuff, and I’m Italian! We didn’t add the avocado, though, and I bet that would really elevate things. Yum!


  12. #
    Talaia | WholeYum — June 2, 2014 @ 10:09 am

    Gorgeous photos Jessica


  13. #
    Kate — June 2, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    You referenced Alexander’s day and I loved you even more than ever. And that salad looks so amazing.


  14. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — June 2, 2014 @ 11:19 am

    Trashy salads for the win basically sums up how I feel about all salads. I love this so much! Definitely happening this summer!


  15. #
    ami@naivecookcooks — June 2, 2014 @ 11:49 am

    This salad looks so flavorful and that chicken to die for!!


  16. #
    Aida Mollenkamp — June 2, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

    I’m with you on chopped salads — especially when they looks this awesome!


  17. #
    CakePants — June 2, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

    This salad looks AMAZING!! I could probably eat a whole bowl of the grilled garlic croutons alone…but that’s a little unseemly, haha.


  18. #
    stephanie — June 2, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

    never has a salad made my heart quiver with such delight!! jessica! this is pure pleasure in a bowl. i’ve been meaning to make a chopped salad…i think this one is THE ONE. xoxo


  19. #
    Alyssa — June 2, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

    YUMMMMMM. I have been loving the sweet corn/avocado combo lately. Ohio has some of the best corn I’ve EVER HAD! Is it the same in PA? Drooling over this crisp cool salad!


  20. #
    Annie @Maebells — June 2, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

    I am so glad chopped salads are a thing now. I don’t know why, they are just better!


  21. #
    Millie — June 2, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    Yes!!! Chopped salads for the win! Why have a massive piece of lettuce when you could have a nice lady like mouthful of everything?!
    I get you Jessica. totally on the same page.



  22. #
    Rebecca — June 2, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

    OMG yummmmm. Pinning this for later.
    It’s lettuce – it’s always healthy. ;)


  23. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 2, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

    The honey mustard vinaigrette sounds incredible and I love that there’s so much texture and so many veggies in here! Delish & pinned!


  24. #
    Dominique @ Eat, Pray, Lift — June 2, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

    I mean, your BLT chopped salad did pretty much steal the show at our Memorial Day bbq, AND honey dijon-anything is pretty much my spirit animal, so I’ll probably be making this sometime.
    …And by probably I mean definitely.
    …And by sometime I mean today.


  25. #
    alicia — June 2, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

    so many favorites in here. i wouldn’t know where to put my fork first!


  26. #
    Mandy — June 2, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

    This looks great. when our corn is in season I’ll give it a try. We cook our bacon on the BBQ. It comes out perfect and as a bonus seasons the grill for whatever you cook the next time. not sure if anyone else does this.


  27. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — June 2, 2014 @ 6:17 pm

    I could face plant that salad right now…looks delicious!


  28. #
    Sharona — June 2, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

    Just bought the ingredients, I am making this TONIGHT! Be still my heart — perfect salad!


  29. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — June 2, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

    RIGHT! You totally had me at BBQ. The charred croutons looks amazing (and I can’t believe I’m saying that about burnt bread!) and fennel seed… I share your thoughts on that one! ;)


  30. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — June 2, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

    THIS is a salad. I’ve never grilled green onions before, never even thought about grilling them before, but if you say they’re up there with grilled bread, then I must try them!


  31. #
    Molly @ Doughvelopment — June 2, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

    Trashy salads are the only way to go!
    There is actually a genetic mutation that causes some people to dislike cilantro because it tastes like soap! I fall in that boat! I just learned about this yesterday, what a coincidence!


  32. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — June 3, 2014 @ 12:27 am

    I love everything about this post. It’s all just so … perfect.


  33. #
    Samina | The Cupcake Confession — June 3, 2014 @ 4:16 am

    What’s a salad if you always have to curb your urges to eat carbs, deliciously grilled meat and chunky cubes of cheese??? I say, this is a real salad! It has veggies and as long as I’m getting my veggies, I consider it to be healthy haha!!!! I’m loving this salad! That vinaigrette is CALLING MY NAME! Here I come, you pretty bbq chicken salad with all that carby and cheesy goodness! <3


  34. #
    Medeja — June 3, 2014 @ 6:24 am

    What a great chicken salad! I am saving it :) thanks :)


  35. #
    Alyssa — June 3, 2014 @ 9:29 am

    grill the avocados. you will not regret it!


  36. #
    Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes — June 3, 2014 @ 10:12 am

    Yum! This salad is calling my name! Also, I would like to drink that vinaigrette!


  37. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onions — June 3, 2014 @ 10:55 am

    I see no reason to assume this salad is nothing but healthy, you put vegetables in it!


  38. #
    Mercedes — June 3, 2014 @ 11:23 am

    What a gorgeous and delicious looking salad! So perfect for summer!


  39. #
    Larry — June 3, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

    My favorite salad bar in town is this little mom and pop pizzeria and it’s totally because everything is CHOPPED! Chopped salads are scientifically proven to bring happiness to the masses. Fact.


  40. #
    Linda — June 3, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

    yum. adding to plan for the weekend since it can be prepped for the cabin. Thanks!


  41. #
    Suki F — June 3, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

    This looks really tasty. I have been searching for a similar recipe.


  42. #
    Keisha@MochBakerGirl — June 4, 2014 @ 6:59 am

    This is definetly going on the list. I am currently appraoching my second summer in liitle apartment in the crazy heat of Atlanta with no central air, so needless to say i am definetly looking for some recipes that dont require my oven as much. I love salads so this is right up my Alley!! Im totally investing in a George Foreman Grill like soo soon!


  43. #
    Melinda — June 4, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

    That salad is just amazing!! I need to re-create this asap :-)

    I am having a healthy living giveaway- $120 value organic detox kit- please stop by and enter! http://mylifebeingrenewed.blogspot.com/2014/05/raw-green-organics-2-week-detox-system.html


  44. #
    Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs — June 4, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

    Oh, this salad is PERFECT for the summertime! Can’t wait to devour it soon…


  45. #
    ATasteOfMadness — June 4, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

    Haha..if you didn’t tell me, I would totally think that was a whole bunch of butter cubes in there :p This looks so good though!


  46. #
    Egle — June 5, 2014 @ 2:40 am

    thank you for idea, looks great :)


  47. #
    Ali Burtt — June 9, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

    That salad was AWESOME! We loved it. All except for the dressing, which we skipped because it came out way too vinegary for us. What brand of balsamic do you use? All I had was white balsamic and that was clearly a bad substitution. It was fine though. We tasted it before putting it on the salad and didn’t like it so just used Ranch instead, which was delicious.


  48. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — June 14, 2014 @ 6:08 am

    This is my kind of salad. Still healthier than a big steak and cake.


  49. #
    Marcie — June 16, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

    I rarely feel moved to comment on a blog, but this was an amazing Sunday night dinner. All of my favorite summer things in one bowl. I have never seen golden balsamic (giant eagle doesn’t have it!) but we used regular balsamic and the dressing was great.

    My husband grilled while I prepped and chopped. I feel this would have been very time and labor intensive for one person doing all the work, especially on a weeknight. We had leftovers tonight – we kept the croutons separate so everything was still really tasty. It was a great dish and we will definitely be making it again.


  50. #
    Tara — June 17, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    I tried this salad last night…..It was probably the best salad I have ever made!! It was AWESOME!!!



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