Summer BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad.
This is the best BBQ chicken chopped salad! Juicy grilled chicken, grilled sweet corn, black beans, cheddar and more come together to create the ultimate flavor bomb. Finish it off with a honey mustard vinaigrette and this is the perfect weeknight meal!
There’s just something about a BBQ chicken salad.
And when I say “BBQ,” I really just mean any sort of chicken salad with barbecue sauce. You know? It’s just so sweet, savory and tangy. It has all the elements!
This summer BBQ chicken chopped salad is chock-full of all the good stuff. Grilled corn, pickled onions, ripe cherry tomatoes, green onions, black beans, freshly grated cheddar and juicy grilled chicken tossed in BBQ sauce.
But! The best part may be the honey mustard vinaigrette. I will never get over just how delicious it is.
I’ve rambled on and on about how chopped salads are the best salads. There is just nothing better. They are easier to eat and you get a bite of everything in one spoonful. You can add pretty much anything you love and it works in the chopped salad.
And then there is the whole tortilla chip situation. Meaning that you can actually use the tortilla chip to SCOOP UP the salad. It’s like salad salsa. And one of the best ways to enjoy said chopped salad. Sure, you could crush the tortilla chips and throw them on top.
But using big chips to scoop up the salad? That I can get behind. That is a dinner I will look forward to.
This isn’t the first time I’ve shared a BBQ chicken chopped salad. But this one is a bolder, 2023 version. I skip the croutons – of course, add them if you like. If you haven’t noticed, I’d rather be elbow deep in the bag of tortilla chips.
This is how I make this BBQ chopped chicken salad.
First, the chicken. I season it with a little BBQ spice rub that I’ve used for years. Salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and a pinch of brown sugar. This is divine. Then I grill it and brush with BBQ sauce. Use whatever kind you love! I mostly use Stubbs sweet and sticky sauce.
The base is romaine and butter lettuce, because those are my preferred salad greens. Again, use your favorites here.
Toppings are everything. I like pickled onions, which I always have in my fridge. In the summer, I like a mix of green onions and chives too. I even grabbed a few chive blossoms from my garden which are blooming again right now. They are so pretty.
Beans are a must in my chopped salads. I like black beans here for the BBQ-ish feel. I also really love pinto beans in this salad too.
Grilled corn! I throw some ears of corn directly on the grill while the chicken cooks. Slice the corn from the cob and onto the salad it goes. Nothing better in summer than sweet corn.
Cherry tomatoes, because they are perfect right now.
And freshly grated cheddar. It’s my favorite cheese to use with chicken and BBQ sauce. But feta, goat cheese or even parmesan would work here too.
Then the dressing! Years ago I created this honey mustard vinaigrette because I love mustard, but I don’t care for creamy bottled dressings or thicker honey mustard on salad. Hence, the honey mustard vinaigrette was born. This may be my all-time favorite dressing because it is so versatile, tangy and perfect.
Now isn’t this just a lovely little meal?!
Summer BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
Summer BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 ears sweet corn
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed, if canned
- 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- ⅔ cup grated white cheddar cheese
- ½ cup pickled onions
- ⅓ cup sliced green onions
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- Preheat your grill to the highest setting.
- Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, garlic powder and brown sugar. Sprinkle it all over the chicken too.
- Place the chicken on the grill. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Place the corn on the grill too, turning it every few minutes. When the chicken is close to being down, brush it with BBQ sauce. Flip it over and grill for 30 seconds, then brush again and flip. I do this a few times to get it very coated and caramely.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice the corn from the cob once cool enough.
- To assemble the salad, place all the chopped lettuce in a bowl. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper and toss. Add on the beans, tomatoes, cheddar, pickled onions, green onions and chives. Add on the corn sliced from the cob. Chop up the chicken and add it on.
- Drizzle with the dressing and serve!
honey mustard vinaigrette
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or so.
So much crunch!