Oh hi, back with another salad recipe for ya’!
Especially now that I know Ben likes Caesar Salads. For FIVE YEARS I have avoided making Caesar Salads (well make = buying the Dole salad kits) because he hates creamy foods. Mayo, yogurt, pudding, creamy dips – you get it. That said, imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago he dropped the bomb that Caesar Salads are, apparently, one of his favorite things in life. Huh? The same Caesar Salad that usually comes drowning in a thick and creamy dressing? Loves ‘em. Riddle me that?
Anyway, it’s actually good news because now I can just buy the kit then add grilled chicken and chopped tomatoes on top and call it dinner. Hallelujah!
I don’t know why I’m telling you all this besides the fact that I have a must-try salad recipe for you: BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad. Creamy dressing optional. You’ll see. : )
BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad combines crunchy romaine lettuce with BBQ chicken, grilled corn, black beans, fresh tomatoes and crunchy red onions, all chopped to the same size then tossed in light ranch and bbq sauce – or your favorite dressing. I tell you what, lately I can’t get enough chopped salads. I love how fresh, quick, and easy they are. The epitome of healthy, summer eating.
Oh! There’s crushed tortilla chips in there too. Can’t forget about those babies! Every BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad must have a handful of crushed tortilla chips, in my opinion. Salty and crunchy, they add a little bit of decadence to this fresh entree salad. Must try.
Start by brushing 2 chicken breasts that have been pounded thin with extra virgin olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes a side over medium-high heat, brushing the grilled side with BBQ sauce after flipping once. Put the lid down then let the BBQ sauce sizzle and caramelize as the second side cooks. Mmm. : )
Pop 2 ears sweet corn on the grill next door then rotate occasionally until all sides are evenly charred.
Pull the chicken and corn off the grill, let cool slightly, then chop the chicken and slice the kernels off the corn and set aside.
Next get the rest of the chopped salad ingredients ready, starting with the salad base - romaine lettuce. For 4 people you’ll want 2-10oz bags of chopped romaine lettuce (I used Dole.)
Place the lettuce into a huge bowl (might want to do this in a few batches,) then use a pizza cutter to chop it up into small, bite-sized pieces. I learned this trick from a chopped salad restaurant in Minneapolis a million years ago and it’s basically my favorite. Cuts down on all those face-whipping pieces of lettuce in a salad. The worst!
To the chopped lettuce add 2 chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, 1/2 small chopped red onion,
1 cup black beans, and the kernels from the grilled corn.
Finally, add a big handful of crushed tortilla chips (however many you want) and 1/2 cup each shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. These two ingredients are my secret salad weapons. The chips add an awesome, unexpected crunch, and the mixture of cheeses is just right. Love me some creamy Monterey Jack!
Add the chopped chicken then, using a pair of tongs, toss the salad ingredients together.
I like to dress my salad with a mixture of light ranch and BBQ sauce, but use whatever your heart desires. Dress then toss again to combine, plate, and serve!
BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
2 ears sweet corn
2-10oz bags chopped romaine lettuce
2 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 cup black beans
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
crushed tortilla chips
Light ranch dressing
- Brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side, brushing grilled side with BBQ sauce after flipping once. Grill ears of corn, rotating occasionally, until evenly charred. Remove chicken and corn, let cool slightly, then chop chicken and slice corn kernels off cob and set aside.
- In a very large bowl add lettuce (may need to do this in a couple batches.) Use a pizza cutter to evenly chop lettuce into small pieces then toss with tomatoes, black beans, red onion, cheeses, tortilla chips, chicken, and corn. Drizzle with light ranch dressing and bbq sauce (or your favorite dressing) then toss and serve immediately.
Chopped salads are seriously where it’s at. Each forkful’s got a taste of every ingredient from sweet and smokey corn, to spicy red onion, fresh tomato, and sassy bbq chicken. Enjoy!