BBQ Chicken Salad – Green lettuce is topped with BBQ chicken, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, pickled red onions, and mozzarella cheese. It’s finished with a combo of ranch dressing and sweet BBQ sauce and tossed all together for one of the best salads you’ll ever have.
All salads are not created equal. To be good, a salad needs to have a mixture of flavors and textures and the right amount of dressing.
Today’s recipe has all that and more. It’s for my BBQ Chicken Salad and I could eat this salad everyday. The mixture of BBQ sauce, hearty black beans, juicy tomatoes, and crispy lettuce is just what I need when I’m looking for something refreshing, yet filling.
Here is my recipe for this incredible BBQ Chicken Salad!
Great use for leftover chicken!
I love making this salad when I have leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken sitting in the fridge. I just chop it up and toss it in my favorite BBQ dressing.
Pickling the onions
The only big step in making this salad is pickling the onions. But don’t freak out – it’s super easy! First, you blanche the onions to take away a little of their harsh bite. Then, they’re shaken in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, garlic, and salt. Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes and then they’re ready!
Tossing the salad
Once the onions are ready, all the ingredients are added to a shallow bowl. I like using a shallow bowl because it helps get a good view of the salad and all the ingredients. That way you can get a great forkful of all the ingredients!
Next, a little more BBQ sauce and some ranch dressing are drizzled over the top of the salad. Now it’s time to grab a fork and dive in!
Tips & Tricks
- Pickling the onions. Do not skip this ingredient! This is such an easy process and adds sooo much flavor to the salad. Each bite of pickled onion is a little ZING to your taste buds.
- Easy on the dressing. Don’t go too crazy on the dressing. You don’t want to make the salad all soggy.
BBQ Chicken Salad
- 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- ⅓ cup shredded chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons sweet BBQ sauce divided
- ¼ cup black beans rinsed
- 2 tablespoons pickled red onions (recipe below)
- ¼ cup cooked corn kernels
- ¼ cup diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
For the pickled red onions:
- 5 ounces red onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic halved
For the pickled onions:
- First, prepare the pickled onions. Set 3 cups of water to boil. Thinly slice onions and place in a mesh sieve. Set aside. Add vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic to a glass jar. Place lid on jar and shake to dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside.
- Once water has reached boil point, hold sieve with onions over the sink and pour water over them VERY CAREFULLY. This will blanche the onions and take away some of their harsh bite. Once they've drained, add to the jar with the vinegar mixture. If some of the onions are still exposed, add a little water to submerge them. Shake to mix together and then place in fridge for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, work on the rest of the salad.
For the salad:
- Place lettuce in a shallow bowl. Top with corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Once pickled onions have pickled for 30 minutes, add to salad, as well.
- Add 1 tablespoons of BBQ sauce to the shredded chicken. Place on top of salad. drizzle salad with the rest of the BBQ sauce and ranch dressing. Serve immediately.