I love a big entree salad and our Loaded BBQ Chicken Salad is a sure favorite! I love that this salad is packed with so many fresh ingredients and how filling it is too. There are so many delicious flavors and texture going on, but it’s still incredibly easy to make. This salad can feed a crowd, but can easily be scaled up or down.
How to make our Loaded BBQ Chicken Salad
- In a hot skillet cook seasoned boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Chop cooked thighs and toss in bbq sauce, then set aside.
- Place all dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together until fully combined.
- Toss together cabbage and romaine and spread onto a large platter.
- Arrange black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onions, and jicama over greens.
- Top salad with bbq chicken and sliced green onions.
- Serve with dressing on side.
How to make our BBQ Yogurt Ranch Dressing
How to make the BBQ Chicken
A entree salad is basically a giant salad that has a variety of ingredients and almost always has a protein. There is no one kind of entree salad, as there are endless variations with endless ingredients that can be used based on preference.
Jicama (also called, yam bean, Mexican turnip or Mexican Potato) is a root vegetable native to Mexico. It’s most commonly eaten peeled and raw with a flavor that’s a cross between a potato, carrot and apple. It’s light, crunchy and very mildly sweet and perfectly adds texture to dishes like salads.
The dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, until ready to use.
The chicken can be cooked, chopped and tossed in bbq sauce up to 2 days ahead of time.
The salad itself can be built on a platter or in a large bowl 1 day ahead of time, tightly covered in plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. If building the salad ahead of time the bbq chicken and dressing should be added right before serving to avoid the salad getting soggy.
Variations and Substitutions
There are indefinite ways to make this entree salad, but a few variations we like from this version is:
- adding chopped apples in place of the jicama
- finely dicing cauliflower and tossing it in a little oil and salt for a healthier option to replace the corn
- adding a little bit of crumbled queso fresco for a salty bite
- adding diced avocados in place of or in addition to the black beans for a fresh and creamy texture
- replacing the chicken for some flaked salmon
- some seared and diced tofu or roasted chickpeas also works great to replace the chicken for a vegetarian option
I love this huge salad anytime of the year, but it’s particularly satisfying during the summer. If you love our Loaded BBQ Chicken Salad you’re sure to love some of our other giant, crowd pleasing salads, like our Loaded Cold Beef Salad, our Coconut Shrimp Summer Salad and our Southwest Style Cobb Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing!
Loaded BBQ Chicken Salad
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup prepared bbq sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
bbq-yogurt ranch dressing
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced chives
- 2 tbsp minced parsley
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup prepared bbq sauce
- 1 romaine heart, shredded
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 fresh corn on cobb, charred under broiler and kernels removed (cobbs discarded)
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1/2 jicama, peeled and diced
- 2 green onions, sliced on bias
- Place large skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot add oil.
- Generously season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Sear thighs for 3 to 4 minutes. Lower heat to medium and flip thighs. Continue to cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes or until thighs have just cooked through.
- Transfer thighs to a cutting board and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add bbq sauce andtoss together until well coated. Set aside.
- Place all dressing ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Combine romaine and cabbage together in a large bowl and toss together. Transfer mixture to a platter.
- Top greens with black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onion, jicama, and bbq chicken.
- Sprinkle salad with sliced green onion. Serve with dressing.
- The dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, until ready to use.
- The chicken can be cooked, chopped and tossed in bbq sauce up to 2 days ahead of time.
- The salad itself can be built on a platter or in a large bowl 1 day ahead of time, tightly covered in plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. If building the salad ahead of time the bbq chicken and dressing should be added right before serving to avoid the salad getting soggy.