6 BBQ Chicken Salad Recipes That Will Make You Crave Greens

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With the growing popularity of Erewhon, you would think that everyone’s jumping on the healthy eating bandwagon. But to this day, not everyone is ready to embrace a big bowl of greens.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I used to be pretty skeptical about salads, but then I tried one recipe, and it completely changed my mind. 

If you’re still tiptoeing around salads or are making excuses about why you can’t eat them… this ends now — because I’ll show you just how good salads can be. 

1. Southwestern BBQ Chicken Salad

One of the main reasons why people don’t like eating salads is because they think they lack taste. Well, that’s not the case with this Southwestern BBQ chicken salad.

For starters, grab the ingredients of your salad.

This includes four cups of chopped grilled chicken, a third cup of BBQ sauce, four cups of torn lettuce, two cups of corn kernels, and three-fourths cup of sliced red onion.

On top of those, get two cups of halved cherry tomatoes and shredded kohlrabi, one sliced avocado, half a cup of roughly chopped cilantro, and a pack of crispy tortilla strips. 

Now, for your dressing, you’ll need three tablespoons of store-bought BBQ sauce, three tablespoons of Greek yogurt (plain or 0% fat), two tablespoons of lime juice, and a tablespoon of olive oil and brown sugar.

Now, get a mason jar and combine all the ingredients for your salad dressing. Then, close the lid, shake it well, and set it aside for now. 

Moving on to your salad, get a bowl and combine your grilled chicken with your BBQ sauce to marinate for a few minutes.

In the meantime, grab another bowl and toss in your lettuce, kohlrabi, onion, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Drizzle your dressing and stir everything together. 

Place a mound of shredded chicken on top and sprinkle with your crispy tortilla strips, before digging in.

I promise that every bite is packed full of flavor — from the BBQ grilled chicken to the cilantro, tomatoes, and everything in between.

2. Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Salad

Another issue people have with salads is that some look way better than they taste. This is what I like to call false advertising (or catfishing). Luckily, that’s not the case with this Hawaiian BBQ chicken salad.

This is a colorful and picture-worthy dish that’s loaded with tropical flavors. Think healthy greens, marinated BBQ chicken, and coconut rice with a tasty cilantro lime dressing. What more can you ask for?

If you want to give this recipe a shot, first you’ll need to grab the ingredients for your chicken marinade.

These include a cup of coconut milk, half a cup of pineapple juice (fresh or canned is fine), three tablespoons of brown sugar, two tablespoons of ketchup or tomato sauce, and three tablespoons of soy sauce.

To this, add the juice and zest of one lime, two minced garlic cloves, half a teaspoon of cumin, paprika, and onion powder, a teaspoon of ginger powder and cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt. 

Then, for the chicken and salad, you’ll need half a tablespoon of olive oil, one large chicken breast (cut horizontally), half a cup of corn, and a three-fourths cup of pineapple pieces (from the can).

You’ll also need four to six cups of chopped lettuce, half an avocado (cut into wedges), half a red onion (sliced), half a cup of cherry tomatoes (halved), a small carrot (grated or finely shredded), and a cup of rice.

I know the ingredients are a mouthful, but we’re almost at the finish line.

Moving on to the dressing, you’ll need one and a half tablespoons of lime juice, and two and a half tablespoons of olive oil. 

To add flavor to your dressing, you’ll need two tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, half a minced garlic clove, half a teaspoon of honey, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and a bit of black pepper. 

Once you have all the essentials, start by making your marinade by mixing all the ingredients and letting your chicken soak in the tropical goodness for three hours. 

Next, make your salad dressing by shaking all the ingredients in a jar before setting it aside for at least 15 minutes. 

After the three-hour marinating period, take your chicken out and grill it for three minutes per side. You’ll know it’s fully cooked when the color changes to a beautiful golden brown. 

Now, remove your chicken from the heat. Using the same grill, sear your pineapple pieces until they get nice grill marks. 

Finally, put everything together by piling your chicken and pineapple slices on top of your rice and salad. Drizzle your dressing over the top and mix well. 

Not only does this dish look good, but — more importantly — it tastes good too! 

3. BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad

I know that some people don’t like salads because the time and effort it takes to prepare a salad can be more tedious than other recipes. But, that’s not always true. 

There are salad recipes out there that take minimal time and effort while still giving you maximum flavor, and this BBQ chicken spinach salad fits the bill.

It only takes 15 minutes to do. So, if you have at least that much time on your hands, I suggest you give this recipe a try. 

To begin, grab the ingredients for your dressing, which include half a cup of olive oil and red wine vinegar, a quarter cup of finely chopped onions, and a teaspoon of parsley, garlic, thyme, and basil.

For the salad itself, grab a pound of your grilled chicken breast, two bunches of cleaned and stemmed spinach, a quarter cup of sliced olives, 24 halved cherry tomatoes, and 4 oz. of crumbled feta cheese.

The instructions are pretty simple. All you have to do is mix all the dressing ingredients in a bottle and set aside. Then, arrange your salad before drizzling your dressing on top. 

That’s all it takes to make a delicious and highly nutritious salad that you can eat as a side dish or a main meal. 

Note: I like to refrigerate my salad dressing overnight to really get the best flavor. But if you can’t make the dressing ahead of time, setting it aside for a few minutes is totally fine. 

4. Grilled Peach and BBQ Chicken Salad

Maybe you’re not a fan of salads because you think there is only a limited variety. Maybe you’re only familiar with Caesar salad or Cobb salad. But there are so many more flavors you can find.

Some of them may even surprise you — like this grilled peach and BBQ chicken salad. 

With this recipe, you get the sweetness from the juicy pears, blueberries, and honey mustard dressing, but you also get hints of savory flavor from the BBQ chicken.

To make this dish, get a pound of boneless chicken breast, six cups of baby spinach, two halved peaches, a teaspoon of grape seed oil (or avocado oil), and half a cup of blueberries.

You’ll also need a quarter cup of sliced red onion and halved pecans, an ounce of crumbled goat cheese, basil for garnish, and some salt and pepper to taste.

To make your honey mustard dressing, you’ll need a tablespoon of ground mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

First of all, season your chicken with salt and pepper. Then, throw it on a hot grill and let it cook for about 14 minutes, turning halfway through.

While the chicken is grilling, brush some grape seed oil (or avocado oil) onto your peach slices before putting them on the grill for three minutes max.

When the peaches and chicken are done, remove them from the grill and set them aside.

Meanwhile, mix your dressing in a small bowl or jar. Combine your ground mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper, and either whisk or shake the mixture.

Now, put everything together by tossing your spinach, blueberries, red onion, goat cheese, and pecans in a bowl. Cut your grilled chicken and peaches into slices, then place them on top.

Drizzle the entire dish with your homemade dressing, and you’re done. Easy as pie, right? 

5. Asian BBQ Chicken Salad

Not everyone can appreciate the taste and texture of greens, I get that. So, what if I share with you a salad recipe that can mask the taste of the veggies like they weren’t even there? 

Enter the Asian BBQ chicken salad.

If you want to make this salad, here’s what you’ll need:

Four chicken breasts without bones (cut in half), eight cups of romaine lettuce (chopped up), six quartered tomatoes, a tablespoon of sesame seeds, and some croutons.

To make the chicken BBQ sauce, you’ll need a third cup of hoisin sauce, a quarter cup of olive oil, a tablespoon of honey and soy sauce, and a teaspoon of ginger chopped up.

You’ll also need one minced garlic clove and a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional).

For your poppyseed dressing, you’ll need a quarter cup of sugar, rice vinegar, chopped onion, a three-fourths teaspoon of mustard powder, half a cup of canola oil, and one and a half teaspoons of poppy seeds.

I know that there are a lot of elements in this salad recipe but bear with me. It’ll all be worth it once you give this a taste. 

So, start by making your dressing by whisking the necessary ingredients and setting them aside.

Next, make your BBQ sauce. For this step, just mix all the sauce components together and toss your chicken breasts to coat. Let them marinate for two hours, before grilling per usual.

While your chicken is on the grill, brush some of your BBQ sauce on top to really let the meat absorb the flavors. Then, transfer it to a cutting board and slice it into strips. 

Once your chicken and dressing are done, put all the ingredients of your salad in a big bowl. Toss your chicken on top and drizzle with some of your poppyseed dressing. 

Believe me, when you eat a forkful of this dish, you won’t even realize that you’re eating a salad — and it’s all thanks to the strong Asian flavors. 

6. Kale and Quinoa BBQ Chicken Salad

Aside from not liking the taste of greens, other people purposefully avoid salads because they have digestive issues. For them, raw vegetables can cause bloating or discomfort, which is a big no-no.

So, one solution is to switch the typical salad greens (like cabbage and lettuce) with kale and cooked quinoa. 

These alternative ingredients contain high amounts of grain and fiber which can help remove the toxins from their body and relieve constipation. 

And if you’re in the same boat and have digestive problems too, here’s a kale and quinoa BBQ recipe you can try. 

You’ll need a tablespoon of olive oil, half a sweet onion (chopped), two to three handfuls of chopped kale, one cup of cooked quinoa, a cup of shredded, grilled chicken, and two tablespoons of BBQ sauce. 

Since we don’t want any raw vegetables in this dish to upset your stomach, we’re cooking everything on a skillet — starting with your onions. 

Then, season your kale with some salt and pepper before sautéing it with your onions for another four to five minutes.

After the timer’s up, add your cooked quinoa and stir fry for a minute or two before adding your shredded grilled chicken. Now get your BBQ sauce and pour it on top before blending everything together. 

Don’t take a bite just yet. Let your salad cool down for a few minutes. 

When it’s no longer burning hot, feel free to eat spoonfuls of this dish without having to worry about stomach problems!

No More Boring Salads for You!

No matter what your reasons are for abstaining from salads, I want you to put those aside and give them another shot!

If these recipes will teach you anything, it’s that salads are far from boring. On the contrary, they can be fun, full of life, and bursting with flavor — while still being incredibly good for you. 

All you have to do is find the recipe that suits your taste and recreate it at home. 

And if there are some ingredients you don’t agree with, just skip them or replace them with something you like.

Don’t like tomatoes? Replace them with red bell peppers or olives. Don’t feel like munching on lettuce? Use kale and quinoa instead. You’re in complete control here, so don’t be afraid to give salads a try.

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