when i was younger—unmarried and without a child—i would meet with friends after work for dinner and drinks. one of the places we went frequently was california pizza kitchen, and i always ordered the same thing: the bbq chicken chopped salad and a tiny bottle of pommery pop champagne (which is served with a straw, much to my delight). i love this salad, and still get it if i find myself in this particular restaurant. over time i devised a ‘fast food at home’ approach to recreating it. i’m not saying it’s the same as the original, but it’s really good nonetheless.this recipe is dead simple and really quick for weeknight preparation. i started making it while hubby was giving the baby a bottle before bed, and it was ready when he was finished (so, 12-15 minutes total).
bbq chicken chopped salad
- 1/2 a rotisserie chicken, sliced or shredded into large chunks
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 can corn, rinsed
- 2 large avocados, sliced
- 1/2 to 1 cup of cheese
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, cut into ‘ribbons’
- ranch dressing
- bbq sauce (we use sweet baby rays because, well, it’s the best)
place the chopped lettuce into a large bowl and drizzle on ranch dressing and about 1/3 that amount of bbq sauce (so if you used 1 cup of dressing—which would be terrible—you would do 1/3 cup of bbq sauce). the amount is up to you, only you know your preference for dressing application. i’m a light dresser, but my husband prefers a heavier coat. just keep in mind that you will be adding more to the top of the salad, so don’t overdo it. toss the lettuce in the dressing and sauce and set aside.
rinse and drain the beans and corn, and set aside. slice the avocado and chicken, and set aside.
to assemble: place the dressed lettuce and then add the avocado, corn and beans, cheese, and a large pile of chicken. top with a drizzle of ranch and a drizzle of bbq sauce. enjoy!
notes: this would be amazing with fresh corn that has been grilled. also, you could omit the cheese (with the avocado you don’t really need it) and the chicken (the beans provide a lot of protein) to make this lighter and/or vegetarian.