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Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad – The Real Food Dietitians


A satisfying salad made with tender chicken, smoked almonds, juicy grape tomatoes, sweet corn kernels, curly kale, and onion all toasted together with mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad is a tasty way to use up leftover grilled chicken and perfect for lunches whether it’s served over a bed of greens, as a sandwich or in your favorite tortilla.

This post was created in partnership with Primal Kitchen

Make this Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad – say goodbye to boring lunches

A veggie-filled, real food diet doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, on this blog we give proof that a veggie-filled, real food diet is the exact opposite. It’s full of flavor, satisfying, healthy, and delicious. It’s our mission to share recipes that are nourishing, approachable, flavorful and fit all types of dietary preferences.

This Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad makes for a tasty lunch and is a great way to use up leftover chicken. In addition, this recipe is meal prep friendly and perfect for making on the weekend to enjoy throughout the earlier part of the week. We like to serve it over a bed of greens but it can also be served as a sandwich or wrapped in your favorite tortilla.

Ingredients of BBQ Chicken Salad in a clear mixing bowl.

BBQ Chicken Salad Ingredients

  • Cooked chicken (diced or shredded) – leftover grilled chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken works great in this recipe. Butcher Box is our go-to when it comes quality meats.
  • Curly kale – feel free to substitute chopped baby spinach
  • Grape tomatoes 
  • Red onion
  • Green onion – thinly sliced, white and light green parts
  • Sweet corn kernels – fresh, frozen or canned. While this is optional, we like to roast the corn before adding to the salad for extra flavor and a little bit of crunch.
  • Dry roasted almonds or smoked almonds – adds a salty, crunchy texture. For nut-free, use dry roasted sunflower seeds.
  • Mayo – our favorite is Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil. It’s made with only real food ingredients and a staple in our kitchens. For egg-free use a vegan mayo.
  • BBQ sauce – any BBQ sauce will work but if you’re looking for an option that’s made with real food ingredients and no added sugar (which can be hard to find), we recommend Primal Kitchen’s BBQ sauces which comes in several different flavors that we know you’ll love.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional for serving: green parts of green onion, extra almonds, small cheese cubes or shredded cheese (omit for dairy-free), quartered or halved grape tomatoes and lime wedges.

Confused about poultry labeling? Check this post out to learn all about how to choose the best chicken in the grocery store. 

Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad in a glass mixing bowl.

How to make this BBQ Chicken Salad recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  2. Store salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Roast the corn to add more flavor.

This is optional but we like the flavor and little bit of extra crunch that it adds to the salad. 

How to roast corn: Set oven to 425℉. Place corn on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-20 minutes until corn is roasted to your liking, tossing halfway through.

How to serve Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad

As mentioned above there are several ways you can serve our Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad. Here are our favorite ways to serve this veggie-filled salad that’s complete with quality protein and healthy fats:

  • On a bed of greens topped with sliced green onion, extra almonds and lime wedge. We also like to add cubed cheddar cheese which you can omit for dairy-free.
  • As a sandwich along with a lettuce leaf and sliced avocado.
  • Tucked into a lettuce wrap with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. We also like to add shredded cheddar cheese which you can omit that for dairy-free.
  • Wrapped in a tortilla with a squeeze of lime juice. We also like to add a lettuce leaf, shredded cheddar cheese (omit that for dairy-free) and sliced avocado to the wrap.
  • Topped on crackers which makes for an ever-so tasty and satisfying snack.

Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad on a white plate served over a bed of greens.

The dressing is made with just two simple ingredients

Primal Kitchen’s Classic BBQ Sauce and Primal Kitchen Mayo made with Avocado Oil is what makes this BBQ Chicken Salad so creamy and flavorful. We love that Primal Kitchen products are made with real food ingredients and are created with quality and health in mind.

The mayo is what started it all. It’s made with avocado oil and organic eggs for a taste that’s uncompromisingly delicious!

Primal Kitchen’s Classic BBQ Sauce is organic, unsweetened, and ready to spread onto savory dishes with bold, smoky flavor. This pantry standby can be used to marinate meats, top up burgers, or as a delicious dunk for sweet potato fries.

For an incredible deal on our favorite Primal Kitchen Foods products, click here.

Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad on a white plate served over a bed of greens.

Other creamy chicken salads to try

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Creamy BBQ Chicken Salad

A satisfying salad made with tender chicken, smoked almonds, juicy grape tomatoes, sweet corn kernels, curly kale, and onion all toasted together with mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. A great way to use up leftover chicken!

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • ¾ cup loosely packed curly kale, chopped
  • ½ cup halved or quartered grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fine diced red onion
  • 2 green onion, thinly sliced, white and light green parts
  • ⅔ cup fresh, frozen or canned corn (for roasting see notes below)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dry roasted almond or smoked almonds
  • ⅓ cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional for serving: top with green parts of green onion, extra almonds, small cheese cubes or shredded cheese (omit for dairy-free) and quartered or halved grape tomatoes. Serve with a lime wedge. 

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  2. Serve chicken salad over a bed of greens, in a lettuce leaf, wrapped in a tortilla or on top of gluten-free crackers.
  3. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

Optional step: Roast the corn. Set oven to 425℉. Place corn on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with 1-2 tsp of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-20 minutes until corn is roasted to your liking, tossing half way through.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: about 1 cup or 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 310
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 300 mg
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 27 g

Pin it Now, Make it Later


This post was made possible by our friends at Primal Kitchen. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.





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