Soups & Salads | August 16, 2018

BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

If you like a chopped bbq chicken salad from restaurants like CPK or Panera, you are going to love this easy and fast recipe. There is no cooking involved, and this meal can be thrown together in about 15 minutes.  So skip the restaurant and stay in.
bbq chicken salad cpk in a white bowl with a red striped napkin and wooden utensils

Copy Cat CPK BBQ Chicken Salad

During my college years a dear friend of mine introduced me to the BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad while we were dining at California Pizza Kitchen.  I was instantly addicted! Time and time again I went back for this delicious meal.  I tried them at numerous restaurants – Ruby’s, Islands, and BJs – but the CPK has remained my favorite.  I still eat it to this day when we dine at CPK.
bbq chicken salad cpk ingredients

An Easy – No Cook Meal

When I was first married and learning to cook, I would re-create this tasty salad at homeIt has been a favorite meal at our house for years and years and years.  There is no cooking involved – just chopping and tossing.  

All you need is:

  • iceberg lettuce
  • black beans
  • corn
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • cooked chicken
  • bbq sauce
  • ranch dressing
  • chives or green onions
  • tortilla strips

bbq chicken salad cpk in a white bowl with a red striped napkin and wooden utensils

How To Chop Lettuce

This recipe is a chopped salad – which I much prefer to eating a regular salad.  In a chopped salad all of the ingredients are cut to the same size for easier eating and better dressing distribution.

bbq chicken salad cpk - How to chop lettuce steps 1-3

For this bbq chicken salad I like to use iceberg lettuce.  Let me show you how to chop it.

1. First – remove the outter leafs of lettuce – usually about 2 or 3.

2. Second – remove the core by pressing the head of lettuce firmly against your cutting board.  It should break right off.

3. Third – Discard the core.

bbq chicken salad cpk - How to chop lettuce steps 3-6

4. Fourth – Half head of lettuce, and slice half into 1/2 inch slices.

5. Fifth – Rotate head, and slice across into half inch slices.

6. Sixth – Repeat of second half of lettuce head. This produces half inch piece of lettuce.

bbq chicken salad cpk herb dressing in a blender jar

Herb Ranch Dressing

One of my favorite parts of this salad is the easy homemade dressing.  Throw these ingredients in your blender and you will have the yummiest ranch you’ve ever eaten:
  • sour cream
  • mayo
  • milk
  • white vinegar
  • dehydrated onion
  • dehydrated garlic
  • dill
  • parsley
  • chives
  • salt
  • pepper

Pro Tip: Use the dressing mode on your Blendtec blender for a perfect dressing consistency.

bbq chicken salad cpk in a white bowl with a red striped napkin and wooden utensils

Use Pre-cooked Chicken

Pro Tip: One of my favorite hacks for salads is using precooked chicken.  I’m partial to rotisserie chicken, but predrilled chicken works great!  All you have to do is toss your chicken in your favorite bbq sauce and you’re good to go!
bbq chicken salad cpk in a white bowl with a red striped napkin and wooden utensils

Keep In Touch

Please let me know if you make this delicious salad!  I love to hear from those who make my recipes.  If you want to keep up with our newest recipes, make sure you follow is on Facebook and Instagram, and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

5 from 2 votes
bbq chicken salad cpk in a white bowl
BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

A copycat for the BBQ Chicken chopped salad from CPK and Panera.

Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq chicken salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 736 kcal
Author: Kadee
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 8 oz can of corn drained
  • 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed, use about half
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 2 tbsp basil minced
  • 2 cups precooked chicken cubed or shredded
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 large roma tomato diced
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
  • 1 cup herb ranch dressing recipe below
Herb Ranch Dressing
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dehydrated onion
  • 1/2 tsp dehydration garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh chived minced
  • pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  1. Combined lettuce, corn, beans, cheese, avocado, and basil. Toss together with ranch dressing. Transfer to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with tortilla chips.
  2. Combine chicken and BBQ sauce. Place atop salad. Drizzle with extra BBQ sauce. 

  3. Serve Immediately.

Herb Ranch Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.

  2. Blend until smooth.

Recipe Notes

PRESSURE COOKER: Place 2-3 chicken breasts with BBQ sauce in pressure cooker. Select poultry and cook frozen breasts for 10 minutes natural release and 5 minutes if thawed. Shred with forks and serve with salad.

Nutrition Facts
BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 736 Calories from Fat 468
% Daily Value*
Fat 52g80%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 1212mg53%
Potassium 718mg21%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 1455IU29%
Vitamin C 12.4mg15%
Calcium 230mg23%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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