This Copycat Panera Bread BBQ Chicken Salad recipe is a delicious lunch or dinner. Chopped lettuce, tender grilled chicken, roasted corn salsa, tomatoes and crispy french fried onions round out this salad with tangy BBQ sauce and BBQ Ranch dressing drizzled over the top. It’s as healthy as it is tasty and so quick and easy that it practically begs you to make it for a simple weeknight dinner!
My family and I are unapologetic frequent fliers at Panera Bread. I am not the least bit sorry about it.
I mean what’s not to like? Their food is fresh and delicious. I especially love their breakfast options (I’m looking at you, Spinach and Artichoke Souffle!). But I’ll happily eat there for every meal of the day!
This is interesting to me, because J rarely orders a salad. He’s more of a burger/chicken finger/pizza/pasta kind of dude. So basically he likes the kids menu.
One day I was putting together my meal plan for the week and trying to figure out what to make with some boneless chicken breasts I had hanging out in our freezer.
J casually mentioned recreating his favorite salad from Panera Bread and I agree, since it sounded tasty. This turned out to be an excellent and simple dinner, one that we continue to make. It’s now mainstay in our rotation.
Crisp green lettuce and grilled BBQ chicken anchor this salad. Wednesday’s Roasted Corn Salsa adds some additional veggie goodness, tomatoes (my own personal addition) add the sweet and tasty acidity that only a tomato can.
French fried onions add all the crunch that you usually find with frizzled onions without all the work! this is all rounded out by a drizzle of our favorite BBQ sauce and of course some BBQ Ranch dressing.
This salad is a refreshing bowl of happiness. But it’s also hearty enough to be a satisfying meal. Even better, you can prep everything ahead and throw it together at the last minute. So it pretty much has weeknight dinner written all over it!
Give it a try and I think you’ll see why this salad has become a happy mainstay in our family’s meal rotation!
Other light and simple meal options include:
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- Lettuce, chopped
- Tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
- BBQ Ranch dressing (one part BBQ and two parts ranch dressing)
- Roasted corn salsa
- Grilled BBQ chicken breast, sliced
- The BBQ sauce of your choice
- French Fried onions
- Chopped chives
- Mix the first 3 ingredients well and toss with BBQ Ranch dressing, until lightly coated.
- Top with your grilled chicken, drizzle everything lightly with BBQ sauce and sprinkle liberally with french fried onions and chives.
I didn't get specific with the measurements because salad ratios can be such a personal thing. Make it with measurements to your taste, you really cannot go wrong!
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