This Copycat Panera Bread BBQ Chicken Salad recipe is a delicious lunch or dinner. 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!
BBQ Chicken Salad
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My family and I are unapologetic frequent fliers at Panera Bread. I am not the least bit sorry about it. I especially love all the Panera Bread salads! My one complaint is that they change up their menu pretty frequently and always seem to get rid of my favorite items!
One thing they removed from their menu, which was my husband’s favorite, was their BBQ Chicken Salad. Although he has the palate of a toddler (or rather, of a picky toddler because both of our kid’s palates are more extensive than his!) this is a salad he could always get on board with!
And recreating this was definitely a good decision- it’s now mainstay in our rotation. And what’s not to like? Crisp green lettuce and grilled BBQ chicken anchor this salad. My Roasted Corn Salsa adds some additional veggie goodness, tomatoes (my own personal addition) bring the sweet and tasty acidity that only a tomato can. Top it off with some french fried onions for crunch and 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!
Tips for how to make copycat Panera BBQ Chicken Salad
- This is a great option if you’re looking to repurpose chicken leftovers, particularly if it’s a neutral-flavored chicken, like grilled chicken or shredded chicken.
- Although I don’t remember what the Panera salad dressing was for this salad, we love to make our own BBQ Ranch dressing with equal parts of our favorite BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing.
- Be sure to add the dressing and then the french fried onions at the last minute so you don’t end up with a soggy dressing.
Frequently asked questions about making this BBQ Chicken Salad
- Would this make a good meal prep? Yes! But I’d encourage you to pack the dressing and french fried onions on the side for optimal freshness.
- Can I cook the chicken just before serving? Sure! I like it grilled, but you can also grab a rotisserie chicken for convenience
- How long does this last? This will stay fresh without dressing for 4-5 days covered in the refrigerator.
Make it a meal!
A few great recipes to round out and complete this meal are:
- 2 Ingredient Applesauce
- Savory Butternut Squash Soup
- Everything Pita Chips
- Detox Lentil Soup
- Copycat Panera Bread Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich
This Copycat Panera Bread BBQ Chicken Salad recipe is a delicious lunch or dinner. 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!
- Lettuce, Chopped
- Tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
- Roasted corn salsa
- Grilled BBQ Chicken breast, sliced (or any leftover chicken)
- BBQ Sauce
- French fried onions
- Chives, chopped
- 1 part ranch dressing
- 1 part BBQ sauce
Toss the lettuce, tomatoes, corn salsa in a bowl to combine. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together ranch dressing and BBQ sauce until well combined.
Toss salad with BBQ ranch dressing to lightly coat.
Top with chicken, french fried onions, chives and a drizzle of BBQ sauce and serve immediately.
If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions! And if you make it please tag me on Instagram with @thelifejolie so I can share it <3
Looking for some other salad recipes?
- Summer Bounty Strawberry Salad
- Marinated Vegetable Salad
- Rainbow Asian Chicken Salad
- Copycat Panera Bread BBQ Chicken Salad
You can find a full index of my recipes here.
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