Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad Bowls

When you start talking about salads, people come away with a number of different unsavory impressions.

For one, salads are boring and the people who eat them are boring. Think #saddesksalad.

For another, salads are healthy and you must be on a diet. Because it’s got green stuff in it, right?

Finally, salads are only fit for side dishes because an active person couldn’t possibly subsist on a handful of chopped Romaine.

Wrong on all counts, folks!

Salads are awesome. I’m pretty convinced you could take any kind of meal, any combination of ingredients, chop them up, layer them over chopped greens of some variety with a tasty dressing, and they’d make a delicious salad. And that kind of versatility is far from boring.

They can be as healthy or as unhealthy as you want to make them, depending on what you add. It’s hard to get unhealthy with proper portions of lean grilled meat, healthy veggies, and fresh vitamin-rich greens. But you can have some fun with them and add in all the delicious and hearty goodies you want.

And entree salads are plenty filling! You’d be surprised how little it takes, even if you’re active, to satiate you. Salads, I think, mix a good quantity of helpful fibers with all the filling energy-laden stuff you need to take on the day.

Just take a look at this beauty and try to tell me it’s boring or not filling.

I won’t promise you it’s healthy. There’s a fair amount of blue cheese and bacon in there! But at the same time, you’re getting a lot of healthy fiber, healthy fats, and protein.

It’s basically just a bowl full of everything I love to eat on a hot summer evening, grilled, chopped up, and served over a bed of freshly chopped Romaine. So much flavor!

Let’s get to grilling!

Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad Bowls

Serves 4.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 lb fresh chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup sweet barbecue sauce of your choice {I love Newman’s Own Honey Barbecue}
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 hearts Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • handful grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 small avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • 3 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped {I use these for extra sweetness}
  • 2 ears corn
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 portobello mushroom

How to Make It:

1. If you haven’t already done so, hard boil your eggs. Prep your chicken tenderloins by placing them in a large bowl and toss with the sweet barbecue sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Fire up your grill to high heat. Season the corn and just toss on the grill until toasted all around, 15-20 minutes or until kernels are tender. Cut the corn off the cob.

3. Grill the chicken tenderloins until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side, drizzling with the marinade when you turn them. The internal temperature should reach 165F. Chop into small pieces when they’re done.

4. Melt the butter in a small saute pan. Cut the portobello mushroom into 1/4-inch thick slices and saute the slices about 3-5 minutes or until tender and browned. Finish chopping them when you’re done.

5. Time to chop all the things. I start by chopping my Romaine. You don’t have to chop your lettuce, but I like mine chopped into easy bites. Layer the romaine with chopped portobello, chopped avocado, chopped hardboiled egg, sliced corn kernels, chopped grape tomatoes, chopped bacon, and chopped chicken tenderloins.

6. Scatter the top of the salad with the blue cheese and then drizzle with a little bit more barbecue sauce. I found some cheap chef squeeze bottles at my grocery to do this with, but I also use these fairly regularly.

7. Toss the salad, scoop into bowls, and serve with the cold summery beverage of your choice!

Some folks have asked what dressings to add to this salad. While you can drizzle a little ranch or blue cheese on it, I personally just have it as is. There are so many great flavors in there, I don’t think it needs dressing!

How about you guys? What are your favorite things to chop for chopped salad?

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