This BBQ Chicken Salad is just like the popular restaurant favorite but it’s cheaper and tastes so much better! It’s made with grilled BBQ chicken, veggies, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and tortilla strips and is tossed with a simple BBQ Ranch dressing. The CPK classic has nothing on this homemade BBQ Chicken Salad.
For years I have been going to California Pizza Kitchen for one reason, and it wasn’t the pizza. I was obsessed with the BBQ Chicken Salad at first bite. Other restaurants have a version on their menus, but the CPK version is the best by leaps and bounds. I love it so much I could eat it every day and never get tired of it.
This past year at home meant no CPK BBQ Chicken Salad so it was time to create my own version.
I’ve recreated other favorite restaurant recipes at home, like the Bibb & Blue Salad from Macaroni Grill, the Teriyaki Chicken Salad from Red Robin, and the classic Olive Garden Salad. I knew I had to do right by my favorite meal, so I started with fresh ingredients.
This salad has crisp romaine lettuce, cilantro and tomatoes. But my favorite ingredient? JICAMA.
Jicama is a root vegetable with a thick brown skin and juicy white flesh. It’s crisp and juicy like an apple, slightly sweet with a nutty flavor. It’s super delicious and crunchy and it is perfect in this BBQ Chicken salad.
Here’s the whole list of ingredients you’ll need to recreate this salad at home:
Romaine Lettuce: I prefer the crunch of romaine to other lettuces, but feel free to go with what you like.
Cilantro: If I’m being honest I usually leave this out because I’m not a fan. But the best way to mix it into the salad is to toss it with the lettuce. If you don’t love cilantro you can omit it or add parsley for your fresh herbs.
Arrange lettuce into 4 meal size serving bowls or plates. Divide toppings among the 4 bowls (black beans, corn, cheese, tortilla strips, tomatoes, jicama, green onions, avocado, and chicken).
Drizzle ranch dressing and BBQ sauce over each salad before serving. Serve with lime wedges.
This salad is super easy to customize. Feel free to change the amounts of any of the ingredients to your liking or set up a salad bar so everyone can make their own.When I’m serving my family, I usually mix up the dressing. But if I’m serving guests, I let them choose their own.
Let us know how it was by leaving a review or sharing on Instagram with the tag #yellowblissroad
Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.