Recipe: Chopped BBQ Chicken Salad

updated May 1, 2019
Chopped BBQ Chicken Salad
With chunks of BBQ chicken, crisp corn, crunchy cabbage, and a tangy ranch dressing, this chopped salad is in a league all its own.

Serves6 to 8

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I have to be honest — I never quite understood what all the fuss was about when it came to classic chopped salad. It doesn’t excite me. This version, however, is in a league all its own with tender chunks of BBQ chicken, crisp fresh corn, crunchy cabbage, and a tangy ranch dressing that ties it all together. It’s packed with flavor, makes enough to serve a crowd, and is definitely worth making a fuss about.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Sturdy Base Helps This Salad Last

While crunchy romaine has its time and place, this summer potluck salad isn’t it. Instead it relies on shredded red cabbage for the base. It’s a sturdy salad base that keeps its crunch long after it’s assembled and can reliably stand the test of time without wilting.

You can make this salad hours before your cookout or picnic and feel totally confident it will be fresh and crisp when you dig in. Just remember to leave out crispy ingredients — in this case, the crumbled tortilla chips — until just before serving so they don’t get soggy.

Fresh Salads for Your Next Party, Potluck, or Backyard BBQ

This summer go beyond the classics and wow the crowd at every potluck with an impressive party-worthy salad. This week we’re sharing five recipes to give you plenty of fresh salad inspiration. Easy enough to pull together any day of the week, these salads go big to serve the whole crowd, and each one has a fun twist to make it stand out among a sea of sides.

Chopped BBQ Chicken Salad

With chunks of BBQ chicken, crisp corn, crunchy cabbage, and a tangy ranch dressing, this chopped salad is in a league all its own.

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


For the dressing:

  • 1 cup

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 2

    medium scallions, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 3

    cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 1/2 cup

    barbecue sauce, divided

  • 8 cups

    finely shredded red cabbage (from about 1/2 a medium head)

  • 2

    medium tomatoes, cored and diced

  • 1 1/2 cups

    fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels

  • 1 1/2 cups

    shredded cheddar cheese

  • 4

    medium scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup

    crushed tortilla chips


Make the dressing:

  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until emulsified and well-combined; set aside.

Make the salad:

  1. Slice the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Place in a medium bowl, add 1/3 cup of the barbecue sauce, and toss until the chicken is fully coated.

  2. Place the cabbage and about 1/2 of the dressing in a large serving bowl and toss to combine. Top with the barbecue chicken, tomatoes, corn, cheese, and scallions. Sprinkle with the tortilla chips, drizzle with the remaining dressing and barbecue sauce, and toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. The cabbage can be dressed and refrigerated up to 4 hours before serving, and the salad mixed together just before serving.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.