BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad

Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen, this fun summer Grilled BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad is something worth sinking. your teeth in!

BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad

If you have ever eaten at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) they are known for their BBQ Chicken Salad. It’s filled with all sorts of goodies, tossed in an herby ranch dressing and topped off with BBQ chicken. With those flavors in mind, I created this at-home rendition that is freaking delicious and I know you all are going to love it!

BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad

And let’s talk about this Whole30 Herby Ranch for a second because it deserves some time in the spotlight. After you make this once, you’re going to want to put this on everything — trust me. In a pinch, you could definitely opt for store-bought ranch and this dinner would be on the table even faster, but taking a few minutes to make this ranch is TOTALLY worth it. Can’t wait for you all to try this!

if you enjoyed this BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad, here are more grilled chicken recipes to try:

grilled sesame chicken skewers with ginger-scallion rice

korean-inspired bbq chicken skewers

harissa-yogurt marinated chicken with cucumber-quinoa salad

grilled chicken with chipotle-whiskey bbq sauce

BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad

BBQ Chicken Skewer Salad
Serves: 4 people
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins


For the Chicken Skewers:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups bbq sauce I use Primal Kitchen brand
  • 8 [6-inch] wooden skewers pre-soaked

For the W30 Herby Ranch:

  • 1 cup light tasting oil I use Safflower Seed Oil or Avocado Oil. You can also use "light" olive oil, which is not the same as extra virgin; sub store-bought mayo
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup unsweetened full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill fronds
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 4 ears corn *omit for Whole30
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 8 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce or 2 small heads
  • 6 green onions thinly sliced (green part only)
  • 2 cups quartered grape tomatoes or 16 ounces
  • 1 [15-ounce] can black beans, drained and rinsed *omit for Whole30
  • ¼ cup loosely packed freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1 avocado peeled and seed removed and diced medium


Marinate the chicken:

  • Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet, pound the chicken until it is a uniform ½ inch thickness. Cube into 2-inch pieces and place in a large bowl with the oil, salt, and 1 cup of bbq sauce. Stir until well combined. Set aside to let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for 4-8 hours to refrigerate and marinate longer, if desired.

Make the Herby-Ranch:

  • Pour oil into a wide mouth jar (just slightly larger than the mouth of an immersion blender). Crack the egg into the oil and let sink to the bottom of the jar. Insert the immersion blender into the jar and rest the blade on top of the yolk. Do not move the head until a white, creamy, thick mayo forms at the bottom by the head--about 10 seconds at least. Now, slowly raise the immersion blender up and down until the entire jar has emulsified into a mayo. (*alternatively, you can use a cup of store-bought mayo. I just recommend using one that is very light in flavor).
  • Add the coconut milk, lemon, red wine vinegar, salt, onion powder, and garlic and using the immersion blender, blend once more to combine. Stir in the dill, parsley and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. This keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Grill the Chicken and Make the salad:

  • Drizzle the corn with the avocado oil and rub to evenly coat.
  • Heat grill over medium-high heat (350-400 degrees F) and oil the grill grates (to do to this, dip a wadded paper towel in a little oil and, using tongs, wipe the oil evenly over the grate. Be careful not to use too much oil, because that's a sure-fire way to start a good flare-up—a little goes a long way here.)
  • When hot, add the corn and cook until tender, about 10-12 minutes total and turning every 2 minutes. Meanwhile, also place the skewers on the grill and cook on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until nice grill marks have formed. Flip the skewers and then baste the grilled side generously with the reserved BBQ sauce, Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and nice grill marks have formed on both sides, 3-4 more minutes. The grill should be closed as much as possible as you are cooking the chicken. Transfer the corn and the chicken aside and let the corn cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the lettuce, green onions, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro and basil. Add your desired amount of dressing to the salad and toss until the lettuce is well coated.
  • Remove the corn from the husk and add to the salad along with the diced avocado, gently toss once more to combine.
  • Serve with the grilled chicken and enjoy!

Photography by Eat Love Eats.


  • Reply
    September 7, 2022 at 12:40 am

    Do you know the nutrition information per serving?

  • Reply
    August 9, 2022 at 1:05 am

    5 stars
    This recipe will be in my rotation going forward. Love the flavors all together and that fresh ranch is magical. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Michelle Cameron
    June 6, 2022 at 12:28 am

    5 stars
    My 12 yo son and I made this for dinner tonight. Followed the recipe to a T. It was seriously delicious!!! I sent it to a few of my friends! The sauce was to die for. I’ll be eating salad all week. Highly recommend!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    5 stars
    So much flavor! The homemade herby-ranch put this meal over the top. 100/100!

    • Reply
      May 27, 2022 at 11:01 pm

      5 stars
      This was absolutely delicious! Loved the herby ranch dressing and used mayo as I’m expecting and it turned out great! Will be making again and again! So much flavor and crunch! Thank you Alex!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2021 at 12:45 am

    If we don’t want to make the homemade Mayo for the dressing, how much store bought Mayo should be used? A cup? I have some Chosen Foods Avocado Mayo in the fridge I’d like to use in the dressing.

    • Reply
      August 15, 2021 at 10:49 pm

      yes, 1 cup!!

    • Reply
      March 18, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      How many calories is one serving?

  • Reply
    Ashley Henderson
    August 12, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Do you have a store bought mayo reco? (Lol) doesn’t have to be whole30 compliant! I’m expecting so need to avoid raw eggs

    • Reply
      August 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm

      I like Sir Kensington’s or Chosen Foods Avocado Oil mayo the best.

    • Reply
      September 5, 2021 at 3:51 am

      5 stars
      We loved this recipe! So simple and delicious!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    5 stars
    Perfect summer salad! I don’t like dill and didn’t have parsley on hand so I used herbs de Provence for the herbs. I’m not usually a fan of ranch, but this was great!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    5 stars
    This was my first time making homemade mayo, the dressing turned out delicious! will be a staple summer meal

  • Reply
    July 20, 2021 at 5:13 am

    5 stars
    So. Dang. Good. This was my first time making homemade mayo. I was weirdly nervous but really had no reason to be! I followed Alex’s directions for the blender method and it couldn’t have been easier and the dressing turned out amazing. She’s not joking when she says it makes a lot of dressing – and I’m happy about it because I will gladly eat it all week!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    I am now obsessed with this dressing! We had it on a Cobb salad with crab, and it was delish! I used the Primal Mango-Jalepeno BBQ sauce, and it was very tasty. Thanks for another great dinner idea!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2021 at 2:19 am

    5 stars
    You did it again!!! Awesome weeknight recipe! Loved the ranch!

    • Reply
      Cheri Davidson
      August 12, 2021 at 8:04 pm

      Do you use both Mayo and coconut milk for the dressing ?

      • Reply
        August 13, 2021 at 3:09 pm

        I do!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Is it one cup of oil with one egg for the mayo? And what type of oil do you prefer?

    • Reply
      July 13, 2021 at 8:15 pm

      I prefer Avocado Oil Mayo, and yes 1 cup to 1 egg 🙂

  • Reply
    July 12, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    When making the Mayo how much oil with the egg? Making this tonight & it looks delicious! Thank you!!!

    • Reply
      July 14, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      Just updated the recipe to correct this! It’s one cup of oil to one egg.

      • Reply
        Kelsey Bembry
        May 25, 2022 at 11:39 pm

        On the ingredients list it says the corn should have the husk removed and in the instructions it says to remove it after cooking. Do you cook the corn with the husk on or off?

        • Reply
          May 26, 2022 at 11:30 am

          Sorry about that! Leave it on the husk, then remove. I just edited the recipe!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    5 stars
    This was easy, satisfying, and delicious to make! By far the easiest way to make a Mayo I’ve ever tried. I made this salad for my lunches for the workweek and substituted shredded rotisserie chicken tossed in barbecue sauce for the grilled skewers.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    5 stars
    Made this last night and it was fresh and delish! Got rave reviews from the family. Perfect summer dinner.

  • Reply
    July 11, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    5 stars
    Made this last night for my family of 6. We devoured the whole thing and they asked that it be a weekly dinner for the summer! Thanks, Alex, for another healthy delicious dinner!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    I am trying to make this salad and I am excited to try it but I can’t find the measurements for the homemade mayo. You refer to the oil and egg in the instructions but I don’t see them listed above for the mayo ingredients. Thanks!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2021 at 12:52 am

    This sounds great! What would you use in lieu of a grill or grill pan for the chicken?

    Also – you’ve turned my non-kale household into lovers of it, thank you!

    • Reply
      July 8, 2021 at 12:12 pm

      love to hear it!! honestly, you could just dice the chicken up and cook it in some avocado oil in a skillet with salt + pepper–then just toss in BBQ sauce when it’s all done! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Alex– if one doesnt have a grill, this can be made on stove top? How long would you cook the chicken on a stove per side? Thank you!!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Do you think tenderloins are fine and just leaving them as is or do i also have to pound to uniform size?

    • Reply
      July 8, 2021 at 12:13 pm

      Tenderloins are fine as is!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Do you think think the ranch could be made in a regular blender?? I don’t have an immersion blender at the moment and would like to make this today 🤣

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Question! Any good substitute for coconut milk? #allergies 🤦🏻‍♀️

    • Reply
      July 7, 2021 at 11:41 am

      You can do: buttermilk, unsweetened almond milk, or whatever milk you prefer!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2021 at 1:20 am

    Why can’t you have corn on Whole 30? And is the only difference in this ranch recipe than your normal ranch recipe the lemon?

    • Reply
      July 7, 2021 at 11:56 am

      Hi Ashley– Corn is a grain, and grains are not allowed on the W30 program. This ranch is more herb heavy than normal!

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