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