How do you make a salad you’ll love? Just take all of your favourite ingredients and throw them together in a bowl. That’s what this salad is for me. Black beans: tick. Crispy veg: tick. Cheese: tick. Coriander: tick. Creamy dressing: tick. Put them all together and top with crunchy corn chips and you’re onto a winner in my opinion.
This salad was inspired by a special memory for me. After high school, I went to live in the USA for a year as an Au Pair. I lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland and found some new favourite foods (my beloved Wheat Thins and Mint Musketeers) and favourite people, who I’m still friends with today. They became my surrogate family while I was so far from home. Most of them were also Au Pairs and we would catch up almost every night at Starbucks to debrief about the challenges of our day. There were plenty of challenges and that year delayed any plans of having kids by about ten years for me!
When we weren’t at Starbucks, we often went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. I would always get The Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad, which according to their website is still on the menu today (10 years later)! This salad recipe is inspired by the original and reminds me of all those times I enjoyed one of my favourite foods with my favourite people.
I hope you enjoy it with your favourite people too!
Barbeque Chicken Crunch Salad
- 1 large chicken breast, cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp cumin
- Olive oil
- 1 large cos lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 tin black beans, rinsed and well-drained
- 1 tin corn, rinsed and well-drained
- Handful of shredded cheese of your choice
- Fresh coriander (optional)
- Small tub (approx 200g) greek/natural yoghurt
- Juice of ½ lime
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Approx ¼ cup smokey barbeque sauce (optional)
- Handful of plain corn chips
Heat a drizzle of olive oil over high heat in a fry pan and add the chicken breast. Sprinkle with the cumin and cook, tossing, until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Combine the cos lettuce, capsicum, tomatoes, onion, black beans, corn, cheese and coriander in a large mixing bowl.
To make the dressing, combine the yoghurt, lime juice, vinegar and paprika in a small jug. Add the dressing and chicken to the rest of the ingredients and toss gently to combine. Transfer to a salad bowl or individual bowls to serve. Drizzle the top with the barbeque sauce. Crush some corn chips with your hands and sprinkle over the top.