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Southwest BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Another “concept” salad here, folks. You can vary the ingredients as much as you desire – the secret to this salad is the tangy dressing. Use chopped grilled or poached chicken, or chop-up deep-fried chicken tenders. Your family doesn’t like green pepper? Omit it. Want some spice? Add a diced jalapeno. Vegetarian? Don’t add chicken. The first eight salad ingredients can be prepped earlier in the day – just add the avocado, cheese and lettuce at the last minute, then toss with the dressing and serve.

DRESSING:
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

SALAD:
1 cup frozen corn kernels, rinsed under hot water and drained
One 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 cup diced fresh tomato
2 or 3 green onions, sliced
Handful fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups chilled cooked chicken, diced
One 2.25 ounce can sliced ripe black olives, drained
One avocado, diced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 cups chopped crunchy lettuce, such as iceberg or romaine

GARNISH:
Crunched-up tortilla chips or Fritos

Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Place the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Toss with the salad dressing and garnish with corn chips or Fritos (I vote for Fritos). Serves 6 as a main course.