The Best BBQ Chicken Salad + Weekly Menu

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Running a hospital kitchen and cafeteria comes with…frustrations.

When I started my job, the interim director was searching the internet for nutrition information that perhaps closely, but not all that accurately, reflected what was being served on the menu to display in the cafeteria. I’m all for posting nutrition information, but it is a serious hot button for me when people post false nutrition information. I just figure, why bother if you’re not going to calculate it CORRECTLY? Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes practice. Yes, it takes some understanding of ingredients, tedious measuring, and all of that…but, there’s no sense in putting out information that’s not accurate.

::stepping off soapbox::

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Then, when you display correct nutrition information – it can be baffling. And hotly debated. Met with criticism.

Yes, dear coworker, the salad is higher in calories than the hot dog. Even the chili dog. But, really, are you going to argue that the chili dog is a healthier alternative than a pile of fresh greens topped with healthy fats, lean protein, and fresh fruit? Ididntthinkso.

Calories are one part of the health equation and don’t get me wrong – a very important part. But, the quality of calories consumed is hugely important to consider. Similarly, be mindful of entrees that have lots of ingredients, even if healthy ones. Calories can add up rather quickly which is all the more frustrating when you pause to think, “but I thought xyz was good for me!” It is…in moderation. :)

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This salad? It’s 1 calorie shy of 500 calories. To some, that may sound like a lot of calories, but in truth, 500 calories is pretty on-par for most people’s caloric needs, assuming a somewhat even distribution of calories among all 3 meals. That said, many restaurant salads can easily exceed other entrees with regard to calories, saturated fat, and even carbohydrate. The ever popular salad can quickly become a not-so-healthy option.

Striking that perfect balance of healthy and delicious, this BBQ Chicken Salad is tangy, crunchy, and absolutely delicious, bite after bite. There’s no doubt this recipe is a crowd pleaser.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best BBQ Chicken Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Chicken:
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ⅓ cup BBQ sauce
Dressing:
  • ½ cup light ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup cilantro, lightly packed
Salad:
  • 6 oz mixed greens
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 oz blue corn chips or tortilla chips, crushed
Instructions
  1. Spread half of the BBQ sauce over the bottom of a small slow cooker, Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in the bottom of the crock pot and top with remaining BBQ sauce. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until chicken easily shreds.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the ranch, buttermilk, lime juice, and cilantro in a small food processor or blender; mix until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, corn, and black beans. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss well. Distribute the salad among 4 plates and top with 4 ounces chicken, ¼ avocado, and ½ ounce chips. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe adapted from I Heart Nap Time

Note: If you double or triple the chicken to use in other recipes, you can cook the chicken 8 hours on low.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 salad Calories: 499 Fat: 18.0 Carbohydrates: 46.0 Sugar: 7.8 Sodium: 759 Fiber: 10.5 Protein: 37.5 Cholesterol: 56

Weekly Menu: January 5th – 9th

I LOVED my tennis lesson this morning! I’m no good, but it was a blast! :)

Be well,

sig4

Comments

  1. Erin Lerner says

    I made this tonight and it was delicious!! The only change I made was adding green onion and putting it over baby spinach! Yum!

  2. Kim says

    Argggghhhhh!!! I’m so mad at myself for not grabbing limes and avocados when I was at the store yesterday! I honestly looked at them and was so tired I decided to keep walking past them straight to the check out :/ Stay warm…Lily might need a doggie sweater :)

    • Nicole, RD says

      Haha! She totally needs a sweater!! It’ll be good even without avocado, promise! Have some red onion you could add? ;)

  3. says

    I completely agree with you about the whole calorie thing. It’s being mindful of the nutritional factors in the foods you eat. I would rather eat more calories knowing that I’m getting all the vitamins I need. With all that being said, I would devour this salad. Love the flavor combos and the freshness!

  4. Morgan says

    I rarely comment but read your blog often. I really like your recipes! Made this one tonight and loved it. Thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Sometimes, wives aim to please. Sometimes, we like to calm the waves of “weird” and “über healthy” and go with something a bit more…mainstream? If nothing else, it earns us brownie points, uses way less dishes than anything gourmet-esque, and is sure to be a meal in minutes. In fact, I used the same BBQ chicken from the crock pot as I used in The Best BBQ Chicken Salads. […]

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