In my opinion, salads with meat are one of the best summer meal inventions ever. I grew up eating taco salad, but in recent years (okay, for like the last fifteen years), every restaurant offers a salad with chicken, beef, or seafood. I’m not a huge lover of green salads as a side dish, but I love the combination of protein and vegetables. I know, I could just spear some salad then some meat on my fork, but it’s just not the same.
Anyway, last summer Noodles and Co. offered a Backyard BBQ Salad that was, frankly, an addiction for me. Thus far, they’ve not reintroduced it, so I’ve been forced to recreate it at home. Fortunately, it’s super easy and required very little culinary thought. And I usually use leftovers in it, which is a bonus!
First, though, here’s our menu for the week:
- Monday: BBQ Chicken Sliders, Sweet Potato Puffs (Alessi), Sliced Cucumbers and Tomatoes
- Tuesday: Chicken Fried Rice, Spring Rolls (from Costco), and Edamame
- Wednesday: Fish and Chips and Asian Slaw
- Thursday: Teriyaki Beef Skewers, Grilled Corn on the Cob, and Grilled Peppers and Onions
- Friday: Backyard BBQ Salad and Mini Ciabatta Rolls with Olive Oil for dipping
For the BBQ chicken sliders and salad, cook six boneless chicken breasts, covered in your favorite BBQ sauce (or make this one), for 5 to 6 hours on low, then shred. For sliders, serve on mini ciabatta rolls with shredded cheese and lettuce. Refrigerate leftovers for BBQ Salad.
To grill corn on the cob, just throw the ears (with husks) on the grill, rotate 1/4 turn every 5 minutes for 20 minutes until done. If your corn is already shucked, wrap each ear in foil and then grill. You can also cook them in oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Cook extra so you’ll have leftovers for the salad.
Copycat Backyard BBQ Salad
- 2 cups shredded BBQ chicken
- 3 ears of corn, roasted and cut off the cob
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup Ranch dressing (we use fat free)
- 3 Tbsp BBQ sauce
On plates, divide lettuce. Top with chicken, corn, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Combine Ranch and BBQ sauce in a small bowl, and drizzle over salad.
See, I told you it was easy. The whole family loves this meal…it really is like a backyard barbeque in a bowl! (And I don’t think any of them even realize I’m using leftovers and cleaning out the frig!)