Make California Pizza Kitchen’s Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Your First Salad of the Decade

January 2, 2020

We know how hard it is to shift from holiday feasting to resolution-driven dieting. So we’re here to take baby steps with you; starting with this hearty salad recipe from California Pizza Kitchen. Their Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad is their “most popular salad since 1985.” It’s a “salad for people who don’t like to eat salads,” one of our team members describes it.

Haaa-ya! Chicken chopped!

The dish sort of fuses Western and Asian flavors, masked with ingredients typical of Mexican cooking. It also has a great medley of textures, from the mushy beans to the crunchy tortilla strips. The recipe is very easy to make; it’s basically just mixing everything together. It serves 6-8 people, so it’s best to make for some sort of salad party (aka an agreed date when you and your friends have decided to eat better). Since the salad’s primary flavor comes from the barbecue sauce, we recommend picking up a good brand.

California Pizza Kitchen Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

  • Serves: 6-8 people
  • Active time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy


BBQ Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and diced
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce


  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 4 cups romaine, shredded
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup jicama, diced
  • ¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • ½ cup tortilla strips, fried
  • ¼ cup cilantro, picked
  • ¼ cup basil, torn


  • ¾ cup tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Toss the grilled chicken breast in barbecue sauce then set aside.
  2. For the dressing, whisk sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, cilantro, and parsley.
  3. Whisk in milk until dressing is smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a large bowl, add romaine, black beans, corn, jicama, cheese, tortilla, cilantro, and basil.
  5. Toss until all ingredients are well distributed.
  6. Add enough dressing to coat all the ingredients, tossing after each addition so that the vegetables are well coated.
  7. To assemble, place salad onto a large platter.
  8. Top with tomatoes and then the coated chicken.
  9. Garnish with spring onion and serve with lime on the side.​
Jica Simpas Jica Simpas

Jica hopes that by writing about food she'll actually learn how to cook. But for now, she'll happily just eat everything—especially cookies.

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