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You are going to love piling this Honey BBQ Chicken Salad on sandwiches, lettuce wraps, and so much more. Made with Greek yogurt to keep it creamy and light, but with the savory flavor of your favorite barbecue sauce, this isn’t your usual chicken salad recipe. Try something new for lunch this week!
Barbecued Chicken Salad for Sandwiches and More
It’s always good to have a go-to chicken salad recipe. In fact, if you want to keep things interesting, it’s not a bad idea to have a few different ones. Oftentimes you’ll find me making my Waldorf Chicken Salad or Tropical Chicken Salad. Both of these use my favorite base of Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Not only does it add protein and keep it a bit lighter, I actually prefer the texture and the tangy flavor when combined with all of the mix-ins that can actually make chicken salad something exciting to eat!
For this BBQ Chicken Salad recipe, I decided to stir in a little of our favorite BBQ sauce. In our house, not one of us turns down a dish with the smoky barbecue flavor we love. It doesn’t just have to get slathered over baked chicken breasts or BBQ Chicken Pizza. That sassy goodness is even tasty when you want to meal prep chicken salad for lunches during the week or even make a no-cook dinner!
I love to grab a rotisserie chicken at Costo or just use up leftover, and then I can have a meal that doesn’t require me to turn on the stove or oven!
What kind of chicken do you use for chicken salad?
When it comes to making chicken salad, you can pretty much use any cooked and cooled chicken. White meat or a mixture of mostly white meat with a little dark meat will give you the best texture. Using all dark meat will make it too greasy.
Preferably you’ll want your chicken to just have mild or neutral seasoning, even just salt and pepper. But you can also use leftover chicken that has flavors that will match the recipe.
- Rotisserie chicken – there are so many uses for leftover rotisserie chicken, so I always grab one at Costco. They are usually big enough to have some for a meal and have leftovers to make chicken salad.
- Roast chicken – if you are making roast chicken for dinner over the weekend, then just thrown an extra one in the oven. You can even make a crockpot roast chicken while you sleep so it is ready in the morning.
- Cooked chicken breasts – if boneless, skinless breasts go on sale at the grocery store, buy in bulk and cook them in the oven, crockpot, or Instant Pot to chop or shred for use in recipes. Or if you are baking or grilling chicken for dinner, make a few extra so you can whip up a batch of BBQ chicken salad later in the week.
Besides the chicken, you only need a few basic ingredients from your pantry and fridge to make this flavor-packed BBQ chicken salad recipe!
- Plain Greek yogurt: Use nonfat, lowfat, or whole milk yogurt, depending on your preference.
- Spicy brown mustard: Dijon or yellow can calso be used.
- Barbecue sauce: Use your favorite.
- Honey: Just a little adds the perfect hint of sweetness.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Chicken: You’ll need about 4 cups of cooked, shredded chicken. If you don’t have leftvoers, you’ll need to cook about 1-1 1/3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to get this amount.
- Apple: Peeled and chopped, this adds some litte juicy, crunchy bits.
- Red onion: This is optional, but if you use it, you’ll want in finely chopped.
- Salt and pepper: Adjust the amount to taste
How to Make Honey BBQ Chicken Salad
It really doesn’t get easier. Just stir together the Greek yogurt, mustard, barbecue sauce, and honey. Add the chicken, apples, and onion, if using, and fold it all together. Then season to taste with salt and pepper. You can even drizzle with a little extra BBQ sauce, if you like.
Use it right away, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing leftover chicken salad.
Go back to mayo: You can always skip the Greek yogurt and use an equal amount of mayo. You might not need the vinegar, though, since that is there mainly to thin it out a bit.
Add some bacon: Want more smoky flavor and a bit of saltiness? Add a few sliced of cooked and crumbled bacon. I give all the details on how to cook bacon six different ways, just in case you haven’t tried using your air fryer or Instant Pot yet.
Mix in cheese: Some shredded cheddar can give a little sharpness that balances the creaminess and complements the barbecue flavor.
Give it a little crunch: Toasted walnuts give your creamy chicken salad a little more texture. Or try mixing in some chopped celery or red bell peppers.
How to Serve Barbecue Chicken Salad
- Sandwiches: Pile it on your favorite rolls, gluten free bread, or even make sliders on Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits.
- Wraps: Tortillas are great, but you can also make lettuce wraps using a leaf lettuce such as Boston, Bibb, or Butter.
- Salads: Spoon the BBQ Chicken Salad over a bed of salad greens with your favorite salad toppings. Give it a drizzle of Creamy Southwestern Dressing or Jalapeno Ranch Dressing.
- Veggies: Use it to make a more satisfying ants on a log, or scoop it up with mini bell peppers or cucumbers.
- Crackers and chips: Tortilla chips and gluten free crackers are great to add a little crunch when snacking on chicken salad.
Honey BBQ Chicken Salad
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 1-1 1/3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked)
- 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chopped red onion, optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, mustard, barbecue sauce, honey, and apple cider vinegar and stir till combined.
- Add the chicken, apples, and onion (if using), and fold together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little extra BBQ sauce, if you like.
- Serve on a sandwich, lettuce wraps, salad, crackers, pita, etc. If not using right away, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.