We’ve updated the pictures and some of the info for this post a couple of times over the years since it was first published in 2014. Since we still love it, and since Panera appears to have taken it off the menu again (horror!), it seemed appropriate to remake and reshoot it again. Yep, still as yummy and easy as ever!
Chels and I don’t get away for lunch dates very often (I’m usually working, babies are napping, etc), but last week we had that opportunity. I had taken a couple of hours away from the office to visit a showing of school curriculum we intended to purchase for Grace and Eden’s upcoming school year, and Chels’s parents had offered to come by and watch the kids so she could join me. After the showing, we decided to grab a quick lunch together at the Panera Bread across the street. We’re both big fans of Panera Bread, though we haven’t actually eaten in their cafes that often. Normally, I get Panera at office meetings, and Chels enjoys it occasionally when she gets her hair done down in the Hollywood District (they have [update: had] a “Panera Cares” cafe down there – that is an incredible community service, if you’ve never been to one). Needless to say, if you don’t have one nearby…well, that’s very sad for you. Panera Bread has a well-earned reputation for fresh, creative breads and pastries in their bakeries, as well as simple, flavorful salads, soups, and sandwiches in their cafes.
On this particular afternoon, I ordered a sandwich while Chels picked out a bowl of soup, but we both settled on the delectable looking and sounding “Signature BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad.” It was excellent – a wonderful combination of semi-southwestern flavors and interesting textures, while remaining fresh and light. We had to try it at home. Chels made a quick list of the ingredients, and added it to the menu for the coming week. When we gave it a try on Tuesday, it turned out better than we had hoped – I dare say, directly on par with the salad we enjoyed at Panera. Bottom line? Try this salad the next time you’re near a Panera Cafe, and make it at home the next time you’re not!
Catz in the Kitchen
Craving some fresh, crispy Panera Bread BBQ Chicken Salad goodness without leaving your four walls? This recipe delivers - Voila!
40 minPrep Time
12 minCook Time
52 minTotal Time
- Large head of romaine lettuce
- 1 cup of corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 1 can of black beans
- 3 tbsp ranch dressing
- 3 tbsp barbecue sauce (preferably Sweet Baby Ray’s)
- 1 cup tri-color tortilla strips
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
- additional barbecue sauce for marinating
- additional barbecue sauce for drizzling
- Place chicken in a ziplock bag and cover with barbecue sauce. Seal bag and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat.
- Chop romaine, rinse black beans, and heat a grill pan (preferably, but a frying pan will work) to medium high heat.
- Mix ranch and barbecue sauce together to create dressing. Add more ranch or barbecue sauce to taste.
- Spray grill with Weber non-stick grilling spray, and place chicken breast on grill. Grill approximately six minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
- Meanwhile, add corn to grill pan. Sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika and grilled until some kernels are slightly blackened.
- Allow chicken to rest for 2-3 minutes, and then dice into small pieces.
- In a large serving bowl, add romaine, black beans, corn, tortilla strips, and chicken. Add dressing and toss to coat. Drizzle additional barbecue sauce over individual servings. Serve immediately.