BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

This Loaded BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad is one of my favorite make ahead meals!!

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

I throw around the term on brand a LOT! I’ll say something like, this restaurant is totally on brand. Wearing yoga pants daily is on brand. My bright red bike helmet… on brand. You get the idea! Today and every other day for that matter, it’s safe to say that loaded salads are totally ON BRAND. They make life colorful and delicious and it’s a great way to use whatever is left in my fridge. Yesterday I whipped up a ton of these salads for the week! I just assemble the entire thing, minus the avocado, so then we can grab them for lunch when we’re hungry and add some avocado right before we eat. Layers of quinoa, grilled corn, black beans, shredded BBQ chicken, diced avocado, BBQ sauce and a little cheese give this salad about 324 dimensions and each bite was packed with flavor.

It’s kind of like a BBQ chicken pizza but subbed with quinoa which makes it healthier and mostly guilt free! Hands down this is one of my favorite salads that you absolutely have to try!

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

Yield: Serves 2-3

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn, cut from the cob
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded BBQ chicken (can use a store bought chicken and toss with a little BBQ sauce)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons White Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • BBQ sauce
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • cilantro for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, corn, black beans, chicken and avocado. Season with salt and pepper
  2. Transfer mixture onto a bowl and top with shredded cheese, BBQ sauce, scallions and cilantro.
  3. Serve


This recipe calls for already cooked chicken so plan ahead! I prefer to cook my chicken in the crockpot, using 6 chicken thighs, 1 white onion sliced and 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. I cook on low for about 6-7 hours and then shred and refrigerate for later.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

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  1. LOVE how easy this meal is and delicious. I use to get this BBQ chopped chicken salad all the time from a restaurant. Obviously the quinoa addition is 100% necessary. 🙂

    1. yes – the quinoa is cooked per the ingredient list. and I used canned beans so I just gave them a rinse and they are already cooked!

  2. Hi, Gaby loved this salad! Was so good. My husband is not a fan of salads and he loved it! Thanks for this recipe!!! Love your cooking!!!!

  3. Do you have a favorite brand of bbq sauce? I usually make my own but want to save time for quick lunches!

  4. Made it last night and loved it but I cant get the BBQ sauce right… what BBQ sauce should i use

  5. Super delicious! Made some substitutions to accommodate what I had on hand but kept the flavor profiles. Thanks for the super simple way to make bbq pulled chicken in the crock pot. My gosh, it’s so easy! Ended up making a deconstructed CHOPPED SALAD with the bbq chicken, fresh corn, sliced tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, avocado, shredded sharp white cheddar. Super loving the new cookbook – 100% of what I’ve tried has been delicious!

  6. Excited to try this recipe! About how many pounds of chicken? I have 2lbs of boneless beasts – should I be making any adjustments for the slow cooker? Thanks!!

  7. Hello
    New Subscriber here, Starting with Week 12 menu. Wanted to ask what you go to BBQ Sauce is?

    1. I don’t have a particular favorite store bought one!! But that said, I should do a taste test! Stay tuned!

  8. Hi there! I’ve got a question. Everytime I save one of your recipes to Pinterest & go to it later, after I tap on the picture there is never a recipe attached. I’ve tried it several different ways & it always seems to be with your website. Do you have any suggestions? Thx!

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