BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

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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! Hands down this is one of my favorite salads that you absolutely have to try!

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

5 from 9 votes
This Loaded BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad is one of my favorite make ahead meals!!
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Salad, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 2 -3 servings


  • 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 tossed with a little BBQ sauce
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons White Cheddar cheese shredded
  • BBQ sauce
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • cilantro for garnish


  • In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, corn, black beans, chicken and avocado. Season with salt and pepper
  • Transfer mixture onto a bowl and top with shredded cheese, BBQ sauce, scallions and cilantro.
  • Serve
  • ** This recipe calls for already cooked chicken so plan ahead! If I have time, 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


  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!

    1. 5 stars
      Made this tonight and it was SO DELICIOUS and super filling. The raw corn was the perfect additional texture. I don’t think there’s a single thing I would change. May try with shredded pepper jack next time. YUM! Can’t wait to make it again.

  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. 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!

  4. 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!!

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

  5. 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!

  6. I just recently discovered your website and have enjoyed every recipe I’ve tried from here. Thank you!! I looked at this recipe a week ago, and somewhere I read instructions for cooking chicken thighs in the crockpot with barbecue sauce (I thought?). For some reason I can’t find those instructions now.

    1. thanks for catching that!! some of my recipe notes didn’t come over with the redesign! It’s there now! xx

  7. 5 stars
    I made this true to recipe and loved it, my husband too! I even last min changed my entry for a potluck this weekend so I can make this for my girlfriends! I like that it uses ingredients I often have on hand, but in a different way than I normally would. The fresh cilantro really brightens up all of the flavors. Thank you!!

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious! I’m so glad my daughter introduced me to www:whatsgabbycookingthisweek! I doubled the recipe for leftovers.

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