BBQ Chicken Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

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Zach and I are known for eating foods with a lot of calories. Most of the time it’s done on purpose. We run a lot and need extra help with extra calories! We decided to tone it down a bit last night and go with a fresh salad. Sometimes we just crave a really good salad. We went with mixed greens of baby spinach and romaine; garnished it with bleu cheese, raisins, apples and more; then topped it with a freshly marinated, grilled BBQ chicken breast. Zach made a delicious apple vinaigrette to drizzle on top! Zach also came to the rescue and found this really great BBQ sauce from Horsetooth, a hot sauce company out of Fort Collins, CO. This BBQ sauce is out of control, and this is coming from a couple of people who pride themselves on making their own. It goes by the name of Hot Mess. This BBQ blends Odell’s Cutthroat Porter (which by the way, we paired with this dish), coffee, molasses, brown sugar and more to bring great flavor to anything you glaze in it. We went ahead and marinated the chicken in Hot Mess for a couple of hours, which I certainly recommend doing. I can’t wait for you guys to try out this recipe. It’s SOOO easy and so fresh. I’m sure you’ll absolutely love it!

It was only natural that we pair this salad with Odell’s Cutthroat Porter since the BBQ sauce we used contains hints of this brew. This is your perfect, standard porter. It’s heavy but light, and super sweet. It really elevated this dish and added a ton of flavor. It brought out the sweetness of the BBQ, the apple vinaigrette, and all of the fixings, but didn’t overpower any of the other components.

We hope you enjoy this fresh, light autumn meal. Happy Cooking!

Simple and Sweet

Light and Refreshing

Pecans Candying!

Vinaigrette Ingredients!

Ready to Eat!


BBQ Chicken Salad with Apple Vinaigrette
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr, 15 min


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ (we used Horsetooth’s Hot Mess)
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, lightly chopped and washed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 1/3 cup bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1 whole apple, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup of golden raisins
  • 2 slices of bacon, baked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans
  • 8 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 apple – cored, skin removed and sliced
  • 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of of rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup EVOO


  • You will begin by cleaning up your chicken breast (removing any fat, etc) and placing it in a large Zip-loc with the BBQ sauce. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  • When the 3 hours is up, preheat your grill at high heat. Place your chicken breast on the grill, and lower the heat immediately to LOW. Flip after ten minutes, allowing it to cook for a total time of 20 minutes.
  • While your chicken is being grilled, start preparing your salad. Toss the romaine, baby spinach, raisins, and bacon in the apple vinaigrette, sprinkle the avocado, apple, and candied pecans on top.
  • When the chicken has finished, remove from grill and let stand for 2-3 minutes, letting any left over juice flow. Slice at an angle, and place on top of your salad.
  • Top with bleu cheese crumbles and an extra drizzle of BBQ if you so desire.
  • For the candied walnuts, . In a small pot, combine the pecans, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow to cook for about 7-10 minutes or until all of the liquid is gone and the pecans are caramelized.
  • For the vinaigrette, In a saute pan combine the onion, apple, vinegar,sugar and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the onion and apple are tender.Once everything is tender, add the ingredients to a blender. Add the dijon mustard, salt and pepper and blend. As the dressing is blended, drizzle in the EVOO until it reaches a consistency you desire.
  • Serve with our Marinated BBQ Chicken Salad!


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