Noodles and Company Review and Backyard Barbecue Chicken Salad Recipe

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A little while ago I was approached by Noodles and Company to try out their new premium entree summer salads.  I didn't have to think very long because a. I love free stuff b. I like salads and c. I love Noodles and Company.  I'm not just saying that either--their Japanese Pan Noodles slay me--incase you want to pass on that recipe hint hint.   

Anyway, Mr. Schwartz and I had a nice little lunch date at Noodles and Company and I'm here to write about our experience and give you a recipe to make the Backyard Barbecue Chicken Salad at home! Let's do it to it. 

Musical Selection: None today, boo.  My music player isn't working correctly.  
Okay, let's start with my salad, I had the Chili-Lime Ginger Salad with Seared Chicken.  Holy mother of flavor-town!  This salad was awesome.  Just as the description says it's like a spring roll in a salad.  Crisp veggies, cold noodles tossed in a sweet dressing.  This is definitely a winner.  I have the recipe for this one too so stay tuned, I have a feeling I will be making that as well.
On to the Backyard Barbecue Chicken Salad.  This is what Mr. Schwartz had but for "blogging purposes" I had to try it.  It was fantastic!  The creamy dressing, sweet corn and barbecue chicken?  Unstoppable combination.  It was hard to distinguish which salad I liked best since they were both so good.

I do have to say Mr. Schwartz was also surprised by how much he liked this salad.  Being a Minnesotan man, he wasn't really thrilled that we would be having salad for lunch but he licked that plate clean (minus the tomatoes) and said he stayed full longer than he expected.
Close up.
Perfect little lunch.
Now, on to the making of the Backyard Barbecue Chicken Salad in my kitchen.  I started with a head of romaine lettuce, chopped.
Added a cup and a half of cole slaw mix, I just used the bagged kind.  I'm fancy like that.
Added 3/4 of a cup of pre-made cole slaw dressing.  I'm sure you could make your own but, we love this stuff.
Here's the dressing we LOVE.  Made in Minnesota, doesn't get much better than that.
Toss so the lettuce and slaw are evenly covered with the dressing.
For this I used a rotisserie chicken.  Mr. Schwartz picked it up and honestly it was the best rotisserie chicken we have had.  Guess who is going to be getting groceries for us now on?  Juuust kidding, I love grocery shopping.
Here is where I deviate from the recipe I was given.  It says "use your favorite BBQ sauce" for the chicken.  Noodles and Company, I love ya, but I'm calling BS on that one.  The sauce on the chicken was creamy and BBQey (not a real word but maybe it will some day).  So, I mixed ranch dressing and BBQ sauce.  It was close but not exact.  It never is at home.
Moving on, shred some of that great chicken
Toss with the BBQ and ranch
Top the salad with the chicken, sweet corn (I just steamed it and cut it off the cob) and corn chips (also diverted from the recipe--it needs some crunch).  You can also add tomatoes but as you may know, they aren't our favorite.
Toss it all together and top with additional corn chips if you wish.
We were both pleasantly surprised how similar this tasted to the in restaurant recipe.  This salad will be a summer staple in our house.

Lucky for you, Noodles and Company sent me an update yesterday as well.  Apparently they are giving away free salads on June 7th!  If you like free stuff as much as I do, you might want to check it out.  Here are the details:

On Thursday, June 7th, Noodles & Company -- --- will be giving away a free summer salad to the first 50 people in line at the restaurant's opening. (Restaurants open between 10:30 and 11. Visit for details on your nearest location and hours.) Each of the lucky first 50 customers will also receive three garden stakes that are good for a free salad to share with friends.

Here are the details:
  • On June 7th, Noodles & Company will give a free summer salad to the first 50 people in line at each Noodles location - you'll find 32 Noodles & Company restaurants throughout the Twin Cities.
  • In addition to the free salad, the first 50 customers will also receive three garden stakes that are each good for a free salad to share with friends.
  • Each Noodles order is made fresh-to-order, giving customers the freedom to customize their entrees to their tastes or diet preferences.
  • Noodles' three summer salads include: Backyard BBQ Chicken with fresh summer corn; Spinach and Fresh Fruit with blue cheese and balsamic fig; and Chili-Lime Ginger with Seared Chicken.

Thanks Noodles and Company for letting me review these salads.  We had a great time and now a new recipe we will be making time and time again.  Readers, please know that I was given free vouchers to try the salads but ALL of the opinions are my own, I really do like Noodles and Company and these salads.  Over and out. 

Backyard Barbecue Salad
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 1/2 cup cole slaw mix (we used the bagged kind) 
3/4 cup cole slaw dressing
2 ears of corn on the cob, cooked and cut off the cob
2 chicken breasts (we used rotisserie) 
4 tablespoons ranch dressing
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce 
1 tomato, diced (optional :)
1/2 cup crushed corn chips 

Place the romaine and cole slaw in a large bowl.  Pour in cole slaw dressing and toss to coat.  

Cook the corn on the cob and cut the corn from the cob.  Let cool.  

Meanwhile, shred the chicken.  Combine the BBQ sauce and ranch in a small bowl.  Pour over the chicken and toss.  

To assemble the salad, top with corn, corn chips, tomato and BBQ chicken.  Toss together to serve.  I would suggest serving immediately.  


Recipe adapted from the one Noodles and Company gave me.  : ) 


  1. Wonderful review and stunning photos... You did them proud and I am adding them top our Saturday errands lunch options. There is one just down the street from us but we have never been.

    As to rotisserie chickens... Aren't they great! Anyway you can explain why these are so much cheaper fully cooked than their raw version???

    terrific post


  2. thank you so much for your backyard barbecue chicken salad recipe. They are no longer carrying it this summer and I was heartbroken- they key to how amazing this salad was the bbq sauce and coleslaw dressing, and I'm glad you have found something that works just as great! Thanks so much!

  3. This really looks so good! Chicken salad is absolutely one of my favorites and I am so excited to taste this one. Thank you for this incredible recipe. All these recipes you share are simply perfect!

  4. Fabulous. I would like try this soon.


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