Buffalo Chicken Salad is one the most flavorful ways to enjoy a chicken salad and is a perfect way to spice up your dinner routine! While the perfectly seasoned chicken and creamy ranch dressing are enough to make you swoon, it is the addition of crispy oven-baked fries that take this salad over the top!
My first love in college was not a guy. It was a Buffalo Chicken Salad served at a local restaurant.
That salad had it all! Strips of chicken breast tossed in a buffalo sauce adorned a large bed of greens that was topped not only ranch dressing, but get this–french fries!
I mean, who puts french fries on their salad?
Apparently it is a thing in some parts of this country and friends, it is a thing you need to try! The crispy, salty aspect fries add to the salad is absolutely mind-blowing.
I recreated that Buffalo Chicken Salad and have been making it for over a decade now (okay more like two decades!) and it is a meal my family wants on repeat. Because you know, eating fries on a salad is pretty enticing!
From the spicy tender chicken to the creamy ranch dressing to the freshness of the greens and cucumbers, to the crispy fries–this salad has it ALL! And if you like Buffalo Chicken, you will FLIP for this take on salad.
- Chicken Breast: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe.
- Seasoning for Chicken: The chicken is coated with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to give it flavor before adding the buffalo sauce. This step is really important for flavorful chicken.
- Homemade Buffalo Sauce: Buffalo sauce is made with cayenne pepper sauce, honey, garlic, and butter. It is super simple to make and there is no need to purchase from the store.
- Ingredients for Salad–lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, etc
- French Fries: It is completely optional, but highly encouraged to top this salad with fries. I opt for my homemade baked fries, but you can take a shortcut and use store-bought frozen fries.
- Salad Dressing: This is a matter of personal preference. Use either Ranch or Bleu cheese dressing. I personally love using homemade ranch dressing.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Salad
Step One: Prepare the Fries
Because the fries take longer to cook than the chicken, start with baking the fries if using.
- Prepare homemade oven-baked fries by cutting up potatoes into wedges and tossing with spices.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Pro Tip: Because these fries are being tossed into a salad, I cut them into much smaller strips–it makes them easier to eat in the salad. If you leave the potatoes as wedges, they will take 25-30 minutes to cook.
Step Two: Prepare the Chicken
- Mix together salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a bowl.
- Dice up chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks or strips.
- Toss chicken with seasoning to evenly coat. I prefer to add the chicken and spice mixture to a Ziploc bag and shake well to coat.
- Bake chicken breasts on a baking sheet fitted with baking rack. The baking rack will help the heat to circulate evenly around the chicken and cook the chicken evenly. If using just a baking sheet, flip the chicken half-way through the cooking time.
Step Three: Prepare Buffalo Sauce
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the hot sauce with honey and butter if using.
- Add cooked chicken into a bowl and toss to coat with sauce.
Step Four: Assemble Salad
- Toss romaine or iceberg lettuce with carrot strips, diced cucumbers, diced peppers, and grape tomatoes.
- Top with buffalo chicken, french fries, and drizzle with ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing.
Short-cuts for Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Use oven baked chicken strips or nuggets and toss with buffalo sauce.
- Use leftover Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken for your salad.
- Skip the homemade fries, and use your favorite store-bought brand.
- Skip the homemade ranch dressing and use your favorite store-bought brand.
Whether you prepare everything from scratch or use the short-cuts to prepare this Buffalo Chicken Salad, I know you will agree that this salad is anything but boring!
Buffalo Chicken Salad
For the Buffalo Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch strips or chunks
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce like Frank's Red Hot
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted optional
For the Salad
- 1 head romaine lettuce or iceberg diced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper diced
- 1 English cucumber diced
- 2 large carrots shredded or cut into strips
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Homemade ranch dressing
- 2 russet potatoes scrubbed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425.
- While the fries are baking, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss the seasonings with the chicken.
- Spread the chicken out evenly on a baking sheet lined with a cooking rack. Bake the chicken for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Prepare buffalo sauce by combining honey, melted butter (if using), and Red Hot and toss with the chicken.
- Toss together the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes.
- Top with the sliced chicken (drain off extra buffalo sauce). Drizzle with dressing and top with french fries. Serve immediately.
- The addition of butter to the buffalo sauce is not necessary, just helps to balance out the heat.
- I prefer to assemble individual salads so that if there are any leftover ingredients they can be stored separately and assembled the next day for a fresh (not soggy) salad. That way the chicken can be reheated if desired and the fries can be broiled for a minute of two to crisp back up.
- Nutrition does not include ranch dressing, but does include fries.