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
- ¼ 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
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ 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.