Buffalo Chicken Salad is a delicious restaurant-quality salad made with tons of crispy, fresh vegetables, tender buffalo chicken, creamy ranch dressing, and crumbled bleu cheese.
It is no secret that I love Buffalo Chicken. From Buffalo Chicken Tacos to Buffalo Chicken Casserole, to Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and Boneless Buffalo Wings, I just can't get enough of this flavor combination.
But my all-time favorite way to enjoy Buffalo Chicken is this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Salad.
Fresh and light, yet bursting with flavor, this hearty salad is crave-worthy. From the spicy tender chicken to the creamy ranch dressing to the freshness of the greens and vegetables, this salad has it ALL! And if you like Buffalo Chicken, you will FLIP for this take on salad.
Notes on Ingredients
Do not be alarmed by the number of ingredients in this salad. There are only four main components: chicken, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, and a salad base.
I opt to prepare homemade buffalo sauce and homemade ranch dressing, as they are both incredibly easy to whip up and the flavor is so much better than anything you can buy at a store. But do what works best for you!
- Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe.
- Seasonings: To season the chicken, I toss it with a mixture of flour, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper. This mixture will work to coat and flavor the chicken with incredible flavor, much like a boneless buffalo wing.
- Buffalo Sauce: For homemade buffalo sauce you will need hot sauce, like Frank's Red Hot, butter, and honey. Together, this mixture creates a spicy, yet balanced buffalo wing sauce.
- Salad: I love to load up the salad base with cucumbers, carrots, sweet bell peppers, green onions, celery, grape tomatoes, cabbage, and lettuce. Feel free to use whatever combination you like for your salad. The more variety of vegetables, the more nutrient-packed this salad becomes. But use what you like.
- Dressing: While you can prepare this Buffalo Chicken Salad with store-bought blue cheese or ranch dressing, I prefer serving this salad with homemade ranch dressing that is tangy, creamy, and easy to make. To make the dressing you will need, plain Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise), sour cream, buttermilk, lemon juice, and ranch seasoning. And don't purchase packaged ranch seasoning mix to make the dressing. You likely have the spices on hand you need for homemade ranch seasoning.
- Blue Cheese Crumbles: I recommend serving this salad with blue cheese crumbles on the side, as blue cheese is a bit of an acquired taste. That way whoever like it can add it to their salad and those that don't care for blue cheese can leave it off.
How To Make Homemade Buffalo Chicken Salad
There are three steps to making this salad. Prepare the homemade dressing, prepare the buffalo chicken, and combine the salad. Even with three distinctive steps, the entire recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, making this salad perfect to enjoy any night of the week.
Step One: Prepare Dressing
- Whisk together the ingredients for the ranch dressing in a small mixing bowl until well combined.
- Cover and refrigerate while preparing the chicken, giving the dressing time to chill and the flavors to combine.
Step Two: Prepare Buffalo Chicken
- In a shallow dish, combine flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes, trimming away any fat.
- Add the chicken to the mixture and gently toss to coat the chicken evenly with the flour mixture.
- Shake off the excess flour from the chicken and place the seasoned chicken onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Bake, flipping halfway between baking for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- While the chicken is baking, whisk together the hot sauce with melted butter and honey.
- Once the chicken has been baked, remove it from the oven and use a spatula to transfer the chicken into the homemade buffalo sauce and gently toss to evenly coat the chicken.
Step Three: Prepare the Salad
While the chicken is in the oven, I like to use this time to prep my vegetables for the salad, cutting down on the overall prep time needed to make this recipe.
- Wash, dry, and peel if needed, the vegetables you select to use for this salad. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine, red cabbage, carrots, celery, celery, peppers, and green onions together.
- Add the cooked chicken and tomatoes and toss to coat.
- Serve the salad immediately with crumbled blue cheese and ranch dressing.
- Gluten-Free/Low-Carb Buffalo Chicken: Omit the flour from the recipe and instead season the chicken with just paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. The flour helps the seasoning stick to the chicken, but I promise you this salad will be delicious without the need to use flour.
- Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Salad: You can cut a few calories and grams of fat from this recipe by omitting the blue cheese. To further lighten up this salad, I recommend preparing the ranch dressing using nonfat yogurt instead of mayonnaise and omitting the butter from the buffalo sauce.
- Optional Additions: Feel free to add shredded or cubed cheddar cheese, or crumbled baked bacon to this Buffalo Salad if desired. One of my favorite additions to Buffalo Chicken Salad is to top it with oven-baked fries or air fryer crispy potatoes, unbelievably delicious!
- Change-it-up: Instead of serving the buffalo chicken as a salad, add the baked buffalo chicken, along with lettuce, ranch, and crumbled blue cheese to a tortilla and serve as a delicious portable wrap.
- Speed-it-up: Use leftover rotisserie chicken tossed with buffalo sauce or Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken instead of baking the chicken to pull this Buffalo Chicken Salad together incredibly quickly.
Just like most salad recipes, it is best to assemble this Buffalo Chicken Salad immediately before serving to prevent the greens from becoming soggy.
That said, you can opt to prepare the dressing, buffalo chicken, and salad base, up to 3 days in advance. Store each component in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to enjoy, assemble the salad as desired.
More Delicious Chicken Salad Recipes
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If you give this Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe a try, I would love for you to leave a review and comment below. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Buffalo Chicken Salad
For the Buffalo Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch chunks
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup hot sauce like Frank's Red Hot
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
For the Salad
- 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
- ½ cup shredded red cabbage
- 2 carrots peeled and shredded
- 1 English cucumber diced
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper diced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- ⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese optional
For the Creamy Ranch Dressing
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon basil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch finely cracked pepper
- ¼ cup buttermilk or regular milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- In a small mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, and lemon juice with the seasonings and whisk well to incorporate.
- Cover and refrigerate while you are preparing the remaining ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a rimmed sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together.
- Add the cubed chicken to the flour mixture and toss to coat the chicken. Shake off the excess flour from the chicken and place the seasoned chicken onto the greased pan.
- Bake for 6 minutes, flip the chicken, and return to the oven and bake for 4-6 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F or the juices run clear.
- While the chicken is baking, mix together the hot sauce, honey, and butter together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Once the chicken has baked, add the baked chicken to the hot sauce mixture and toss to evenly coat.
For the Salad
- Toss together the romaine, red cabbage, carrots, celery, celery, peppers, and green onions together in a serving dish.
- Remove the chicken from the hot sauce mixture and add to the salad base.
- Top the salad with grape tomatoes, crumbled bleu cheese, and drizzle with the prepared ranch dressing.
- Serve immediately.
SUUUUPER good! We made this for a quick lunch today and now it's going to be a new favorite in our house. Thank you!
Awesome! This Buffalo Chicken is a favorite here as well!
This salad was just perfection! Loved the flavor of the chicken and the homemade creamy ranch dressing was fabulous. Leftovers tasted great as well!
Fabulous! I love hearing you enjoyed!
Wow! I knew I had to try this because my family loves anything buffalo chicken and it was even better than I imagined! So easy to make too. Thank you!
Awesome to hear! I am so happy you and your family enjoyed the salad 🙂