Turn those beloved buffalo wings into a quick and easy Buffalo Chicken Salad recipe. Dive into a large bowl of buffalo chicken, chopped lettuce, celery, bacon, peppers, and blue cheese crumbles drizzled with ranch dressing.
Best Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe
Are you sick of buffalo chicken everything yet? That’s right. Me either.
Obviously I’m not the only sucker for spicy hot sauce mixed with cool, creamy ranch, and crisp, fresh celery. Recipes such as Buffalo Chicken Chili (contest winning!), Buffalo Chicken Tacos, Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potatoes, and Buffalo Baked Chicken are very popular on the blog!
Naturally gluten free Buffalo Chicken Salad is a healthier alternative to game day wings with the same great taste. Customize your salad or use my favorite combo – romaine, bacon, celery, peppers, red onion, and blue cheese crumbles.
Don’t feel like cooking at all? Grab a rotisserie chicken and use in place of the grilled, marinated buffalo chicken. The recipe also includes adaptations for baked, crispy, sauteed, or shredded chicken in the Instant Pot or stove top.
Buffalo Chicken Salad recipe calls for romaine lettuce because I like it’s neutral taste and it maintains a crisp structure under all the toppings. However, substitute other greens, such as iceberg, spinach, kale, green leaf, or bibb.
Then pile on your favorite combination of toppings!
- green onion
- shredded carrots
- tortilla chips or croutons
- cheddar cheese
- red onion
- blue cheese crumbles
- red peppers
How Many Calories in Buffalo Chicken Salad?
Buffalo Chicken Salads are gluten free and a healthier alternative to traditional breaded wings.
This Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe has 475 calories without the ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Omitting the bacon and cheese reduces the salad to 278 calories.
More Ways to Cook Buffalo Chicken
If you prefer not grilling your buffalo chicken, there are alternative methods to cook the chicken.
Baked: Place marinated chicken on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway, until chicken registers 160ºF.
Sauteed: Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Brown bite-sized pieces of chicken until cooked through and no longer pink. Toss cooked chicken in marinade sauce mixed with 2 tablespoons honey.
Shredded Stovetop: Place plain chicken in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken and shred. Toss with 1/4 cup of marinade sauce. Add honey to remaining sauce and drizzle over assembled salads.
Shredded Pressure Cooker: Add chicken and 1 cup of water to pressure cooker. Cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release, remove chicken, and shred. Toss with 1/4 cup of marinade sauce, reserving rest for serving sauce.
Using Chicken Breasts or Thighs Instead of Tenders
Chicken tenderloins are used in this recipe because they are already portioned in uniform sizes, making prep a little easier.
If you prefer using chicken breasts place them on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap, and then pound uniformly. Place breasts in marinade and grill the same way as the tenderloins.
Boneless chicken thighs are thinner, so marinate and prepare in the same manner as the tenderloins.
Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad
Breaded crispy chicken tenders may also be substituted. Bake or Air Fry according to package directions.
While they are cooking, prepare the buffalo sauce. Make the marinade as directed, but add 2 tablespoons of honey. Toss cooked crispy chicken with the sauce, chop, and divide between salads.
Turn this salad into a Wrap or Sandwich!
Looking for more carbs? Turn that salad into a wrap or sandwich!
For wraps, fill tortillas with chicken, lettuce, bacon, cheese, celery, and any other preferred veggies. Drizzle with ranch or blue cheese dressing and roll closed.
Use hamburger or kaiser rolls for buffalo chicken sandwiches. Top chicken with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and bacon. Drizzle with reserved buffalo sauce and ranch or blue cheese dressing.
How To Make Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Whisk together buffalo chicken marinade ingredients.
- Remove 1/4 cup and use that to marinate chicken for 2 hours.
- With remaining marinade add honey. Set aside to use for serving sauce.
- Grill or bake buffalo chicken. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Assemble salad bowls with lettuce, blue cheese, bacon, peppers, cilantro, and red onion. Top with chicken and drizzle reserved marinade over top.
- Serve salads with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Additional Cooks Tips / Suggestions:
- Make this easy salad even faster by tossing rotisserie chicken in the buffalo marinade sauce
- Substitute blue cheese dressing or make an easy homemade version!
- Turn Buffalo Chicken Salad into a wrap or sandwich
- Make a crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad by substituting breaded, baked chicken tenders tossed in the buffalo sauce
- Instead of grilling chicken breasts, bake, saute, or replace with shredded chicken
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Buffalo Chicken Salad
- In a small bowl whisk together hot sauce, garlic powder, celery salt, smoked paprika, pepper, and olive oil. (DO NOT ADD HONEY YET). Remove 1/4 cup of sauce to marinate chicken in. Place chicken in a ziplock bag or large shallow bowl, add 1/4 cup marinade, and toss evenly to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
- Add 1 tablespoon honey to remaining marinade, cover, and store in refrigerator for later use.
- Heat grill to medium high heat and grease grill grate. Grill chicken undisturbed for 5 minutes on one side, or until char marks appear and chicken releases easily from grill. Flip and cook a few minutes more on other side or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Remove chicken and let rest while salads are assembled.
- Divide lettuce, bacon, celery, red peppers, red onion, cilantro, and blue cheese crumbles between 4 plates. Chop up chicken into bite sized pieces and top salad plates. Drizzle reserved marinade with honey over the top of chicken. Serve salads with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
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