Juicy chicken breast pieces tossed in spicy homemade buffalo sauce top this crunchy and refreshing buffalo chicken salad. If you love buffalo wings, but your waistline loves them less, this is the perfect way to get all the flavor with way fewer calories.
*This is an updated recipe from the early days of the blog! It's still a family favorite, so I've updated the crappy photos, recipe and the post itself.
Back when my metabolism could handle it (a long time ago!), I used to spend way too much time in those nondescript chicken wing places that you usually find in strip malls.
You know, the kind with sports on a big screen TV , a few rickety tables, and not much else? Except the wings, of course.
There were always a dozen or so varieties of wings, but for me, it was all about the classic buffalo sauce. Not the crazy blazing hot stuff, but the tamer “medium” version.
With blue cheese dressing for dipping of course, and the obvious carrot and celery sticks on the side (healthy!).
So those days are gone. But my love of buffalo sauce is here to stay, and this salad is the perfect way for me to get my fix without the guilt.
It's also a super simple weeknight recipe.
Here's how I make it!
How to make a buffalo chicken salad step-by-step
- On a cutting board, place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts and pound them down with a meat mallet or any heavy object, to an even thickness. This will help them cook faster and more evenly, so they don't dry out.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken breasts just until no longer pink in the center (about 6 minutes per side). Let the cooked chicken rest on the cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
3. While the chicken is cooking, chop up 2 hearts of romaine, shred the carrot, and chop the celery.
4. Slice the chicken crosswise into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
5. Combine the hot sauce, butter and garlic powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine. I would put this buffalo sauce at about a medium heat level. If you prefer a milder sauce, add a little extra melted butter, or use less if you want to kick it up (I sometimes skip the butter altogether!)
6. Toss the chicken pieces in the buffalo sauce.
7. Combine the romaine, carrots and celery in a large bowl.
8. Divide the salad between four plates and top with chicken and ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Do you love buffalo chicken too? Try these recipes!
Buffalo Chicken Salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast 2 large or 3 smaller breasts
- 2 hearts of romaine washed and chopped
- 1 carrot shredded
- 1 celery stalk thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce such as Frank's Red Hot
- 1 tablespoon melted butter *see note
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and black pepper
- 1 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
- Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts and pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or other heavy object. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium size frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook about 5-6 minutes on each side, until fully cooked. Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped romaine with carrots and celery.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, melted butter, and garlic powder.
- Slice the chicken breast into 1/4" thick pieces and toss with the buffalo sauce until well coated.
- Plate the salad and place chicken pieces on top. Drizzle with ranch or blue cheese dressing, and additional hot sauce if desired.