Buffalo Chicken Salad with flavor bursting chicken and the most intoxicatingly delicious Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch! This combo is out of this world!
This Buffalo Chicken Salad is perfect for lunch or dinner and the best part is you can have all the ingredients prepped ahead of time so it can come together in a flash! (Photos updated 6/28/2018)
Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe Video
Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
It’s Buffalo Chicken Salad time! And you know at Carlsbad Cravings, that means drinkable delicious crunchy, flavor packed bowls of hearty goodness with lettuce as filler. Life as it should be.
This Buffalo Chicken Salad is inspired by my Buffalo Chicken Tacos, loaded with crunchy croutons, fresh corn off the cob, crisp bell peppers, carrots and celery, creamy avocados, and tangy blue cheese crumbles. The salad of my dreams. Almost.
Toss in the buffalo chicken of my dreams and we are almost there. And in case you missed the former introduction, meet All Purpose Buffalo Chicken, AKA flavor bursting, customizable heat, with hints of honey and lime Buffalo Chicken.
This buffalo chicken is uber juicy, flavorful and is brushed with a spicy glaze so you can control the heat. More glaze, more heat, less glaze, less heat. But at our house we like spicy, so we use almost all the glaze. We’re crazy like that. And this Buffalo Chicken Salad is delicious like that.
Buffalo Chicken Salad Ingredients
The base of this buffalo chicken salad is a cinch to make and requires few ingredients:
- Buffalo chicken: I used this recipe as the base for this salad.
- Romaine lettuce: I love how crunchy Romaine lettuce is, but you’re welcome to use your favorite salad blend if desired.
- Corn kernels: Use fresh kernels take straight from the cob. No need to cook first!
- Red bell pepper: I prefer using red bell peppers since they’re sweeter than other colors, but use whatever you have on hand.
- Matchstick carrots: Can be found in the produce section. You can also shred a carrot yourself.
- Celery: Adds tons of crunch.
- Avocado: The creamy avocado balances out the spicy buffalo chicken.
- French bread: I toasted up some french bread to make easy homemade croutons!
And then comes the dressing of your future dreams, Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch. Hello creamy, tangy perfection. Drinkable I tell you. Drinkable. Aside from it’s deliciousness, the best part is, it’s SO easy!
The ingredient list for this homemade blue cheese dressing is somewhat lengthy, but all you do is dump and blend:
- sour cream
- blue cheese
- dried parlsey
- dried chives
- dried dill
- salt and pepper
You can substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream if you prefer but because Greek yogurt is tangier than sour cream you might need a pinch of sugar. Totally your call.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken: Prepare the Buffalo Chicken according to directions.
- Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch: While your chicken is marinating, add all of the dressing ingredients to your blender. Blend until smooth, adding milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Croutons: Cube bread into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then spread bread in an even layer onto baking sheet and bake until golden.
- Assemble: Add all of the Salad ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and croutons.
Assemble the dynamic cast of Buffalo Chicken, Cilantro Blue Cheese Ranch, homemade croutons and all our veggies together and you have a beautiful better-than-your-dreams symphony of textures and flavors awaits and I call it Buffalo Chicken Salad.
With a side of lettuce.
TIPS AND TRICKs TO Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Chicken substitute. You can use a rotisserie chicken and toss it with some of the buffalo marinade to taste. You can also substitute chicken with shrimp.
- Customize ingredients. The salad ingredients and measurements are simply suggestions. You can use add/swap any ingredients for your favorite veggies.
- Customize heat. As I mention in my Buffalo Chicken recipe, use Franks Buffalo WINGS sauce for spicier and Traditional Frank’s Hot Sauce for not as spicy. You can also control the heat by the amount of glaze you brush on the chicken after it is cooked, more glaze, more heat, less glaze, less heat.
- Prep ahead: You can make your chicken, make your croutons (and store in an airtight container, chop all your veggies and make your dressings ahead of time and store in air-tight containers in your refrigerator so all that’s left is to add your avocados. You will be loving yourself at lunch and dinner time if you do this!
Recipe Variations to Try
- You don’t have to make a salad! The fixings of this buffalo Chicken Salad are fabulous in wraps, burrito bowls and sandwiches as well.
- Customize ingredients. The chicken salad ingredients and measurements are simply suggestions. You can add/swap any ingredients for your favorite veggies and fruits as long as you maintain a balance of sweet, tangy, and crunchy; if you swap out an ingredient, replace it with something with a similar flavor profile and texture.
- Salad Bar: if you have picky eaters or want a fun entertaining idea, then consider a salad bar where everyone can pile on as much or as little of their favorite toppings. Everyone is a winner with a salad bar!
What Can I Prep Ahead?
This buffalo chicken salad with blue cheese dressing is simple to make but does require some chopping. The good news is you can prep your ingredients while your chicken is marinating. To prep ahead:
- Chicken: can be marinated 12 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cook the chicken completely ahead of time.
- Chop vegetables: can be chopped 24 hours in advance except the avocados and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. I will add the vegetables to separate paper towels, fold up the paper towels around the contents and place in sandwich bags – this keeps excess moisture away from the veggies to keep them fresh.
- Dressing: The homemade blue cheese ranch dressing can be prepped up to 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
HOW TO STORE Buffalo CHICKEN SALAD
If you plan on storing buffalo chicken salad, do not toss the salad with the dressing or the lettuce will become soggy and wilted. Instead, store the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers. The avocado should also be removed from the salad or better yet, not tossed with the salad initially and instead added to individual servings.
The buffalo chicken salad without dressing will stay nice and fresh for about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH Buffalo Chicken Salad
Grilled chicken salad is practically a meal-in-itself – the only thing left to add is carby bread! We love it with a side of cornbread or buttery breadsticks. It’s also fabulous with favorite backyard barbecue sides, such as Baked Mac and Cheese, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, and Corn Casserole
Looking for more Chicken Salad Recipes?
- Caprese Chicken Salad with Creamy Balsamic Reduction Dressing
- Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad with Tomatillo Avocado Ranch
- Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Pineapple Sesame Dressing
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad with Fiesta Catalina Dressing
- Asian Salad (with Chicken) with Sriracha Peanut Dressing
- Greek Chicken Salad with Tzatziki Dressing and Pita Croutons
- Chipotle Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Mango Dressing
- Coconut Cashew Chicken Salad with Pineapple Ginger Vinaigrette
- Garden Caesar Salad with Lemon Basil Chicken
- Southwest Pepper Jack Salad with Chile Lime Chicken
- Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad with Cheesy Croutons
- Chinese Chicken Salad Wraps
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Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch
- 1 Recipe Buffalo Chicken sliced or chopped
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped (about 8 cups)
- fresh corn kernels from 1 ear of corn
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup Matchstick carrots
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large Avocado, chopped or sliced
Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch
- 1/2 cup real mayonnaise (I use lowfat)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (may sub Greek yogurt with a pinch of sugar)
- 3 tablespoons Blue cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- milk as needed
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- bacon crumbles (optional)
- 1/2 loaf garlic herb French bread
- olive oil
- salt and garlic powder
- Buffalo Chicken: Prepare Buffalo Chicken according to directions.
- Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch: While your chicken is marinating, add all of the dressing ingredients to your blender and chop then liquefy until smooth, adding milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Chill until ready to use.
- Croutons: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cube bread into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread bread in an even layer onto baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden.
- Assemble: If not expecting leftovers, add all of the Salad ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and croutons. If you are expecting leftovers, toss all of the salad ingredient together in a large bowl except avocados. Garnish individual servings with avocados, croutons and dressing.
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