Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch (+Video!)

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

top view of Buffalo Chicken Salad in a white bowl with best buffalo chicken, blue cheese, celery, carrots, avocado, red bell peppers and lettuce with Blue Cheese Dressing Drizzle

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 Tacosloaded 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.

side view of sliced Buffalo Chicken in Buffalo Chicken Salad in a white bowl with blue cheese, celery, carrots, avocado, red bell peppers and lettuce with Blue Cheese Ranch Dressing

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:

  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • blue cheese
  • cilantro
  • garlic
  • 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.

up close of best Buffalo Chicken Recipe on a wood cutting board

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Salad

  1. Buffalo Chicken: Prepare the Buffalo Chicken according to directions.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

sliced buffalo chicken drizzled with blue cheese salad dressing

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!
overhead view of homemade blue cheese dressing ingredients in a blender

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.
top view of Buffalo Chicken Salad in a white bowl with best buffalo chicken, blue cheese, celery, carrots, avocado, red bell peppers and lettuce

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 SaladBaked Beans, and Corn Casserole 

up close of sliced Buffalo Chicken in Buffalo Chicken Salad in a white bowl with blue cheese, celery, carrots, avocado, red bell peppers and lettuce

Looking for more Chicken Salad Recipes?

Want to try this Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe?

Pin it to your Salad, Chicken or Dinner Board to SAVE for later!

Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes!  I am always pinning :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

top view of Buffalo Chicken Salad in a white bowl with best buffalo chicken, blue cheese, celery, carrots, avocado, red bell peppers and lettuce

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch

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!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Garnish

  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • bacon crumbles (optional)

Easy Croutons

  • 1/2 loaf garlic herb French bread
  • olive oil
  • salt and garlic powder

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Don't miss the "how to make" recipe video at the top of the post!

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Carlsbad Cravings Original

Never miss a Carlsbad Cravings Creation:

Facebook / Instagram /  Pinterest / Twitter

CRAVE MORE RECIPES HERE

Looking for More Buffalo Chicken Recipes?

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed French Bread

Mega flavorful Buffalo Chicken Dip Stuffed French Bread is your favorite cheesy dip baked right into the loaf! Crazy delicious side or EASY crowd pleasing appetizer! Everyone will be begging you to bring this!

Buffalo Chicken Dip Ring

Mega flavorful Buffalo Chicken Dip Ring is your favorite decadent creamy, cheesy dip baked right into a buttery biscuit ring! Crazy delicious EASY crowd pleasing appetizer perfect for parties or game day!  It may look super impressive but you won’t believe how easy it is!

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Super easy Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos bursting with sweet heat cream cheese chicken filling you will want to eat it with a spoon! Perfect party appetizer that everyone will go crazy for or easy favorite meal!

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Lightened Up Buffalo Bacon Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is crazy creamy without any heavy cream or butter (but with a secret ingredient instead!), less than 10 minutes prep and is so bursting with flavor you will be licking your plate!

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Foil Packets

 EASY Baked or Grilled Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Foil Packets bursting with juicy chicken and tender, flavorful veggies all smothered in cheddar and dipped in Ranch Crema!  these are SO addictingly delicious!!!   

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

22 Comments

  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! This salad is summer in bowl!! A very beautiful bowl I might add! All the flavors and textures in perfect balance!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Dorothy! I cannot wait for summer, I guess I am willing it here with this salad because its in the 80s here today! Thank you and have a fabulous day!!

  2. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says

    I am ready for this!! I am ready for Spring and light and fresh and a great salad. This looks fantastic. I’m pinning and this will be on the menu next week.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Marisa! I am excited for you to make it next week! I love a great salad year-round but CRAVE them when it starts to get even a little bit warm out. There will be a lot more to come 🙂

  3. Ingrid says

    Your Chipotle Chicken BBQ Salad is one of my all time favorites so I was super excited to try this – and it was AMAZING! I served it for lunch with some girlfriends and they went crazy over it! Thanks for another new favorite salad!

    • Jen says

      I am so happy it did not disappoint Ingrid, thank you so much!

  4. Vanessa says

    Stunning salad!! Can’t wait to try it! May I ask where you got such a beautiful wooden salad bowl? It’s stunning, as well!!

    • Jen says

      You are too nice Vanessa, thank you! I lucked out and got my bowl at Target – they always have great finds!

  5. Alisha cannon says

    I just made this for my fiancé and he LOVEDDDD it!!! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’m a huge fan of your blog. I have a question……where did you get your bowl to put your salad in. I love it. I looks so rustic and pretty.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Alisha, I am so flattered you are enjoying my blog and so happy you both loved this salad! I actually got the salad bowl from Target last year but they might still have it. Thanks again for following along and trying my recipes!

  6. Ashley says

    I just want to say your outlook on life, your amazing recipes, and just you in general are inspiring. Thank you for making people think that I am a genius cook 😉 I love this salad. It is exactly what I want in my go to recipe arsenal.

    • Jen says

      Hi Ashley, thank you thank you for such a kind, thoughtful comment! You are lovely! And I am happy to help you look like a genius cook in any way I can 🙂 xo

  7. Abby says

    Just made this tonight! Holy yumminess! I really wanted a salad for dinner and my husband requested something with buffalo chicken. We both loved it! He said it was a keeper recipe (and he’s a tough critic!). Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Abby, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and to make me smile with your “holy ymuminess!” I am thrilled this was such a hit with both of you!

  8. Tiffany says

    Hello! Beautiful salad! Where did you get the bowl and servers? Love them!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Tiffany! The bowl iss actually from target and the spoons are a wedding gift from over 10 years ago 🙂

  9. Tracy says

    Made this tonight and it was really good! Loved the dressing. We ended up using pre-made croutons since I was short on time. Your website is quickly becoming my go-to for recipes. We already have several of your recipes in our meal rotation.

    • Jen says

      I’m honored I’m becoming your go-to for recipes, thank you so much Tracy! I’m so happy you loved this salad and I hope you continue to find more recipes to love here!

  10. Lauren W. says

    Is there a brand of blue cheese you prefer that isn’t too “stinky” for lack of a better phrase? lol

    • Jen says

      Hi Lauren, if you want a less strong blue cheese, I’d try Roth Buttermilk Blue – I think you’ll love it!

  11. Kate says

    Making this for lunch today with a small modification. I didn’t have time to marinate chicken and just used some frozen chicken strips that I’m going to toss with the buffalo marinade.

    • Jen says

      That sounds like a great idea!