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The Best Buffalo Chicken Salad

May 12, 2023 by Chris Collins

This buffalo chicken salad is totally delicious yet so simple to make!

The awesome thing about this salad is it’s hearty enough for dinner and perfect to eat in the sunshine 😋 Follow me…

close up shot of buffalo chicken salad in large white dish on marble background

Buffalo Chicken Breast

Whilst the rest of the salad is delicious, the main event here is the chicken. As such, we want to treat it right to make it shine!

Slicing the chicken

Today we’re using a couple of chicken breasts, which we’re going to horizontally slice right through the centre to create 4 even-sized breasts. This will not only ensure the chicken cooks quicker but also more evenly too.

Chicken seasoning

Before we cook the chicken, we’re going to coat it in a simple concoction of smoked paprika, onion & garlic powder and salt & black pepper. Just mix in some olive oil to help it cling to the chicken and prepare it for frying. You could at this point leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge until it’s needed, but I tend to just crack on right away.

Process shots: lay chicken on chopping board (photo 1), slice (photo 2), add seasoning and oil to bowl (photo 3), whisk (photo 4), add chicken (photo 5), mix (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make buffalo chicken

Saucy Buffalo Chicken

The chicken will be pretty tasty as it is, but it’s by no means buffalo chicken at this point. As such, you’ll want to baste the living daylights out of it with some good old Buffalo Sauce. I tend to fry the chicken, then flip and baste the cooked side, then once it’s cooked place it sauce-side-down to one side and baste the other side. That way you avoid the sauce having direct contact with the pan, which usually results in it burning or sticking to the pan.

Where can I find Buffalo Sauce?

You find Frank’s Buffalo Sauce in most supermarkets (I always find it in Morrisons). Just make sure you pick up Buffalo Sauce NOT Hot Sauce (much spicier). You could also try your hand at Homemade Buffalo Sauce too.

Resting the chicken

Once the chicken has been fried and basted, let it rest for 5 or so minutes, just to allow the chicken to retain its juices. If you slice straight in the juices are going to pour straight out and leave the chicken dry.

Process shots: add chicken to pan (photo 1), fry then flip (photo 2), baste in buffalo sauce (photo 3), remove and baste other side with buffalo sauce (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to cook buffalo chicken

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Okay, chicken done and dusted, let’s talk salad. For the base, we’re going with iceberg lettuce, white cabbage, carrot, cucumber and spring onion. It makes for a really nice crispy, crunchy base which takes on the Buffalo flavour so well.

A neat little trick is pouring in any leftover oil from the pan, alongside any resting juices from the chicken. This is bonus flavour, so don’t waste it!

Alongside the salad and chicken I love finishing with some crispy bacon and avocado too.

Process shots: add salad ingredients to bowl (photo 1), toss (photo 2), serve individual portions (photo 3), add chicken, bacon and avocado (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make buffalo chicken salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad FAQ

Can I use chicken thigh?

You can use 4 large boneless skinless thighs if you’d prefer. I recommend pounding them to even-thickness beforehand, just to make sure they cook through quicker and more evenly (not crucial!). They’ll take a little longer to cook through than breast.

How spicy is this salad?

Buffalo sauce has a definite kick, but once it’s mixed in with everything and served with a dressing, it’s fairly tame. If you want it even spicer, drizzle over some more buffalo sauce at the end.

What other toppings could I add?

Corn, celery, cherry tomatoes and crumbled blue cheese all work well!

close up overhead shot of buffalo chicken salad in large white dish

Serving Buffalo Chicken Salad

Once you’ve served the salad, it’s time to drizzle over some Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing (I love them equally as much). This makes the salad, so don’t skip the final drizzle!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this buffalo chicken salad shall we?!

buffalo chicken salad served with ranch in large white shallow dish

How to make Buffalo Chicken Salad (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of buffalo chicken salad in large white dish on marble background

The Best Buffalo Chicken Salad

This buffalo chicken salad is totally delicious yet so simple to make!
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Calories per serving: 672kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $4

Equipment:

  • Large Pan & Tongs (for chicken)
  • Small Pot & Brush (for basting sauce)
  • Large Shallow Dish & Whisk (for chicken marinade)
  • Large Mixing/Salad Bowl & Salad Tossers
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Baking Tray (for bacon - optional)

Ingredients (check list):

Buffalo Chicken

  • 2x 200-250g/7-9oz Chicken Breasts, brought close to room temp
  • 1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml Buffalo Sauce, or as needed (see notes)

Salad

  • 1 whole Iceberg Lettuce, thinly sliced (approx 12oz/350g)
  • 1/2 large Cucumber, sliced into thin matchsticks (approx 5oz/150g)
  • 2 medium Carrots, sliced into thin matchsticks (approx 5oz/150g)
  • 1/4 small White Cabbage, thinly sliced (approx 5oz/150g)
  • 4 Spring Onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices of Streaky Bacon
  • 2 small Avocado, diced
  • Ranch, or blue cheese dressing (preferred amount to serve)

Instructions:

  • Cook the bacon using your preferred method to your desired texture, then cool and dice when needed.
  • Horizontally slice each chicken breast right through the centre to create 4 even-sized breasts. Whisk the chicken seasoning and oil in a large shallow dish, then coat the chicken.
  • Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Fry for a few minutes until it starts to lightly char on the bottom, then flip and liberally brush the top with buffalo sauce. Continue frying until lightly charred on the other side and cooked right through the centre. Place the chicken sauce-side-down on a large plate or chopping board. Brush the other side with buffalo sauce, then leave to rest for 5-10mins before slicing into thin strips.
  • In a large mixing/salad bowl add the lettuce, cabbage, carrot, cucumber and spring onion. Scrape in any leftover oil from the pan, alongside any resting juices from the chicken. Toss to combine.
  • Divide the salad into 4 portions, then top with bacon, avocado and sliced buffalo chicken. Drizzle over your preferred amount of dressing, then tuck in and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Buffalo Sauce - You can use store-bought (I recommend Frank's Buffalo Sauce) or Homemade Buffalo Sauce. I typically serve with a bit more drizzled over the top, but that's completely optional.
b) Dressing - I love serving ranch and blue cheese sauce equally. You could use store-bought or Homemade Ranch. I also have a Blue Cheese Dip, which you can stir in a dash of milk to thin out to your preference, and it makes the perfect blue cheese dressing!
c) Chicken - You can use 4 large boneless skinless thighs if you'd prefer. I recommend pounding them to even-thickness beforehand, just to make sure they cook through quicker and more evenly (not crucial!). They'll take a little longer to cook through than breast.
d) Calories - Assuming 2x 200g chicken breasts and 2 tbsp ranch per person.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
The Best Buffalo Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 672 Calories from Fat 468
% Daily Value*
Fat 52.03g80%
Saturated Fat 4.835g24%
Trans Fat 0.17g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10.232g
Monounsaturated Fat 14.357g
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 1062mg44%
Potassium 1414mg40%
Carbohydrates 21.97g7%
Fiber 9.4g38%
Sugar 9.08g10%
Protein 33.34g67%
Vitamin A 7844IU157%
Vitamin C 38.1mg46%
Calcium 102mg10%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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