This Buffalo Chicken Salad is a refreshing, filling and super easy dinner or lunch.
Who said eating a salad had to be boring? This salad is chock full of flavor and carries a kick with the buffalo chicken. The best part of this salad is that it doesn’t take nearly as long to prep and many other salads that are more than just leafy greens. This salad is all the flavor and none of the work! Yas!
No chopping! No lengthy cooking.
Using a combination of ready-made chicken and bagged salad mixed saves so much time. Just heat the chicken, toss it in buffalo sauce, and serve it over a bed of greens, topped with black olives, a small bit of cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. Sound easy? It totally is!
Choose crispy or rotisserie chicken.
For this Buffalo Chicken Salad, any type of chicken will work just fine. I like a little crunch so I prefer to use cooked, frozen chicken tenders. If you want to skip on the breading that comes along with chicken tenders, you can use rotisserie chicken. Both are great options for saving time, especially if you don’t want to make your own chicken. Although, you could do that too!
If you have another chicken option in mind, don’t be afraid to use it. This salad is all about making a delicious lunch or dinner without a ton of effort or time.
What’s the best hot sauce to use?
I prefer Frank’s hot sauce because you get that authentic buffalo chicken wing flavor. But if you prefer a different brand or just want to mix things up, try different brands and see what you like best!
Frank’s actually makes a “Buffalo Red Hot Wings” sauce in Buffalo flavor (or they have a hot Buffalo flavor) which is a great shortcut.
However, it’s super easy to make your own Buffalo Wing sauce with just Frank’s hot sauce and butter.
So choose what what works for you! I go with whatever I have on hand since I don’t always remember to buy the wing sauce but pretty much always have Franks hot sauce on hand.
The secret is in the cheese!
Of course, it’s always best to go with the cheese you have on hand to save time, money, and effort. However, if possible, use fresh cheddar cheese and grate it yourself.
Not only does grating cheese save money, it also allows you to use less, because you get so much more cheesy flavor when you grate it fresh. You only need one tablespoon per salad!
Pre-shredded vs. Fresh Grated Cheese
Shredded cheese has a lack of flavor in comparison with fresh cheese. The reason for this is that the store-bought shredded cheese is coated in a powder to prevent it from clumping. The powder takes away from the flavor and makes it taste dry too. It’s more expensive too but you’re paying for convenience.
Listen, I get it if you don’t feel like you have time to grate your own cheese. However, you won’t be sitting their grating cheese forever just to get enough to make this Buffalo Chicken Salad.
It doesn’t take much at all and you can quickly grate you cheese using a hand-held microplane cheese grater. A little nugget of cheese will turn into a big pile of fresh grated cheese so a small block goes a long way!
Since you don’t need nearly as much cheese when you use fresh grated, you’re cutting some calories too. If you don’t have a cheese grater, shop them on Amazon.
Add some extra vitamins to this buffalo chicken salad.
You can substitute 1 cup (or more if you want) of the iceberg lettuce mix with 1 cup dark leafy greens — try healthy spinach or kale for extra nutrition!
Make this buffalo chicken salad kid-friendly!
If you’re wanting to make this kid-friendly, simply deconstruct the salad. There’s no reason to make more than one meal to please both the kids and the adults.
Simply put the lettuce and carrots on the side with plain chicken – no buffalo sauce since it will be too spicy for children (unless they like it, of course). This salad includes a lot of amazing ingredients, full of nutrients, perfect for fueling the rest of your day while still being healthy.
A light yet filling summer dinner idea
I’ve made this Buffalo Chicken Salad both for lunches and dinners for the entire family. It’s super quick to make, even if you’re making more than one or making it in bulk.
Salads with some added protein are always great for quick, one-bowl meals without putting a ton of effort into being healthy. Sticking to a nutritious and balanced diet can be really difficult as a mom.
This salad is my answer to a quick and healthy meal without a bunch of planning and prepping. You’re going to love this salad!
Want more easy dinner ideas?
Love Buffalo chicken?
- 2 chicken tenders
- 1/3 cup Buffalo Wing sauce or 1/4 cups hot sauce + 2 tbsp butter
- 4 cups iceberg salad mix include cabbage and carrots
- 2-4 tbsp fresh shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cups sliced black olives
- Ranch dressing to taste
- Optional: add diced fresh tomaotoes
- Cook chicken tenders according to package. I usually use a combination of the microwave and toaster oven so that it's quick yet still crispy. If you're using a rotisserie chicken, just cut up about a cup of chicken into bite-sized chunks.
- In a glass bowl, melt butter then add hot sauce. Give it a stir to combine and create your buffalo sauce.
- Toss chicken in buffalo sauce.
- Divide iceberg salad mix and leafy greens between two salad bowls. Tear larger pieces as needed.
- Layer buffalo chicken on top of the greens (cut up tenders if you'd like), add olives then cheddar cheese. Finish with a drizzle of ranch dressing.