This buffalo chicken salad recipe has it all! Spicy hot sauce marinated chicken, romaine, arugula, parsley, a smattering of fresh vegetables and an irresistible buttermilk blue cheese dressing.
This buffalo chicken salad is packed with flavor. We start with a crunchy, herbaceous blend of lettuce and vegetables to give a super fresh base to the salad. Then we marinate the chicken in a killer hot sauce mixture-- it caramelizes on the grill and gives the best crunchy, smoky char to the chicken. Marinating the chicken breasts also keeps them juicy and moist, which is generally the last thing you get in a grilled chicken salad.
Finally, the pièce de résistance: the buttermilk blue cheese dressing. It’s an irresistible blend of buttermilk, sour cream, mayo and blue cheese. Tangy, milky, punchy and crazy addictive. The longer it sits, the more the flavors meld and take on the blue cheese character.
And while we’re on the topic, make sure to gently fold in the cheese when you make the dressing-- those dense creamy chunks of blue cheese are the best thing you can find at the end of your fork!
what makes this the best buffalo chicken salad?
Blend of romaine, arugula and parsley: This lettuce blend is so good here. Romaine by itself is a little boring, and feels a little too much like a salad bar for me. To elevate the salad and introduce some more flavor, I use a combination of crunchy romaine, baby arugula and chopped flat leaf parsley. You’ll be surprised how much flavor a little bit of fresh parsley adds-- the fresh, herbiness really lifts the whole salad. Baby arugula is tender, delicate and gives a peppery undertone to the dish. The combination is just perfect with the tangy buttermilk blue dressing.
Marinated spicy chicken: We use a really simple marinade of Frank’s hot sauce, honey and apple cider vinegar for the chicken breasts. The acid does wonders to tenderize the meat and infuse a ton of flavor. Don’t marinate it longer than a few hours, though, or it will “cook” the chicken like ceviche and leave it with a mushy texture. If you don’t have Frank’s on hand, feel free to use your favorite buffalo-style hot sauce here. Save some of the sauce for basting the chicken on the grill to give it an extra layer of flavor and sugars to char.
Crunchy vegetables: Don’t underestimate the importance of crunch factor in a creamy salad! Without a ton of fresh, crunchy additions like cucumber, carrots, celery and sweet cherry tomatoes, the salad would feel really heavy. The contrast is what keeps you coming back! It lightens the creamy dressing and balances out the salad.
Buttermilk blue dressing: The magic of this salad is in the dressing. Homemade blue cheese dressings are so easy, and so shockingly delicious. You have the flexibility to pick your favorite blue cheese: go mild with gorgonzola or extra punchy with a blue like Roquefort. You can also dump in as much as you’d like! Just keep the crumbles big so you can enjoy them throughout the salad.
what you need for this buffalo chicken salad:
- buffalo hot sauce (preferably Frank’s)
- olive oil
- apple cider vinegar
- chicken breasts
- romaine lettuce
- baby arugula
- cherry tomatoes
what you need for the buttermilk blue cheese dressing:
- sour cream
- blue cheese
how to make buffalo chicken salad:
- Make buffalo marinade and marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes
- Grill chicken breasts
- Make buttermilk blue cheese dressing
- Assemble salad: romaine, arugula, parsley, celery, carrots, cucumber
- Toss with a portion of the dressing
- Top with sliced chicken and tomatoes and enjoy
frequently asked questions about buffalo style chicken salads:
how many calories are in a buffalo chicken salad?
This recipe can make 4 large, entré portioned salads or 6 appetizer sized meals. If it’s divided into 6 servings, each serving has 483 calories. That’s assuming all of the dressing is used in the recipe, which isn’t usually the case. You generally only need about two-thirds of the dressing! Keep in mind the nutritional information is only an estimate and I can’t guarantee its accuracy.
how to make a healthy buffalo chicken salad:
To make this into a healthy buffalo chicken salad, just tweak the dressing! The rest of the salad is fresh vegetables and lean chicken breasts. You could adapt the buttermilk blue cheese recipe and use low-fat ingredients (though I haven’t tried this myself). You could also use a store-bought blue cheese dressing, or go completely rogue with your favorite vinaigrette.
what dressing goes with buffalo chicken salad?
I love this boneless buffalo chicken salad with our homemade buttermilk blue cheese dressing. But if you want an alternative to the blue cheese, try your favorite ranch. For a lighter dressing, red wine vinaigrette is fresh and complements the spicy hot sauce flavor of the grilled chicken.
more salad recipes to try!
butter lettuce salad with pecorino breadcrumbs
raw beet salad with citrus vinaigrette
apple arugula salad with pickled raisins and walnut vinaigrette
roasted beet salad with goat cheese, strawberries and preserved lemon vinaigrettePrint
buffalo chicken salad recipe
Grilled buffalo chicken salad has it all! Spicy hot sauce marinated chicken, romaine, arugula, parsley, a smattering of fresh vegetables and an irresistible buttermilk blue cheese dressing!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4- 6
- Category: Salad
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
buttermilk blue cheese dressing
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
grilled buffalo chicken salad
- ¾ cup Buffalo hot sauce (preferably Frank’s)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
- ½ hot house cucumber, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
buttermilk blue cheese dressing
- Whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Fold in blue cheese; don’t break up the crumbles too much. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Dressing will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.
grilled buffalo chicken salad
- Whisk together hot sauce, olive oil, honey, vinegar, garlic, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Scoop out ¼ cup marinade and reserve for basting. Add chicken to bowl, toss to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat for at least 10 minutes. Clean and oil grates. Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off, and place on grill. Cook until dark grill marks develop, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook another 3- 5 minutes, basting with reserved marinade, until chicken registers 165°F. Transfer to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
- While chicken rests, assemble salad. Combine romaine, arugula, parsley, celery, carrots and cucumber in a large bowl. Toss with a third of buttermilk blue cheese dressing. Top with sliced chicken and tomatoes. Serve with more dressing on the side.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: ⅙ of salad
- Calories: 483
- Sugar: 10g
- Sodium: 684mg
- Fat: 35g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Unsaturated Fat: 22g
- Trans Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Protein: 29g
- Cholesterol: 100mg
Keywords: buffalo chicken salad
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