Buffalo Chicken Salad is so simple and absolutely bursting with flavor!
My husband Z looked at me the other day and said, “You know that salad you made in a jar the other day? Can you make that again?”
That, my friends, is how you know you have a winner.
Now, surely you don’t have to store this Buffalo Chicken Salad in a Mason jar. You can definitely serve it in a big bowl skip the jar altogether. Do what makes the most sense for you!
I paired this with a homemade dairy-free ranch dressing that uses mayo as the base. Scroll down to see that recipe.
To make the buffalo sauce, I used Frank’s Red Hot as the base. It’s just cayenne peppers, white vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder. On its own, it’s a bit salty, so check the seasoning before you salt and pepper the final dish.
Buffalo chicken aficionados will quickly notice that I stripped down the buffalo sauce ingredient list. Don’t worry: This Buffalo Chicken Salad has plenty of flavor!
- For the Buffalo Chicken
- 1 lb (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup (59 mL) prepared hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) melted ghee
- 1 tsp (5 mL) apple cider vinegar
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- For the Salad
- 1/2 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped or small bag mixed greens
- 1/2 pint (2 very large handfuls) cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cucumber (or 2 Persian cucumbers), quartered
- 4 green onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
- Optional toppings: sliced celery, sliced avocado, crispy bacon, etc.
- Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing (see the recipe below), optional
You can cook the chicken however you’d like. It would be great pan-fried or grilled, but here’s a method for poaching that results in moist, shreddable chicken: Lay the chicken breasts flat in a large, high-sided skillet. Add generous pinches of salt and pepper. Add water until it just covers the chicken. Cover the skillet, and bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer. Poach the chicken for about 15 minutes or until completely cooked through, then move to a plate to cool. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or dice it.
While the chicken is cooking, make the buffalo sauce. In a small bowl, combine the hot sauce, ghee, vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Mix until well combined.
When the chicken is cooked, toss it with the buffalo sauce.
If making the salad in a bowl, layer the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and green onion as the base. Then arrange the chicken on top. Serve with your dressing of choice.
If making the salad in Mason jars, layer the chicken on the bottom, followed by the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and green onion in quart-sized Mason jars. Store the dressing separately until ready to use.
You can use any greens as the base of this Buffalo Chicken Salad. We don’t eat iceberg lettuce a ton, but I like it in this dish because it’s crispy. If you’re not into it, use whatever salad greens you like. This would be great on butter lettuce or chopped up romaine.
- 1/4 cup (59 mL) prepared mayo (homemade or a brand with clean ingredients)
- 1-2 tbsp (15-30 mL) full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 tbsp (8 mL) lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Sea salt, to taste
In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk, lemon juice, parsley, chive, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well until completely combined. Check the salt level and add sea salt to taste.
If the dressing is too thick, add more coconut milk one teaspoon at a time until it’s to your desired consistency.
Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Feel free to use whatever dressing you like to complement this Buffalo Chicken Salad. Traditionally, buffalo chicken is served with blue cheese dressing, but that’s pretty hard to make dairy-free. Instead, I paired it with a dairy-free jazzed up version of ranch.
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