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.
- 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.
Pin this Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe for later: