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Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe

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I love this buffalo chicken salad recipe as a family-friendly dinner salad meal! Skeptical? I share exactly how to serve it to the whole family below – along with the reminder that not all salads need to look alike. 😉 But no matter what your salad looks like, it’s loaded with crunchy veggies, cool ranch dressing, and spicy buffalo chicken! YUM! You could also use crock pot buffalo chicken or sous vide shredded chicken and it would be delicious, but it won’t be a crispy chicken salad.

If you need more 15-minute dinners in your weeknight dinner repertoire, be sure to check out the Weeknight Dinner Club and try my ground turkey lettuce wraps, crispy black bean tacos, sheet pan grilled cheese, and pesto tortellini next time.

Bowl with crispy buffalo chicken over salad greens

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What You’ll Love About Buffalo Chicken Salad

  • Classic buffalo chicken flavors
  • Nutritious and delicious meal
  • Great family-friendly way to have salad for dinner
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Just 10 minutes prep time
  • Just 15 minutes total time
Fork with buffalo chicken salad on it

Ingredients

You’ll need just 8 simple ingredients to make this healthy buffalo chicken salad:

  • Lettuce – Just like my burger salad, I like using a really crunchy lettuce like romaine lettuce or iceberg or a combination of both!
  • Spinach – I recommend using a little sliced spinach for some color and extra nutrients, but it’s totally optional.
  • Chicken – For a crispy buffalo chicken salad, I like using frozen and breaded chicken bites or tenders, but you have so many options. You could use crock pot buffalo chicken, sous vide shredded chicken, rotisserie chicken, chicken nuggets, grilled chicken breast, or your favorite chicken alternative for a vegetarian protein option.
  • Celery – Use thinly sliced celery for extra crunch and veggies.
  • Carrot – Use thinly sliced carrots for extra crunch, color, and veggies.
  • Buffalo sauce – Use your favorite buffalo wing sauce here to taste. You can adjust for each salad or leave off completely for anyone who doesn’t want spice. BBQ sauce would also be a great option without the heat or use your favorite hot sauce for a different flavor.
  • Dressing – Use ranch or blue cheese dressing. You can make your own homemade ranch dressing or use your favorite store-bought brand.
  • Extras – Blue cheese crumbles, red onion, green onions, diced tomato, diced cucumber, diced avocado, diced bell peppers.

How to Make Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad

Let’s make this buffalo chicken salad recipe! Here are the general instructions. Specifics can be found below in the recipe card.

  • Cook chicken. Cook frozen and breaded chicken tenders in the air fryer for max crispiness and minimum cooking time. If you’re using a different chicken, heat if necessary or serve cold.
  • Prep any other salad ingredients. Chop lettuce, slice celery, slice carrots, etc.
  • Assemble salad. In individual bowls or a large salad bowl, add lettuce, spinach, celery, and carrots.
  • Finish salad. Drizzle salad with dressing and top with blue cheese if using. Slice crispy chicken and toss with buffalo sauce and place onto salad. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper if desired.
Bowl of salad with crispy buffalo chicken on top

Storage Instructions

This buffalo ranch chicken salad is best served immediately.

How to prep ahead

You can easily prep a few components to make this salad come together really quickly:

  • Wash, dry, and chop lettuce (or just wash and dry and chop right before serving)
  • Slice celery and carrots and store in water
  • Cook chicken if not using chicken tenders
Bowl of salad greens with crispy chicken and buffalo sauce

How to Serve Chicken Salad with Buffalo Sauce to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉

I would recommend serving this crispy chicken salad deconstructed – so let everyone make their own perfect salad. (Even if that means they don’t choose any lettuce!) And as always, serve with a few items you know they will eat. If they eat chicken tenders or chicken nuggets, you may just need to add a fruit or some bread and butter or crackers.

You could also serve this more as a sandwich or wrap, by switching up the ratios of salad and chicken.

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

More Buffalo Chicken Recipes

If you like this crispy buffalo chicken salad recipe, you might also like some of these other buffalo chicken recipes:

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Bowl with crispy buffalo chicken over salad greens

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad

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Description

This crispy buffalo chicken salad recipe is loaded with crunchy veggies, cooling ranch dressing, and crispy buffalo chicken! Perfect for weeknight meals.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 26 oz. frozen and breaded chicken bites or tenders
  • 2 oz. buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. Cook chicken tenders according to package instructions. I like to air fry them for the fastest cooking method. 
  2. While chicken is cooking, prep any ingredients and assemble salads. Top lettuce with spinach, celery, and carrots. Drizzle with ranch dressing to taste and top with blue cheese crumbles if using.
  3. Slice chicken and drizzle with buffalo sauce to taste and place onto salad.

Notes

Keywords: buffalo chicken salad, buffalo chicken salad recipe, crispy chicken salad

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Comments

  1. Tut Gramling

    So easy; the chicken bites only take 8 minutes to cook in the air fryer and the salad does come together in that time. It was satisfying with good contrasts ~ crispy, creamy, and sharp. I’ll make it again. Thanks Emily






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