This loaded buffalo chicken salad with spicy ranch dressing is a delicious main dish salad full of crisp romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, celery, corn, crumbled blue cheese and spicy marinated buffalo chicken. Top it with an easy homemade spicy ranch dressing for a salad that won’t disappoint!
Who’s watching the super bowl this weekend? Honestly neither team that’s playing thrills me so we’ll probably just have it on in the background while we do something else.
And by something else I mean eat all of the super bowl food! I mean that is the main event, right?
For the main dish I like to make this slow cooker bison sweet potato chili. For something light and fresh, try this buffalo chicken salad with spicy ranch dressing that I’m sharing the recipe for today!
Ingredients Needed to Make the Buffalo Chicken Salad
- chicken breasts
- hot sauce, I use Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
- ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill
- plain Greek yogurt
- romaine lettuce
- red bell pepper
- green onions and cilantro
- blue cheese
How to Make the Buffalo Chicken Salad
The chicken will need to be marinated for at least an hour and up to overnight, so plan ahead. Add the chicken to a freezer bag and then add in the hot sauce, honey, spices, salt and pepper. Seal the bag, pressing out the air and then massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate it.
After the chicken marinates, grill it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing it.
To assemble the salad, use a large serving bowl or plate like I did. Put the romaine down first and toss it with the chopped cilantro. Top it with the sliced chicken, shredded carrots, celery, corn, red bell pepper, green onions and blue cheese crumbles. If you aren’t a fan of certain toppings, skip them or add other that you do like.
How to Make Spicy Ranch Dressing
The easiest way to make the dressing for this buffalo chicken salad is to add all of the ingredients to a mason jar with a lid and shake them all together until they’re combined. If you don’t have a mason jar put everything in a glass measuring cup and whisk it together.
You will likely need to add a little water or milk to the dressing to thin it out slightly. Start with a tablespoon and add more as needed until you get to the consistency that you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Should the Chicken Be Cooked?
My preference is to grill the chicken. The grill adds a nice hint of smoky flavor. However, you can also cook the chicken in a skillet on the stove or bake it. For baking, set the oven to 400° F. and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.
Substitution for Blue Cheese
If you aren’t a fan of blue cheese, try goat cheese, feta or even shredded or cubed cheddar or Colby Jack cheese. You can also skip the cheese as there are plenty of other toppings to give the salad tons of flavor.
What Kind of Hot Sauce Should I Use?
I use Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce. I like the level of heat and the thicker consistency compared to a traditional hot sauce. This sauce is spicy, but not over the top, although they do have a spicier version if you prefer.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 8 cup chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 stalk of celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
- Chopped cilantro (optional)
Spicy Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce or to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Water to thin the dressing as needed
- Add the chicken breasts along with all of the other marinade ingredients to a resealable freezer bag. Press out the air, seal, and massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- Preheat grill to 400° F. and spray the grates with oil. Cook the chicken for 6 minutes on the first side then flip and cook another 6-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F. Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing it.
- Place the romaine lettuce on a large serving platter or serving bowl. Top it with all of the salad ingredients and the sliced buffalo chicken. Serve with the dressing on the side or drizzled on top.
Spicy Ranch Dressing
- Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until combined. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to the dressing to thin it out until it's a consistency that you like. Taste for seasoning.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1339mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 33g