Spicy Buffalo Chicken Salad is classic pub fare, and easy to make at home! Sure to be loved by the whole family, it's also low carb & gluten free!
Beyond ordering buffalo chicken wings, buffalo chicken sandwiches - or buffalo chicken pizza - when eating at a sports pub, there are all KINDS of buffalo chicken recipes out there.
With the big game day on the horizon, such recipes are dominating my pinterest feed: buffalo chicken tacos, buffalo chicken soup, buffalo chicken dip, even buffalo chicken casserole!
While a buffalo chicken salad sandwich can always be done up as lettuce wraps, the vast majority of these forms of the spicy chicken dish... aren’t exactly keto friendly.
So, here’s how I make a delicious buffalo chicken salad.
Basically a classic chicken salad, punched up with spicy hot sauce, and accented with creamy avocado slices, crunchy celery, and ranch dressing.
It’s a super easy buffalo chicken salad recipe, and comes together in just minutes - no marinated involved, the quick homemade buffalo sauce (2 ingredients!) cooks down to a glaze right on the chicken.
This tangy salad not only makes for a delicious lunch, it’s a healthy meal option, coming in around 2-5 net carbs per serving, depending on how you top it!
Anyway, let’s get to it...
This hearty salad is a SUPER simple recipe, and you’ll definitely be able to find all the ingredients in almost any grocery store.
I tend to look at this in 3 parts - the base salad, the toppings, and the chicken. Some notes for you:
I like to meal prep several days worth of salad base bowls on grocery day - some sort of fresh greens, along with some fairly neutral fresh vegetables - Usually shredded broccoli stems, carrot, green onions, cucumber, and radish.
1 batch makes 10 salads, so we’ve got a few days worth of base salads to adorn all kinds of different ways. (They tend to last 6-7 days in the fridge.
It’s a pretty slick way to get a lot of vegetables into our diet, and feels like SO much less work than making full salads individually.
See my Salad Meal Prep post for full details on how I do it.
Want to make this salad as a standalone thing?
You can use a base of salad greens, spring mix, baby spinach, and/or romaine lettuce. I’d add some cucumber and green onions in when making buffalo ranch chicken salad, for good measure.
Before even getting to the chicken, there’s the matter of the toppings I add to the base salad, to customize it for a buffalo chicken salad.
As far as fresh vegetables go, I like to slice up celery ribs, red onion, jalapeno, and avocado for this salad.
When I have some bell pepper - red or green - on hand, I’ll toss some of that on, too.
As far as fresh herbs go, I like fresh cilantro on this salad. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, fresh parsley works too - I prefer flat leaf.
In terms of canned or pickled vegetables, black olives are pretty much a given when I make this salad.
Sometimes my husband will be in the mood for canned or pickled jalapenos, so those find their way in as well.
I tend to like some form of cheese on my salads, and this is no exception.
I’m not a fan of blue cheese (AKA bleu cheese), so I tend to use shredded Monterrey jack cheese when I have it, or cheddar cheese when I don’t.
Goat cheese is a fun option.
Of course, if you ARE a fan of bleu cheese, blue cheese crumbles are pretty tradtional!
Blue cheese dressing is traditional, but I use a creamy ranch dressing.
While I make a lot of homemade dressing in general, I usually can’t be arsed to toss on a batch of homemade ranch dressing when making this salad.
It’s definitely a “quick and dirty” salad for us, you know?
The spicy glazed chicken for this salad takes just a few basic ingredients:
Boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken tenderloins)
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Olive Oil, or Butter
Salt and Pepper
I use 1 small chicken breast per person, or 1 lb of chicken breasts for every two salads, when doing a bigger batch.
I find using raw chicken breast is the best way to do this - you can cook the sauce down into a glaze while the chicken cooks.
This is not as much an option for pre-cooked chicken, as it’ll tend to overcook.
That said, if you’re less concerned about cooking it down into a thick glaze, you can toss leftover rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked boneless buffalo wings in the buffalo wing sauce, and call it a day.
This is not high cuisine, more like some loose guidelines!
How to Make Salad
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post. Here is the pictorial walk through, with step-by-step photos and some more detailed information where necessary.
Prepare your topping ingredients - Slice the avocado, onions, jalapenos, and olives if using. Chop the cilantro, shred the cheese, etc.
Arrange desired salad ingredients on top of the prepared salad - or salad greens.
Slice chicken into bite sized pieces, season with a little salt and pepper.
Heat oil or butter in a small nonstick pan. (Use large skillet if you’re doing multiple sevrings).
Add chicken to the pan, cook over medium-high heat until browned, but not cooked through.
Add hot sauce, turn stove top down to medium heat continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, and sauce has cooked down to a glaze on the chicken.
Arrange buffalo chicken on top of the prepared salad. Serve immediately, with ranch dressing.
More Keto Main Dish Salad Recipes
Looking for more low carb salad recipes that are substantial enough to serve as a meal? Look no further, I have a ton of delicious recipes for you!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad
Italian Sub Salad
Keto Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Chicken
Keto Taco Salad
Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Salad Meal Prep
Seafood Cobb Salad
Seared Tuna Salad
Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad
Shawarma Chicken Salad
Steak Salad with Creamy Wasabi Dressing
Thai Pesto Salmon Salad
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Buffalo Chicken Salad
- 1 Chicken Breast
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil or Butter
- 2 tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot
- Base Salad or 2 cups of salad greens
- Shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- Slice Red onions
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Black Olives
- Ranch Dressing
- Slice chicken into bite sized pieces, season with a little salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil or butter in a small nonstick pan. Add chicken to the pan, cook over medium high heat until browned, but not cooked through.
- Add hot sauce, continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, and sauce has cooked down to a glaze on the chicken.
- Arrange desired salad ingredients on top of the prepared salad - or salad greens - and top with buffalo chicken.
- Serve immediately, with ranch dressing.