Buffalo Grilled Chicken Salad
This Buffalo Grilled Chicken Salad is quick, includes an easy homemade buffalo sauce, and is packed with crunchy veggies!
Update: This recipe was originally published in 2019 and has been republished with all new photos.
Before we moved there was a restaurant close to my house that sold a great Buffalo Grilled Chicken Salad and a few years ago I went through a phase of eating it eat it 4 or 5 times a week. Clearly I am a creature of habit. That salad was my inspiration for creating my own version. The idea was of course to keep it simple, flavorful, and sneak in extra veggies.
For this salad you’ll want to use either one chicken breast or three chicken tenderloins. You can grill your chicken using an indoor grill (I have a Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe that I love because it’s nonstick and quick to clean) or an outdoor grill. Now I understand that often times we want to make things even easier so I’m also including directions for sautéing your chicken on the stove. It truly doesn’t matter which method you use!
This recipe is for one large entree-sized salad. You can easily double, triple, or quadruple it if you’re feeding more people.
Buffalo Grilled Chicken Salad Ingredients
- Chicken breast or chicken tenderloins: We’re using boneless and skinless chicken breasts in this salad. You can also use chicken tenderloins if you prefer.
- Olive or avocado oil: A little oil helps prevent our chicken from sticking to the grill. If you choose to sauté the chicken the oil will also keep it from sticking to the skillet.
- Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce: While I’m a huge fan of several other hot sauces, I’ve found that Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce does best when creating a buffalo sauce. It’s not too spicy and the heat isn’t too highly concentrated for what we want here.
- Butter, ghee, or vegan butter: Use whichever you prefer. They’re all good options to get the creamy buffalo sauce texture we want.
- Apple cider vinegar: The vinegar adds a bit of tanginess to our sauce.
- Lettuce of choice: For this salad I recommend romaine, spinach, iceberg lettuce, or a mix of these.
- Broccoli: Chop those broccoli florets into bite sized pieces so they don’t overpower the other salad ingredients.
- Cucumber: Cucumber adds more veggie crunch to this salad.
- Celery: I love the peppery flavor of celery paired with buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.
- Green onion: Green onion has a milder taste than most onions.
- Ranch dressing: Use your favorite store-bought ranch dressing or use one of my recipes to make a homemade version.
- Seasonings: Salt and black pepper amplify the flavor of our chicken. Garlic powder works its magic in our easy buffalo sauce.
- Optional: Crumbled blue cheese
Can you use a different hot sauce?
I personally recommend sticking to Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce. While I’m a huge fan of several other hot sauces, I’ve found that Frank’s does best when creating a buffalo sauce. It’s not too spicy or the heat isn’t too highly concentrated for what we want here.
What ranch dressing is best to use?
If you have a favorite store-bought Ranch Dressing use it! If you’re like me and enjoy making your own (it’s simple) or want one that’s dairy free, check out mine. My Easy Ranch Dressing is a completely start from scratch recipe. My Dairy Free Ranch Dressing & Dip is thick and starts with a high quality mayo.
Optional Salad Toppings
I’ve loaded this salad with crunchy veggies but you can add your own twist by including some of the optional toppings below if you like:
- Red onion
- 1/2 avocado
- Chopped fresh green beans
- Blue cheese, shredded or crumbled cheddar, or goat cheese
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pistachios)
Buffalo Grilled Chicken Salad
- ½ tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 1 chicken breast, boneless and skinless, or use 3 chicken tenderloins
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce
- 2 teaspoons butter, ghee, or vegan butter, melted
- ⅛ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups lettuce of choice, Can use romaine, spinach, iceberg lettuce, or a mix
- ½ cup broccoli, chopped
- ½ cup cucumber, diced
- 1 stem green onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing, If you don't have one on hand make one of mine
Optional toppings: diced carrot, radish, red onion, 1/2 avocado, chopped fresh green beans, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, goat cheese, nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pistachios)
- If grilling chicken: Preheat grill to medium high heat. Both indoor or outdoor grills work great. Coat the outside of your chicken with olive oil to help prevent sticking. (Can skip the oil if you're using a nonstick indoor grill.) Place on the hot grill. Salt and pepper the side facing up. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from grill and set aside.
- If sautéing chicken: Preheat nonstick skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil (or another cooking fat of choice) to skillet. Place your chicken in the hot pan. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Combine Buffalo Sauce ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag. Toss cooked chicken with sauce until well coated.