Spice up your sandwiches with this buffalo chicken salad recipe! This easy chicken salad features almonds, blue cheese crumbles, celery, wing sauce, and more in a zippy and better-for-you sauce. Using a rotisserie chicken makes this chicken salad a breeze.
Another day, another buffalo chicken recipe. Or so it seems! Buffalo sauce makes frequent appearances in my off-blog eats, so it's not a stretch to say quite a few buffalo recipes have made it onto here, too.
This one came to fruition after I did a serious pantry inventory. We have a good amount of kitchen storage, which means I don't necessarily have much restraint when it comes to stocking up on dry goods when I see a sale.
Evidently I don't have a great pantry recall, either, because three unopened bottles of buffalo sauce piled up before I committed to memory that we were good. on. that.
To use up all this sauce, I started thinking about the chicken recipes I make often and landed on chicken salad. I make it every few weeks and my husband and I both enjoy it on salads, sandwiches, or just by itself for weekday lunches. It's easy, pretty healthy, and we never get sick of it, which is a BIG win when it comes to lunch.
With a few ingredient switches from my usual standard curry chicken salad, this buffalo chicken salad recipe was born. It's zippy but not overly spicy, NOT gloopy like some chicken salads out there, and features a nod to buffalo chicken staples like blue cheese and ranch spices.
Easy recipe ingredients and steps
Let's start with the chicken. When you can certainly cook the chicken yourself, I usually shred up a rotisserie chicken. FYI how I quickly cook up the chicken myself is detailed in this healthy buffalo chicken dip post.
This buffalo chicken salad recipe uses one whole rotisserie chicken worth of meat, which came out to somewhere between four and five cups.
For add-ins I start with diced celery and diced onion, which are my chicken salad staples. I swapped my usual cashews for sliced almonds, and mix in crumbled blue cheese to really bring the classic buffalo wing flavor home.
Next to the light mayonnaise, whisk in buffalo sauce and apple cider vinegar. That'll form the base of the 'sauce' mixture that's creamy, spicy, and with a welcome bite.
In thinking about the flavors of a plate of buffalo wings, we have everything going on here except for some ranch action. While the sauce here doesn't need more liquid, I add some of the dried herbs and spices that are featured in homemade ranch seasoning, including salt, pepper, parsley, chives, garlic powder, and dill.
Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the bowl with the other ingredients, and that's it.
What buffalo sauce to use
My buffalo sauce preference is Frank's RedHot Wings, which I noted in the recipe card below. I'm not sponsored by Frank's in any way (though, to be honest, I wish I was!). It just has the consistency, flavor, and spice-level I love in buffalo recipes.
Here's why I love this recipe
This buffalo chicken salad doesn't hit you over the head with a ton of bold flavors. The buffalo sauce builds slightly in spice as you eat but doesn't overwhelm everything else. You shouldn't have to go running for a cup of milk while you eat this.
It's also an incredibly versatile main dish, both in temperature and in serving. It's just as great warm as it is cold from the refrigerator, so there's no need to reheat leftover lunch portions.
Then there's how you eat it. A buffalo chicken salad sandwich is a classic, but I like to take it a step further and serve it on a wrap - either a flour wrap or a lettuce wrap. It's not a liquidy chicken salad so it works even better. This salad is also great scooped on top of a more traditional garden salad for a protein boost.
And let's be real. Just scooped into a bowl is a perfectly fine option, too.
Other recipes you may like
To keep with the spicy and speedy aspect, buffalo chicken tortilla pie is wonderful weeknight meal option as it's done in thirty minutes or less, and so is this buffalo chicken grilled cheese. It's the pinnacle of Game Day-esque comfort food.
Both of those recipes are also great uses of leftover cooked chicken or a shredded rotisserie chicken!
- The ingredients here are really customizable. Regular mayo will work if you don't have/prefer light, you can omit the blue cheese and/or almonds if you like, and the dry spices can be altered based on what's convenient. For instance if you don't have dried chives or parsley, don't worry about it.
- The quantity of blue cheese here is on the subtler side, if such an 'in-your-face' type of ingredient can ever be described as subtle. You can always add more at the end if you like a bolder blue cheese flavor.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
- 5 cups cooked and shredded chicken (or the amount from one whole rotisserie chicken)
- ½ cup diced celery
- ¼ cup diced onion
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles more to taste
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tbsp light mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp buffalo wings sauce more to taste (such as FRANK'S REDHOT®)
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried chives
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- Add shredded chicken to a large mixing bowl. Add celery, onions, almonds, and blue cheese crumbles and stir to combine.
- Add light mayonnaise, buffalo wings sauce, and apple cider vinegar to a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Add salt, parsley, chives, pepper, garlic powder, and dill and whisk to mix in.
- Pour mayonnaise mixture into the bowl with the chicken and other ingredients. Stir to coat everything evenly. Serve warm or cold.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer