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This protein-packed salad features spicy buffalo chicken, crisp banana peppers, juicy grape tomatoes, and tangy blue cheese crumbles.
Friends, I need a sugar break. Badly. I feel like the only thing I’ve been doing for the past 2 and 1/2 weeks is melt chocolate, chop candy, shake containers of sugar and sugar-coated cereal (oh, and taking a break to bake some new oatmeal cookies), and taste-test my creations.
Thank goodness for my gym membership.
I’m sugar-overloaded, and today’s recipe reflects that. The only sugar in this recipe is all-natural and comes from tomatoes. Yay.
It’s funny this recipe comes to my blog just days after being featured on Buzzfeed for this beautiful buffalo chicken chili. I am currently obsessed with this salad. OB-SESSED, I tell you. I am a complete sucker for buffalo chicken anything (my fav? That chili or pizza!) and one of my favorite lunch indulgences is the buffalo blue salad from SaladWorks.
When I really thought about it, I realized I could totally make that salad at home, save myself the $8, and not be tempted with eating that amazing roll (aaaaamazing, seriously). I also don’t include the tortilla strips to keep this salad completely gluten free.
Since the day I recreated this salad at home about a month ago, I’ve made it just about every weeknight since. I told you– OBSESSED.
This salad is so simple to throw together. You just need some lettuce and/or spinach (I prefer to use half and half), some chicken prepared the way you like it, grape tomatoes, banana peppers, blue cheese crumbles, and this game-changer:
Have you tried this stuff?! It’s SO GOOD. I had been using regular hot sauce for the first few salads I made, and when I found this at the grocery store, it really was a game-changer. We’ve gone through 2 bottles in a month. Whoops.
I also eat these right out of the jar…
…and love every bite.
Moving right along…
Since Matt does all of our meal prep on Sunday mornings, I just ask him to bake up some extra chicken for me to have with dinners, and he usually seasons it using salt-free rubs (this week, it’s mesquite). To be perfectly honest, the hot sauce really takes over any flavor the chicken has, so you’d be absolutely fine using chicken that’s been seasoned with a little salt and pepper.
Whatever your preference is for chicken, use it.
I use about 5 ounces of chicken per salad. Feel free to increase or decrease this measurement based on the meat to other stuff ratio you prefer in your salads.
This recipe makes one salad, but increasing the ingredients to feed your family or a crowd is simple. And it takes less than 5 minutes to throw together (once your chicken is cooked, of course).
I don’t put any dressing on my salad because I don’t think it needs it. You may certainly drizzle some ranch or blue cheese dressing on yours.
The combination of flavors in this salad is unbeatable. I was hesitant to try this salad the first time, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved the tangy banana peppers mixing with the bite of the blue cheese and sweetness of the tomatoes. I wish I had thought of the ingredients on my own, but alas, I did not.
Thank you, SaladWorks, for your great idea… You’ve made my dinners as of late the reason I want to come home from work! Ok, not completely… I’m currently binge-watching Parenthood. Parenthood and buffalo chicken (and my adorable husband). That’s all a girl needs in life.
Buffalo Blue Salad
- 5 ounces boneless skinless cooked chicken*
- 2 ounces Frank's RedHot buffalo sauce
- 3 cups romaine lettuce or spinach I use 1 and 1/2 cups each
- 1 ounce banana peppers
- 3 ounces grape tomatoes halved
- 1 ounce blue cheese, gorgonzola, or feta crumbles
- Ranch dressing optional
- Chop or shred the cooked chicken and place in a small bowl. Add buffalo sauce and toss until chicken is completely coated (I like to use a spatula so I can easily scrape out all of the sauce). Allow to "flash marinate" while you prepare the rest of your salad.
- In a large bowl, combine lettuce or spinach, banana peppers, tomatoes, and cheese crumbles. Add dressed chicken and toss together until combined. Add ranch dressing (or dressing of your choice) as needed.
If you love buffalo chicken as much as I do, you must check out my Buffalo Chicken Chili!
And of course, if you’re feeling indulgent… I won’t judge.
My suggestion? My new favorite cookie: Cappuccino Cookies!