Nutritious & Delicious Buffalo Chicken Salad

IMG_0332When it comes to salads, I need lots of flavor, but I’m not a huge fan of dressings (condiments in general, actually. Goopiness – blech). That means whatever goodies I put on my salad need to be flavor-rich, yet nutritious. For example, if I’m making a sweet salad, I like adding things like berries, nuts, and pumpkin seeds.

As I move into a (short) cutting phase in my journey, I’ve turned to big salads with lean protein for dinner most nights. A couple of nights ago, I was craving a savory salad—preferably something with warm toppings since it’s cold and rainy in the Pacific Northwest right now! I also love spicy food, so I decided to try making my own buffalo chicken for my bed of greens.

Here’s what went into my salad:

  • About 3 cups of tender baby spinach and romaine with radicchio
  • ¼ of medium avocado
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (~10)
  • 8 oz. chicken breast (I was behind on protein, but 4 ounces is about right)
  • Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce (enough to coat chicken)
  • 1/4 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS Greek yogurt ranch dressing (I dip, and didn’t use the full serving)

Image credit: T-Nation,

Since I’m sure you know how to make a salad (pile veggies on a dish!), I’ll jump right into how I made the Buffalo chicken. After washing and trimming the chicken breast, slice as desired. Pro tip: the smaller you cut the pieces, the more flavor you’ll get. Coat chicken pieces with olive oil, followed by Frank’s sauce. You can marinate the chicken overnight or for a couple of hours for even more flavor, but you’ll get plenty of flavor without marinating as well. Place chicken pieces on a cookie sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. That’s it! Remove from oven and place on top of your salad.

Of course, you can add other veggies as desired, and you can mix in your dressing or eat it on the side, whatever you prefer. I used Bolthouse Farms brand dressing (pictured); it was the first time I’d ever tried it, and I must say, I approve! But your choice of healthy dressing will do. For my exact salad listed above, I’ve provided the calorie and macro information below.

Nutritional content:

  • 460 calories
  • 55 grams protein
  • 11 g carbs
  • 19 g fat

If you’re not cutting carbs, this is still a yummy, hearty option for lunch or dinner. Just pair it with a whole grain roll or incorporate a complex carb like quinoa.

I’ll write a post soon about my decision to start cutting, my approach, and how it’s going so far. Until then, try this salad and let me know what you think!

Eat up!

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