Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Healthy Buffalo Chicken Salad

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Salad

By cutting back on the mayonnaise and replacing it with gut-friendly Greek yogurt, this buffalo chicken salad is higher in protein and lower in unhealthy fats. We also added fresh herbs and vegetables to make this chicken salad recipe more plant-forward and delicious!
buffalo chicken salad in a white bowl

This is a variation of our healthy chicken salad base recipe. We love classic chicken salad, but sometimes it’s fun to add a little pizazz! This healthy buffalo chicken salad is packed with lean protein, colorful vegetables, and a dash of heat to nourish your body and satisfy your tastebuds. 

Three Must-Know Cooking Skills

For recipe success, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for this Easy Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe

Mix together the chicken salad dressing first to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed before adding the remaining ingredients.

If you are unsure about the heat of your buffalo hot sauce, start with 1 Tablespoon, then add more to YOUR taste!

Need to cook chicken for this recipe? Try this simple simmering method. Season about 1 pound of raw chicken breasts with salt and pepper, place in a saute pan, and add water or broth until it covers the bottom quarter of the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer 25-30 minutes, until chicken is tender and not pink. The internal temperature should be at least 165°F.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Plain Greek Yogurt: substitute plain yogurt. Choose a fat content that fits within your overall diet.
  • Mayonnaise: substitute up to ½ of the mayonnaise with more Greek yogurt. Keep in mind that the fat in the mayonnaise (provided by eggs and oil) helps improve the texture of the sauce. Look for mayonnaise made with avocado, canola, or olive oil.
  • Frank’s Hot Sauce: substitute your favorite hot sauce, but start with less, then adjust to your taste.
  • Parsley: substitute chives or green onion, but note that the flavor will be different.
  • Lemon Juice: substitute apple cider or white vinegar.
  • Garlic: substitute ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder. 
  • Chicken: use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken. You could substitute diced turkey as well.
  • Cheddar Cheese: substitute gouda, colby, Monterrey jack, or your favorite cheese!
  • Carrots and Celery: substitute green bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, or simply leave out.

Recipe Variations

Want to learn how to make buffalo chicken salad without mayo? Replace the mayo with additional Greek yogurt or substitute some sour cream, but note that the mouthfeel may not be as good. Consider adding a splash of olive oil to make up for the fat that mayo provides. 

Add different vegetables for more flavor, crunch, and nutrition. The options are nearly endless!

Want some chicken salad recipe ideas?

Use our base recipe as a guide, then have fun exploring other flavors, ingredients, and textures!

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:

Find all of our favorite kitchen tools here!

Is this buffalo chicken salad healthy?

Yes! By cutting back on the mayonnaise and replacing it with gut-friendly Greek yogurt, these buffalo chicken salad ingredients make the recipe higher in protein and lower in unhealthy fats. We also added fresh herbs and vegetables to make this chicken salad recipe more plant-forward and delicious!

Chicken

Chicken is a lean protein source. It is also rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as iron. When consumed as part of a diet rich in vegetables, chicken may help reduce the risk of developing overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Further, white meat is considered moderately protective or neutral on cancer risk. We recommend purchasing organic and/or pasture-raised chicken if it is within your budget.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great source of B vitamins, calcium, and probiotics. It is also higher in protein than regular yogurt. Select a fat content that works within your overall diet. If you tend to consume a lot of foods high in saturated fat (such as whole milk, red meat, and cheese), a low-fat or fat-free variety is your best choice. If you limit saturated fat in your diet, full-fat varieties are okay.

Fresh Herbs and Colorful Vegetables

Parsley, carrots, and celery add a pop of freshness and nutrition! Herbs are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote health and help fight diseases. Carrots contain fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients that have beneficial effects on immune function, skin cells, heart health, cancer prevention, and more.

Learn more about health benefits of different foods and ingredients or in our book, To Your Taste!

Buffalo Chicken Salad Serving Suggestions

To make a delicious Whole Life Plate, serve this healthy Greek yogurt buffalo chicken salad with whole grain crackers or pita chips and a side of fresh fruits and vegetables. You could also make a healthy buffalo chicken salad sandwich, buffalo chicken salad wrap, or green salad.

Storage Recommendations

For best quality, store leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Want more tasty lunch ideas?

Check out these favorites!

Healthy Sandwich Base Recipe

Simple Green Salad Base Recipe

Healthy Wrap Base Recipe

Grain Salad Base Recipe

buffalo chicken salad in a white bowl

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Salad

This is a variation of our healthy chicken salad base recipe. We love classic chicken salad, but sometimes it’s fun to add a little pizazz! This healthy buffalo chicken salad is packed with lean protein, colorful vegetables, and a dash of heat to nourish your body and satisfy your tastebuds.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (olive or canola oil based)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (~½ teaspoon)
  • 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken (~10 ounces cooked)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 small celery stalk, diced ½" (~¼ cup)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, hot sauce, parsley, lemon juice, and garlic in a medium bowl. Mix together.
  • Add chicken, cheese, carrots, and celery. Using a spatula, fold until all ingredients are combined.
  • Eat on its own with whole grain crackers or make a sandwich, wrap, or green salad. Enjoy!
Keyword Healthy Buffalo Chicken Salad

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