Made with vegan chicken, crunchy vegetables, and a classic buffalo sauce, this vegan buffalo chicken salad is easy and delicious. It comes together in no time.
When you are craving something that satisfies your taste buds and checks all of the boxes for a healthy, nutritious meal, this vegan BBQ chicken salad is perfect. It'll quickly become one of your new favorites.
If you like buffalo-flavored foods, then make sure you check out the vegan buffalo chicken dip.
This recipe includes two sets of ingredients. The first is for the base of the salad, and the second is for the cashew ranch dressing. If you do not purchase already-made vegan buffalo chicken, you will also want to check the recipe linked below for the ingredients needed. Exact quantities can be found in the printable recipe.
For the salad:
- Red onion
- Vegan buffalo chicken wings
For the Cashew Ranch Dressing:
- Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Dried dill
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Before you begin, you will want to heat up the vegan buffalo chicken. To do this, place already prepared "wings" onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook until golden. Remove them from the pan, let them cool, and then cut them into bite-sized pieces.
While the "chicken" cooks, prepare the vegetables. Slice the tomatoes, celery, and cucumber into bite-sized pieces.
Then, chop the lettuce and shred or grate the carrots.
Next, you will add the cashews and water to a saucepan. Let them simmer for 10 minutes to soften, then set them aside to cool completely.
Once the cashews have cooled, drain and put them into a food processor or blender alongside the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, and water. Blend until the mixture has created a smooth dressing. Taste and season if needed.
Assemble the salad in a large bowl adding lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrots, onion, and the cubed buffalo chicken.
Pour over the salad dressing. Toss the mixture and serve.
Below are a few easy ideas for swapping out ingredients in this recipe to suit your needs. Check them out and use them as needed.
- Substitute the vegan buffalo chicken with tofu or tempeh that has been roasted and tossed with buffalo sauce
- Use spinach, kale, swiss chard, or a mix of different greens in place of lettuce
- Add or remove any vegetables you prefer in the mixture
- Use a ready-made vegan blue cheese or ranch dressing
- Replace Dijon mustard with whole-grain mustard for texture and flavor
This salad is a great meal that is ideal for lunch or a light dinner. If you want to make it a bit more unique, below are some variations that can mix it up and still keep the basic flavor you love.
- To add some crunch, you can top your salad with nuts or seeds.
- Add some avocado for added healthy fats and fiber.
- For a bit of extra spiciness, try adding some diced jalapeno or red pepper flakes.
- Include black beans or chickpeas for additional protein.
- Place in a tortilla wrap and create a sandwich wrap instead of a salad.
This salad is best when you make it fresh, however, it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Just place it in an airtight container before storing it.
If you make this ahead of time, I do recommend keeping the vegetables, "chicken" wings, and dressing separate until just before serving. This will keep everything crisp and fresh.
You should not make this salad in batches and freeze it as it does not thaw well.
If you are new to cooking, below are a few of the best supplies to keep on hand. These are especially handy for this particular recipe.
💭 Top Tip
When choosing lettuce, pick something that can stand up to the bold flavors of the salad. You want lettuce that is crunchy and won't wilt quickly. A good option is iceberg, romaine, or butter lettuce.
Most recipes use buffalo sauce and vegan butter or vegan margarine mixed together. I prefer using Frank's Red Hot sauce for this when making my own.
For the best texture, I recommend using jackfruit as a base. Tofu and tempeh are also great options that can be found already seasoned with buffalo sauce if you prefer.
Want something else that has that great buffalo flavor? Check out the recipes below and make them soon.
This is a great salad for a meal any day of the week, but I love serving this on game days or at a potluck for a little healthier option. Below are some more recipes that go with this nicely.
Vegan Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe
- Begin by heating the vegan buffalo chicken. Place the prepared "wings" on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until they achieve a golden hue. Remove from the pan, allow them to cool, and proceed to cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- While the "chicken" cooks, focus on preparing the vegetables. Slice the tomatoes, celery, and cucumber into bite-sized portions.
- Proceed by chopping the lettuce and shredding or grating the carrots.
- In a saucepan, combine cashews and water, allowing them to simmer for 10 minutes to soften. Set aside and let them cool completely.
- Once the cashews have cooled, drain them and transfer them to a food processor or blender. Add Dijon mustard, lemon juice, dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, and water. Blend until the mixture transforms into a lusciously smooth dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Assemble the salad in a large bowl, combining lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrots, onion, and the cubed buffalo chicken. Drizzle the prepared salad dressing over the ingredients.
- Toss the mixture together and serve, relishing in the delightful flavors of your creation.
- If you don't want to make homemade buffalo "chicken", you can often find ready-made in your plant-based meat options in the deli or frozen food section of your grocery store.
- Store the vegetables, buffalo "chicken", and dressing separate until ready to serve.
Check out our top tips for staying safe when preparing food in your home kitchen.
- Always sanitize countertops, cutting boards, utensils, and cookware thoroughly between each use.
- Wash your hands in warm soapy water, rubbing for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. Remember, "FROG" means friction rubs off germs.
- After serving food, allow it to cool, then place it into the refrigerator or proper storage immediately. Food should be at room temperature for no more than 2 hours for safety.