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Buffalo Chicken Salad with Chipotle Dressing, Avocado, and Goat Cheese


March 11, 2013

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Salad with Chipotle Dressing, Avocado, and Goat Cheese

I grew up as one of six of an incredible group of friends. The first of us met as babies, followed by another pairing at toddlers, and the rest sprinkling in after that. We were the first introduction each had to the idea of a soul mate.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Chipotle Dressing, Avocado, and Goat Cheese

Nearing three decades later, we are still thick as thieves, getting together each year for an assortment of festivities, weddings, holidays, just-because,  and our annual Great Escape; a mystery weekend in which one gal is responsible for planning three nights of adventure and you don’t find out your destination until 24 hours before.

With an uncanny sense of when we each need each other, we can be found popping around the country outside of the group gatherings , arriving at airports and on doorsteps bringing years of history, a refusal to let each other forget our most embarrassing moments, and a kind of comfort that makes it hard to imagine there could be anything much better.

This past weekend Meghan flew up from San Diego, upon which followed lazy mornings and late nights, artistic adventures at Seattle Art Museum’s REMIX, and Sunday mornings at Cappy’s Boxing Gym. We laughed, we listened, we dreamed, we feared. It was love.

This lunch came together spontaneously on Friday and was such a success it quickly rose to the top of the “Recipes to Post” list (and so Meghan can recreate it at home). It is healthy, yet hearty, fast, yet a treat. Perfect for a weekend lunch, or weekday dinner.

The combination of the crunchy romaine, coupled with the smoky chipotle dressing, calmed by the goat cheese and avocado, and finished with the buffalo chicken is hard to beat if you ask me.

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Chipotle Dressing, Avocado, and Goat Cheese
Serves 2

Buffalo Chicken Salad

  • 12 ounces chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and allowed to cool slightly (I like the Tyson Panko Breaded Chicken Breast)
  • Franks Buffalo Sauce
  • 1 head romaine, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • Chipotle Dressing
    • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I like Chobani) or light sour cream
    • 1 TB minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
    • 1 TB adobo sauce from chipotle
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine dressing ingredients, mixing well, and season to taste.
  2. Toss romaine with dressing and divide evenly among two plates. (You will have some extra dressing…great added to scrambled eggs).
  3. Toss chicken with Franks Buffalo Sauce, enough to coat.
  4. Add avocado, tomatoes, and goat cheese to plates and finish with chicken.
  5. Serve immediately.

Buffalo Chicken Salad



  1. Randy says:

    What a great salad. Healthy eating…this would be a good idea recipe for those who want to watch calories(just got done watching Dr. Oz on the Today Show). This meal is full of goo protein, the kind that fills you up for long periods before you want to eat again (avocado, chicken, goat cheese, Greek yogurt).Are you sue your not a dietitian? :)Great recipe one that is attainable for anyone to eat!!

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Here’s my version if you wish to view it:

    Chef Randall

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      You’re so right, Randy…this one is healthy, yet doesn’t leave you disappointed and craving something else. I don’t often make recipes more than once, but this one is definitely becoming part of the regular rotation.

  2. What a fine gourmet salad! It has everything I LOVE!

  3. mary says:

    Good gracious! THIS looks good!

  4. That is an awesome salad and sounds like the perfect weekend!

  5. Hannah says:

    What a gift to have a life-long group of friends like this, Erina! Your Great Escape weekends sound fantastic, too. This beautiful salad must have been extra special when shared with your friend this past weekend (hopefully you soaked up some of that glorious sun on Saturday!). So glad you shared this one with us!

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Hi Hannah…it really is a gift. Everytime I see or talk to them I’m reminded of it. There’s just so much history! And we did indeed eat this salad on my front steps, soaking up the sun!

  6. Great and tasty twist on salad!

  7. Great combo of flavors! I love spicy, and you’ve got enough in this to satisfy me. Plus we’re getting into salad season in another few weeks, so this is so timely. Good stuff – thanks.

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Thanks John. I love the idea of it being almost salad season..I suppose you’re right. Hooray for that!

  8. Great post. I love the flavor combinations of hot sauce, blue cheese and avocado. This is a great blog. Great meal plans.

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Thank you Connie. This time I did it with goat cheese, since I didn’t have blue, but that would be delicious too.

  9. I love the idea of the Great Escape. What a beautiful salad too.

  10. I could eat this delicious salad, for every meal and every day 🙂

  11. Ann says:

    Oh, yum! I love the addition of chipotle in adobo — would never have thought of adding that to a salad dressing!

  12. I’ve been wanting to do the buffalo chicken thing and this must be it.What a fun weekend. We could all use a few of those!

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      You are so right Abbe…all our lives would be better with more time with friends (and more buffalo chicken salads!)

  13. Wow, that is so sweet and wonderful that you are still friends. I love the look and ingredients in your salad. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      It’s so interesting…we all just take the fact that we’re still friends for granted sometimes I think, but people are always surprised…it’s a good reminder of how special it is!

  14. No doubt this salad was a hit… such great flavors. I would have never thought to combine all of the things you chose for this salad – It’s a guaranteed LOVE for me! I’m going to have my hubs make this salad for us on the weekend sometime soon! 🙂

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      I agree Rachael…an unlikely pairing, but a total hit! I’ll be curious to hear what you think of it when you try it out for yourself!

  15. meghan says:

    I can personally attest to the fact that both the weekend and the salad were delicious 🙂
    Yummy, healthy, colorful, and meets the needs of a gestational diabetic-what more could you ask for? I came home and recreated it immediately (not quite as well but still good!)
    Wish we were sitting on your steps in the sunshine sharing this right now!

  16. It appears that I found your blog at just the right time. I have every ingredient in my kitchen to make your salad. Happy days!

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