Lighter Buffalo Chicken Salads
The flavors of a bar-food favorite come together in salad form with plenty of fresh and crunchy vegetables, crispy garlic croutons, spicy-sauced chicken and a light, Greek-yogurt based dressing.
I am a sucker for spicy, crispy-fried buffalo chicken wings. I live for that chicken skin coated in a spicy, vinegary sauce, and dipped in creamy blue cheese dressing. Buffalo chicken is a great indulgence from time-to-time, but really not a dish that makes for the most healthful meal. Enter these Lighter Buffalo Chicken Salads. These babies combine all the flavors we know and love of the classic bar-staple wing, but in salad form with plenty of fresh and crunchy vegetables, crispy garlic croutons, spicy-sauced chicken, all drizzled with a light, Greek-yogurt based, blue cheese dressing.
Instead of delicious, dark meat, chicken wings, we use diced chicken breast cutting out the fat and calories found in that crispy skin. We replace the crunch factor with some homemade, garlic and olive oil croutons. To keep it classic we still use the buffalo wing sauce, minus all the butter. The creamy blue-cheese dressing also sticks around, I just lightened it up with Greek yogurt and low-fat milk in place of mayonnaise. Another classic addition to the romaine and tomatoes in this salad are thin slices of celery and carrot, the traditional side to all things Buffalo wings. All of this comes together to make a salad that has all the flavors and texture we love of Buffalo chicken wings, but with loads more veggies and minus the fat and calories. It’s really a win/win deal.
We start by making our own croutons. I love making croutons because they keep wonderfully all week, perfect for impromptu salad-making. To make, simply toss cubed, rustic bread (I like a baguette for this), with olive oil, grated garlic, and a pinch of salt. Everyone get toasted in the oven and voila--crunchy, delicious croutons!