Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad

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Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad is packed with crunchy vegetables, the best buffalo grilled chicken, and a creamy yogurt dressing that will keep you coming back for more.

335 CAL 21g CARBS 6g FAT 45g PROTEIN
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This spin on a Grilled Chicken Salad with a spicy honey buffalo grilled chicken and a creamy yogurt dressing tastes like an indulgent restaurant salad but can be made at home in just a few steps.  

As the weather gets warmer, I am craving more salads and more grilled dishes. Today's recipe is the perfect combination of both of those things. The chicken is marinated in the most delicious combination of buffalo sauce, honey, and lime juice and then tossed with lots of veggies and a creamy yogurt dressing that has just enough heat to keep things exciting. 

Truth be told, this recipe started with some leftover grilled buffalo chicken I had made for sandwiches a few nights before. Since I didn't have all the normal ingredients, I switched up the marinade a bit adding honey and lime juice, and my whole family loved the results. The grilled chicken has the perfect balance of mild spice from the buffalo sauce combined with just a hint of sweetness from the honey. 

The next day when I used the leftover chicken to make a quick salad, I knew I had to share the whole recipe. The combination of the spicy yogurt dressing with the grilled chicken and fresh veggies is just so good. It's refreshing, packed with flavor, and just what I want to be eating as the weather warms up.

Looking for more main dish salads? Don't miss this delicious Turkey Taco Salad recipe.

Ways to Personalize This Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad

There are so many ways to customize and personalize this Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad based on what you have at home. Here are some options that should be at the top of the list. 

  • Make a heartier salad by adding canned black beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas to the salad. 
  • Grab some grilled, canned, or frozen corn for some sweetness and crunch. 
  • To cool off the heat of the chicken and dressing, add a chopped avocado to the salad. 
  • Finish the salad with some fresh cilantro or parsley to add brightness.
  • Turn this into a pasta salad by using less spinach and swapping in some cooked pasta.
  • Use any veggies you like and swap in different types of lettuce to create slightly different flavor combinations.
  • Top the salad with crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese.
  • Switch up the dressing and use something lighter and less spicy like this Lemon Dijon dressing.
  • Since you are already making grilled chicken, make some grilled vegetables to serve on the side as well.
  • Switch up the chicken and add some smoky flavor by serving this salad with this delicious smoked chicken breast.

Grilled spicy chicken salad with yogurt dressing, spinach, cucumbers, and red onion in two bowls.

How to Make Spicy Buffalo Salad Dressing

This is one of my favorite quick and easy healthy dressings so I normally make a double or triple batch to have in the fridge for salads and as a dipping sauce with raw veggies and pretzels. Here's how to make it. 

  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (any type of yogurt will work)
  • 4 tbsp buffalo sauce (adjust to preference)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Directions: Mix everything together and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving for flavor to deepen and combine. If desired, you could swap in ranch seasoning for the spices to make a buffalo ranch salad dressing.

Tips for Perfectly Grilled Chicken

One of the keys to this salad is making juicy, tender grilled chicken to serve on top. To ensure you get perfectly grilled chicken every time, the best thing to do is invest in a meat thermometer so you can remove the chicken as soon as it reaches 165 degrees. 

However, even without a meat thermometer, there are a few simple steps to help make sure the chicken comes out tender and juicy. Always start by trimming the chicken and slightly pounding it if needed so that is has a uniform thickness and will cook evenly.  Marinating the chicken also helps to make it tender. Then when grilling, don't flip the chicken too early. If it is stuck to the grill, it probably isn't ready to be flipped yet. Lastly, always let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes for the juices to redistribute. 

Meal Prep and Storage

If you want to make this salad ahead of time for quick meals and lunches during the week, make sure to pack the dressing separately. Also, since this salad uses spinach, I usually pack the chicken separately as well since I find the chicken sometimes wilts the spinach. Always let the chicken fully cool before storing it. 

The salad will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. The chicken is good for 3-4 days and the salad dressing will last up to one week in the fridge. 

More Healthy Salads

The Recipe
Spicy grilled chicken salad with spinach, red pepper, onions, cucumber, and celery in a yogurt dressing.

Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad

335 CAL 21g CARBS 6g FAT 45g PROTEIN
PREP TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 30 Min
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  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp buffalo sauce (adjust to preference, for dressing)
  • 1 tbsp honey (dressing)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (dressing)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (dressing)
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (dressing)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (dressing)
  • 1 tsp dried dill (dressing)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley (dressing)
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper

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Mix together the buffalo sauce, honey, lime juice, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remembering that buffalo sauce is usually pretty high in sodium. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for 3-4 hours.

Spicy marinade for grilled chicken in a bowl with a whisk.

Stir together the Greek yogurt, buffalo sauce, honey, olive oil, garlic powder, dried dill, dried parsley, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. Place it in the fridge so the flavors can deepen and combine in the fridge while the chicken marinates. This is a thicker dressing, if you prefer a thinner dressing, add additional olive oil, lime juice, or thin with water or buttermilk.

Yogurt dressing with Greek yogurt, olive oil, and spices in a bowl.

Preheat the grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let the excess drip off. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes until the chicken has once grill marks and easily releases from the grill. Flip the breasts over. Grill for 5-7 minutes longer, or until a thermometer reads 165°. Remove from grill and let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes. Once cooled, slice the chicken for topping the salad.

Grilled chicken sliced on a cutting board.

Assemble the salad by tossing together the spinach, red bell pepper, cucumber, celery, and red onion. Top with sliced chicken and dressing. Add fresh parsley if desired.

Spicy grilled chicken salad in a blue bowl with spinach and vegetables.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 335
Calories from Fat 48
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 83mg
Sodium 219mg
Total Carbohydrate 21g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 14g
Protein 45g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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