Buffalo Chicken Salad with Frank’s Red Hot Dressing

How to make the delicious Buffalo Chicken Salad, served at The Phoenix on McMaster University's campus, for less. When I was an undergrad at McMaster University, there was a graduate student hangout on the edge of campus called The Phoenix.  We undergrads would typically only go there to shoot pool if the line-up for the campus bar, located in the basement of the same building, was ridiculously long.

The Phoenix has since moved to a nicer location on campus. It’s now a popular bar and grill where students and faculty can grab a good bite to eat. But the food doesn’t come cheap. A Buffalo Chicken Salad will cost you more than what my friends and I used to pay for pool and a pitcher of beer at the old location.

Here’s a rundown of how to can make this flavorful-and-filling salad for less.

Buffalo Chicken Salad from College Recipe Cafe

Download Printable Recipe


2 cups chopped romaine lettuce / $0.15
1/2 cup diced tomato / $0.35
1/2 cup diced cucumber / $0.20
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion / $0.20
1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded with a fork / $1.05
1/4 cup low-fat ranch dressing / $0.35
1 tablespoon Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce / $0.17
Pinch or two black pepper / $0.00
1/4 cup shredded cheese / $0.28


1. CHOP and ShRED IT

Chopped romaine lettuce for Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

The Phoenix uses a mix of chopped romaine and iceberg lettuce in their Buffalo Chicken Salad – I only had romaine.

Vegetable toppings for Buffalo Chicken Salad

I followed the menu description of ‘cucumber, tomato and red onion’ for the toppings. Kept the red onion slices thin so they wouldn’t over-power the rest of the salad.

Shredded Chicken for Buffalo Chicken Salad

This is a great salad to make when you have leftover chicken. Still worth making even if you have to cook a chicken breast in the skillet. Simply shred the cooked chicken with a fork.

2. MAKE THE Buffalo Wing Dressing

Buffalo Wing Sauce Dressing for Buffalo Chicken Salad

For the dressing, mix the Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce with the Ranch dressing. Finish it with a pinch or two of black pepper and you’ll notice the flavors really come alive!


Buffalo Chicken Salad without Dressing

Toss the lettuce, veggies and chicken in a bowl and you instantly get THE BEST looking salad EVER! But wait…

Topping Buffalo Chicken Salad with Dressing

…let’s not forget the dressing. Just had an idea – what about blue cheese dressing mixed with the Frank’s? Might be an interesting combo!


A Buffalo Chicken Salad is Better with Cheese!

To dial this salad up a notch – like The Phoenix does – add a handful of shredded cheese!

A forkful of homemade Buffalo Chicken Salad

There’s A LOT of flavor happening on this fork. The mixture of greens, chicken, cheese and red onion with the buffalo wing dressing just tastes so good!

This D.I.Y version will run you about $2.75 in ingredients – seven dollars less than ordering one on campus. Should be enough to cover a few games of pool!

Looking for more easy recipes you can make on a budget ? Head on over to the cafe’s Recipe Menu! You’ll also find exclusive cooking tips and recipes in my Weekly Updates or in my e-cookbook 15-Minute Money Saving Meals for Students (2015).

Thanks for stopping in at the cafe. Cheers!

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