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Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad. Spicy, saucy buffalo chicken fingers, breaded in salty pretzel crumbs, oven-baked and tossed together with fresh greens, avocado, and crispy bacon. Add a creamy Caesar salad dressing and lots of parmesan for a colorful salad that’s anything but boring. Beyond delicious. It’s that salty, spicy pretzel chicken and creamy dressing. The combo is hard to beat.

Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

If my family had a “house” salad, this would be it. It’s a dinner-style “house” salad, but one I could (and will) easily make on repeat.

We love buffalo chicken. Many of you have already heard this story (sorry). Buffalo chicken really was one of the very first dinners I made for my family that they become obsessed with. So much so that in the early, early days, I would make it once or twice a week. They LOVED my baked buffalo chicken.

I used to make 2 sheet pans worth of chicken. Anything leftover I would turn into quesadillas for the boy’s lunch the following day. I’m not joking, they were truly obsessed with buffalo chicken.

Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

It was my dad who would take the leftover chicken and toss it into his salad. My dad was (and is) a big salad guy. When we lived in Cleveland he would eat a salad for dinner every night. But the thing about his salads – they were different – very different. He’d take whatever greens he had in the fridge and mix them with whatever leftovers he had in the fridge. Literally more of a leftovers with a side of greens kind of situation. French fries? Yup, he would toss them in too. Taco meat? Sure thing. Leftover pasta? Why not. It didn’t matter what it was, he’d throw it in. And add half a bottle of ranch dressing too (fortunately, that’s a thing of the past).

Yes, certainly not your typical salad. But those salads inspired many of my recipes.

Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

The details

What I love about this fun salad is that even though it has a lot going on, it’s actually really easy. But it does have some steps.

Start with the chicken. Finely crush the pretzels into crumbs to bread the chicken. The finely crushed pretzels are key. They flavor the chicken with the perfect amount of salt and add a nice crunch. I season the crumbs with a blend of homemade ranch seasonings – chives, parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne. These crumbs are delicious.

If you have a food processor, pulse the pretzels in the food processor to really break them down into a fine crumb. If you don’t have a food processor, just add the pretzels to a ziplock bag. Then step on the bag with your feet to finely crush them.

Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Bake the chicken in the oven until it crisps all over. My secret is to lightly drizzle the chicken with olive oil before it bakes. This helps the coating to really crisp up nicely in the oven.

For the salad, I do a short-cut Caesar dressing and toss it with some shredded romaine lettuce, homemade croutons, celery, cubed avocado, and bacon.

The dressing is obviously key, it adds creaminess plus flavor.

Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Once you have the salad tossed, all that’s left is to add the chicken. Also, while I use a mix of parmesan and blue cheese, if you don’t enjoy blue cheese you can use cubes of cheddar or simply add more parmesan.

When everything comes together – the greens, croutons, avocado, bacon, cheese, dressing, and chicken -wow, this salad is SO GOOD!

Crunchy ranch seasoned chicken, buffalo sauce, salty bacon, creamy avocado, and a creamy caesar dressing that really completes the salad. Every bite is special. Exactly how all of our salads should be.

Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other dinner salad recipes? Here are a few ideas:

Summer Chicken Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Pesto Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad Wraps

Greek Olive Pasta Salad

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad

Lastly, if you make this Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 1135 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Caesar Dressing

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
    2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Combine the pretzels, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of pepper in a bowl.
    3. Dredge the chicken through the crumbs, pressing to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
    4. Toss the hot chicken in buffalo sauce.
    5. To make the salad. Combine the greens, breadcrumbs, blue cheese (or use cheddar or parmesan), avocados, and bacon in a salad bowl.
    6. To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing, saving some for serving.
    7. Toss the chicken in with the salad. Add a little more of the dressing and extra buffalo sauce. Enjoy! 

Notes

Homemade Breadcrumbs: Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 1 cup torn ciabatta bread and cook until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add 1 clove grated garlic. Season with salt.
 
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Buffalo Ranch Pretzel Chicken Caesar Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. I’m going to be making this but you mentioned Buffalo sauce . I am from the UK and we don’t seem to have this . Can you help?

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Here is my recipe for homemade buffalo sauce:
      Mix 1/2 cup hot sauce, 1/2 cup olive oil or melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon smoked, paprika, and a 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a glass jar or measuring cup. Let me know if you have any other questions!
      xxTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Another gr8 recipe by Tieghan! I have made many of her recipes and they never disappoint. I made this for my family tonite and everyone kept going on about how delicious it was and that’s including me. We don’t eat blue cheese so I didn’t use that. The flavors of the chicken were so good. I did cook the chicken in the pan with some avocado oil. The Caesar dressing was perfect! I highly recommend to try this recipe. I’m sure you will be happy you did 🙂

    1. Hey Annmarie!
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it and sharing your feedback! Hope you’re off to a great weekend:)

  3. This salad is incredible! I almost didn’t make the dressing myself, but glad I did! Added cherry tomatoes and shredded parmesan cheese too.

    1. Hi Kerrie,
      Awesome!! Thanks for sharing your feedback and what worked well for you:) I appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was a winner! ? xx

  4. 5 stars
    This one was easy and tasty! I always love a fresh spin on a summer salad for dinner. Another winner from HBH!

    1. Hi Joy,
      Happy Friday! Thanks for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was a winner! ? xx

  5. GIRL! I don’t know how its possible, but you’ve made buffalo chicken even better. To say I’m obsessed with this salad is an understatement. SO SO GOOD!

    1. Hey Amanda!
      LOL love to hear this! Thanks so much for making the recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed:) xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for my boyfriend and me for dinner last night and it was so delicious! I never thought I’d be making my own salad dressing and loved the “shortcut” way of doing it! It tasted great. Love your recipes so much!

    1. Hey Dani,
      Amazing!! I am thrilled that this dish was a hit, thanks a lot for trying it out! xTieghan

  7. 4 stars
    Soooo good. Sort of like a club sandwich because of the bacon ? avocado ? & bread crumbs , but then also tangy buffalo chicken and blue cheese happening….and that Caesar dressing tying it all to meet her! Yum!!!

    1. Hey Laurian!
      Thanks for your comment! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for giving it a try! xTieghan

  8. I just made this last night and it was SO delicious. Hands down my favorite salad recipe from you so far!! The finely ground pretzels are amazing for breading chicken and give an awesome flavor. I always love a good sauce/dressing and yours never disappoint!

    1. Hey Melanie,
      Thanks so much for your kind message! I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it:) xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    Oh my, Teighan! YUM! So I found your page through our shared love of desserts and now I’ve started making some of your meals. I didn’t think your meals could match your desserts, but, giirrrrrrrl, you know what’s going on! And this buffalo chicken is fabulous! Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

    1. Hey Meghan,
      Happy Wednesday! Lol thanks for your kind message:) Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was enjoyed:) xx

  10. Delicious! Can you add your Buffalo recipe to the notes? I had to search in comments for a long time to find it. This salad just moved up into our family favorite just above the other pretzel chicken salad.

    1. Hey Mollie,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe! Here is the buffalo sauce recipe:
      Mix 1/2 cup hot sauce, 1/2 cup olive oil or melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon smoked, paprika, and a 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a glass jar or measuring cup.
      xxTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe is great – just wanted to let you know that the blog post says to use Romaine but the ingredient list says Mixed Greens. So I bought Mixed Greens as I didn’t read the blog post first, just saw this picture on Instagram and clicked through to grab ingredients while I was at the store – so I didn’t notice that at first, but wished I had romaine!

    1. Hi Christine,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! Sorry for the confusion, you can really use any greens you like here! Happy Tuesday! xx

    2. 5 stars
      Two thumbs up from all my family! Just wanted you to know the recipe doesn’t say what to do with the celery or shaved parmesan – but it was pretty obvious to throw them on top. We will definitely be making this again!!

      1. Hey Christine,
        Awesome!! So glad your family enjoyed this recipe:) The recipe uses those ingredients in step 5. Thanks for making the salad! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    I made this Friday night. It was SO good!! My husband loves anything buffalo. The dressing was to die for. I didn’t make the croutons, but otherwise made as directed. Delicious!

    1. Hi Jeri,
      Thanks for your comment and making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Hope you’re off to a great week! ? xT

  13. I made this for my family for lunch today, and made it gluten free by using Quinn Sea Salt Pretzel sticks, and no breadcrumbs or croutons for the salad. The gluten eating members of my family couldn’t even tell the difference. Everyone LOVED it. This may be my new favorite Caesar salad dressing!
    Question – have you ever prepped the chicken ahead of time and kept it in the fridge till ready to bake?
    Thanks for a fantastic recipe!!

    1. Hey Rebekah!
      Thanks so much for your comment and making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed!! Great idea for the pretzels:) Yes, you can totally prep them and keep in the fridge until you are ready to bake! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe was so delicious & easy. I love an easy dinner. We added minced garlic and grated parmesan to the buffalo sauce and all the flavors were so good together. My husband said we are definitely making this again and that’s a win in my book!

    1. Hi Caci,
      Amazing!! Thanks for your comment and giving this salad a try! I am so glad it was enjoyed!! xT