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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. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. I loved it. My super picky 15 year old loved the chicken. Great recipe and very adaptable.

    1. Hi Katie,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was a hit! xTieghan

  2. This was so so good! The pretzel chicken was brilliant. My partner who doesn’t normally like eating salads even for seconds he loved it so much! Thank you Tieghan!

    1. Hi Amelia,
      Thanks so much for your feedback and trying this recipe out! I love to hear that it was a hit:) Have the best weekend🌟

    1. Hi Jody,
      Amazing! Thanks for sharing your feedback and making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed:)

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight we left out the avocado and celery and used blue cheese dressing and it was fantastic. It was just the right amount of spice and was even more surprising is my husband who would eat like a 12 year old if you let him loved it too. He said he wants it in a wrap next time! It’s also great for those hot days I put the cut chicken in a bag with the sauce and left it in there so when it was super hot but also dinner time all I had to do was assemble

    1. Hey Megan,
      Thanks for your comment! So glad to hear that this dish was a winner, thanks a lot for giving it a go! 🌻xTieghan

    1. Hey Jill,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback and making this recipe! Hope you’re off to a great weekend! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner and it turned out great! It’s actually a fun recipe to make. Lots of different flavors all come together for a filling salad.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for trying it out! Happy Friday! xx

  5. 3 stars
    Absolutely delicious and restaurant “feel” and taste. Do the tenders in the air fryer. However the most labor intensive hbh recipe I have ever made. If you’ve never worked in a restaurant you will fully understand the work of prep and line cooks. Literally never again…

    1. Hi Audra,
      Thanks for trying the recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry it was so much work for you! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Loved it! The flavors were amazing, and will definitely be making the caesar dressing on a frequent basis. My chicken came out a little soggy, I think because I didn’t get all of the pretzels quite to crumbs. I am going to try it again, and anyways it was still so good.

    1. Hey Elle,
      Thanks for your review and trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was a winner! Have the best Thursday! 🌻xTieghan

        1. Hey Jessica,
          Wonderful! I am so excited to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for trying it out! xx

  7. 5 stars
    Fabulous! Easy yet totally restaurant worthy! Used a bottled Caesar dressing but otherwise followed exactly.
    Don’t know how you stay so thin though with all your amazing recipes! They are not low cal:)

    1. Hi Julie,
      Happy Wednesday! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback:)

  8. Omg!! I just made this but used tofu instead of chicken to make it vegetarian, it’s amazing!! Thanks for coming up with this great salad!!

    1. Hey Brooke,
      Great idea to use tofu! Thanks for trying the recipe out, I’m so glad it was a winner! xx

    1. Hey Blake,
      Amazing!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback:)

    1. Hi Meghan,
      Fantastic! Thanks for your comment and trying the recipe:) I am so glad it was enjoyed! xxT

  9. 5 stars
    This salad was amazing. Best Caesar dressing! Couple tiny things. I used two eggs to dip the chicken and omitted one tsp of Dijon from the dressing. I also flipped the chicken 1/2 way through cooking. Will be making again. The croutons are awesome!!!

      1. Hey Nicole,
        Awesome, I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xx

    1. Hi Valorie,
      Thanks so much for making the recipe and sharing your feedback, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xTieghan

    2. The chicken was fantastic, I love blue cheese, but used too much, very heavy. Will definitely do again, maybe add a sweet element ie. strawberries, grapes, raisins…..less blue cheese for sure.

      1. Hey Gary,
        Wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback and making this recipe! Hope you’re off to a great weekend! xTieghan

  10. Oh my goodness, this salad was absolutely delicious. Three generations all agreed! This will be a regular in our meal planning. Yet again, another HBH success story.

    1. Hi Debbie,
      Happy Monday!! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was a hit, thanks for trying it out and sharing your review:)

  11. 5 stars
    This was delicious !
    Was so easy to make- loved al the different flavors.
    Definitely will be making this again.
    Love all your recipes!

    1. Hi Becky,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks for your comment and making this recipe:) I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xx