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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
    I used 50/50 vegan fish sauce and soy sauce to sub for Worcestershire sauce (can’t eat fish) and it was great! Fab recipe.

    1. Hi Marie,
      Fantastic! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks for making it and sharing your review:) xx

  2. 5 stars
    This was sooo yummy!!! My husband even loved it which is shocking since its a salad! The chicken was delicious. The homemade croutons were a bonus! This will be in our weekly rotation for sure.

  3. 5 stars
    SO easy and SO good. My son’s 2 favorite foods, Buffalo chicken and Caesar salad, mixed together. How can you go wrong?!?!

  4. 5 stars
    Recipe was easy to follow and turned out delicious. I drizzled garlic hot sauce on the chicken instead of coating the chicken completely in it. I made ciabatta croutons with ranch seasoning and added that to the salad.

  5. 5 stars
    Really really good! We already had a good quality caesar dressing so we didn’t make it from scratch. We also reduced the dried dill by a lot, maybe a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon. Didn’t use avocado. Great chicken recipe, we’ll probably make the salad again since for 2 of us we had some chicken left over. Thanks for another great recipe

    Notes for others: You could also use blue cheese dressing instead of caesar dressing and blue cheese crumbles: this is more authentic “Buffalo style” accompaniment.

    One more for Tieghan: We used our own homemade croutons I make from garlic bread. Your recipe was talking about breadcrumbs, and then I realized you were referring to the torn bread pieces. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to refer to them as croutons?

    1. Hey Deborah,
      Wonderful! Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Yes, sorry for any confusion with the croutons! xTieghan

    1. Hi Kelly,
      Happy Monday! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out, I am so excited to hear that it was a hit! xx

    1. Hi Melanie,
      How about a dash of coconut aminos? Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  6. 5 stars
    This was my first recipe from this website and it was awesome. Great flavor. Instead of buying chicken tenders I sliced a chicken breast. I also didn’t add the croutons to help with the calories. Will definitely make again. Can’t wait to try another recipe.

    1. Hi Melinda,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you taking the time to make this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! xT

  7. 5 stars
    OMG so good! Family of 4 polished it off in one sitting! Added halved cherry tomatoes and used store bought croutons… yum ?

    1. Hi Kate,
      Fantastic! Thanks so much for making this salad and sharing your review, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Easily modified it for my littles by not adding the Buffalo sauce to theirs, but still got to enjoy the full recipe for myself! Amazing!

    1. Hi Kalie,
      Fantastic! Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your review, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xx

  9. 5 stars
    My family loves Caesar salad! We made this last night and it was awesome. Great mix up that amplifies a regular Caesar salad. Would enjoy again.

    Thank you for this recipe.

    1. Hey Kaylyn,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so excited it was enjoyed! Hope you’re having a great weekend! xx

  10. 5 stars
    I cook HBH recipes at least 3 days a week- have been for years. I made this tonight and hands down this is the best thing I’ve ever made. Wowwwwww

    1. Hey Maddie,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    We made this for supper tonight and it was SO good! We used gluten free pretzels to make it gluten-free and it was great.

    1. Hey Anne-Marie,
      Happy Tuesday!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was a winner! xTieghan

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      You are coating the chicken with all of the ingredients from step 2:) The ciabatta bread is to top the salad with. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan