Shredded Buffalo Chicken Nacho Salad is so easy and tasty! Make Crockpot Buffalo chicken, then shred it and layer it on salad with tortilla chips, your favorite toppings and Ranch dressing. Make it keto friendly by skipping the chips and subbing sour cream for the Ranch!
This is a fun one, folks. I've been making this Shredded Buffalo Chicken Nacho Salad for almost a decade.
It's easy, casual and full of flavor. Happiness on a platter. An entire MOOD.
It's perfect for a no-fuss Saturday dinner or game day. Got teens or college kids? They'll love it.
Heck, let them make it themselves!
Chicken – I always use boneless chicken breasts to make shredded Buffalo chicken. You could substitute boneless thighs if you prefer dark meat.
Hot Sauce - My go-to hot sauce is Frank’s RedHot Original (affiliate link), which is milder than other brands. It works perfectly here, but if you prefer a spicy hot Buffalo chicken salad, feel free to use another sauce with more kick.
Ranch Dressing - Whether you use homemade or store-bought, ranch is the way to go here. It perfectly complements the slightly spicy Buffalo pulled chicken. But, feel free to substitute sour cream for the ranch (and skip the tortilla chips) for a keto-friendly option.
Lime - I forgot to put the lime in the photo (not to be confused with the lime in the coconut)! Anyway, a squeeze of lime adds refreshing, bright, flavor to the finished salad, so try not to skip it.
Toppings – Nacho salad can be made with whatever toppings you like! We prefer tomatoes, black olives, red onion and shredded cheddar cheese. You also could add avocados, easy guacamole, corn or jalapeños.
How to make shredded Buffalo chicken
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full instructions, but here's an overview.
- Place boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker with the hot sauce. Cook just until done.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one. Leave out most of the liquid for now.
- Use the paddle attachment on low speed to shred the chicken. If you don't have a stand mixer, shred the chicken with two forks.
- Stir in as much of the sauce from the Crockpot as you like. The more you add, the spicier the chicken will be.
Assemble the chicken nacho salad
- Start by lining the plate with tortilla chips.
- Add a layer of lettuce.
- Spoon on the shredded chicken.
- Add tomatoes, olives, shredded cheese and your preferred nacho toppings.
- Finish off with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of ranch dressing.
- Don't overcook the chicken, or it will be dry. Slow cooker chicken breasts just need around two hours on high to be done. Start with one hour, 45 minutes, cut one open to see if it's cooked (no longer pink), and add 15 minutes at a time if needed.
- To cook on low, try four hours in the Crockpot, then check for doneness. If you have a meat thermometer, chicken is good to go at 165 degrees F.
How to serve it
You have a couple of options. Both are fun!
You can create a beautiful platter of this Shredded Buffalo Chicken Nacho salad and let everyone take a portion. That's what I did here.
You also can set up a salad bar with each item in separate bowls and let everyone build his or her own meal. That might work best for picky eaters.
How to use leftover Buffalo chicken
You'll likely have leftover shredded Buffalo chicken, so consider using it for:
- Buffalo chicken nachos
- Buffalo chicken wraps
- Buffalo chicken sandwiches
Of course, feel free to make more chicken nacho salad with it!
Frequently asked questions
I haven't tried it, but it should work well.
Pour one cup of hot sauce in the Instant Pot, then add the chicken. Pressure cook on high for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Then, use the natural release method for five minutes before cooling and shredding the chicken.
It depends on the brand of hot sauce you use and how much of it you stir into the shredded chicken. I make mine "mild with a kick" by using Frank's RedHot Original, which I find milder than other sauces. I also don't pour the entire amount of sauce from the slow cooker into the shredded chicken.
More recipes like this
- Buffalo Salmon with Roasted Red Onions
- Easy Cilantro-Lime Shrimp
- Seven-Layer Taco Dip from Scratch
- Southwest Salad with Catalina-Lime Dressing
- 29 Thinly Sliced Chicken Breast Recipes
More Crockpot recipes
If you try this Shredded Buffalo Chicken Nacho Salad, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Shredded Buffalo Chicken Nacho Salad (Crockpot)
- 1 ½ pounds fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 large breasts)
- 6 ounces Frank's RedHot Original sauce
- 2 10- ounce bags chopped Romaine lettuce
- natural tortilla chips (use gluten-free if needed)
- grape tomatoes
- shredded sharp cheddar
- sliced black olives
- half a lime for squeezing
- ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought)
- Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker in a single layer, if possible, and pour the hot sauce over them.
- Cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check to see if the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink inside or with an internal temperature of 165 degrees F measured by a meat thermometer). If the chicken needs more time, cook it for 15 minutes longer, or until it is done.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare your toppings and keep them chilled.
- When the chicken is done, transfer it without the sauce to a stand mixer bowl, if you have one. Use the paddle attachment on low speed to shred the chicken with your mixer. (Or use two forks to shred it.)
- Stir in as much of the Buffalo sauce from the Crockpot as you prefer. The more you add, the spicier the chicken will taste.
- To assemble your salad, cover each dinner plate with a layer of tortilla chips. Place some lettuce on top. Add some chicken and sprinkle on your tomatoes, cheese, olives and any other toppings of your choice. Squeeze on some lime juice (don't skip it; it adds a lot of flavor) and serve with ranch dressing.
- Store leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- I find it takes under two hours to cook them on high. Cut one open to see if it's done.
- To cook on low in the Crockpot, check it after four hours to see if it's done. If you have a meat thermometer, chicken is good to go at 165 degrees F.
- Buffalo chicken nachos
- Buffalo chicken wraps
- Buffalo chicken sandwiches
(Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from a website that was called The Sisters' Cafe. Originally published on April 28, 2015 and updated now with new photos and additional information.)
Buffalo chicken and nachos all wrapped up in a healthy salad bundle sound like absolute heaven to me!
Hi Michelle - Yes! I love the sound of a "healthy salad bundle!"
Yummy! My family was all over this recipe and devoured this salad! I can’t wait to make this recipe again very soon. Such a hit and very addicting!
Hi Beth - This salad makes people happy! I'm glad you guys enjoyed it.
Oh how fun! I love how easily this nacho salad comes together with the help of the slow cooker. All those flavors sound absolutely amazing!
Hi Tara - It's such an easy, no-fuss recipe. Thanks!
Anything that uses buffalo sauce is good with me. These nachos look amazing.
Hi Dannii - The Buffalo sauce brings great flavor. Thanks!
This salad is so filling and absolutely packed with flavor! A new family favorite!
Hi Elizabeth - That's great to hear! My family agrees.
Cheryl "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser
Woo Hoo!!! Great Job! It does make you wonder how many people make your recipes and not let you know?! Keep 'on...
What a great story!!! How wonderful for your son to be in the right place at the right time. 🙂 I love your recipes and it no surprise to me that many others love them as well. Keep 'em coming, Mamma C!!!
Tammy, thanks so much! That means the world to me. 🙂
Ha ha ha! You're a celebrity now! I can say I knew you back when. The salad and ranch dressing look so perfect. I'll take a side of that sunshine as well! 🙂
Haha! No celebrities here. Just a lady juggling work, a blog, family, house, and way too many dirty dishes. But I think whenever someone asks me to do something, I'm going to start saying, "Talk to my agent." 🙂
Annie @ ciaochowbambina
I love this story. What a hoot for your son to be present for that conversation, and I imagine the ladies felt like they were in the company of a local celeb... This salad looks great! So fresh and flavorful!
We definitely got a kick out of it. Thanks, Annie!