Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Buffalo chicken is one of my favorite things. Specifically, buffalo chicken dip. It’s my absolute go-to for potlucks and parties. I’ve eating it as its own meal on several occasions, and have been known to make it into a sandwich. There’s something about the spicy, tangy buffalo sauce mixed with ranch that makes it so delicious. If you’re a fan of wings, I’m sure you understand. But the dip I make is made with cream cheese, full fat ranch, and almost an entire pack of shredded cheese. Not so much a part of the healthy eating plan.

Quinoa

This recipe was a great way to satisfy my buffalo chicken craving while lightening up my lunch. I was a little apprehensive of the “Greek yogurt ranch ” but ended up impressed. It certainly is no buttermilk ranch dressing, but it does the trick. By packing this salad with quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, corn, spinach and avocados, it was not only nutritious, but also very filling! This will definitely be going into my regular rotation.

What you need:

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-Cooked, shredded chicken (about 2-2 1/2cups)
-3/4 cup buffalo sauce (more or less to taste)
-Packet of Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Ranch
-1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
-1/2 can Rotel tomatoes & green chiles
-1/2 can black beans
-1/2 can yellow corn
-1 avocado, chopped
-2 cups spinach
-1 cup uncooked quinoa
-2 cups water
-handful cilantro, chopped

What to do:

  1. Rinse quinoa well with a mesh strainer
  2. Cook rinsed quinoa and water on stove until boiling.
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  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, toss chicken with buffalo sauce.
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  5. In separate bowl, combine beans, corn and Rotel.
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  6. In a third bowl, combine ranch packet and yogurt. Mix well.
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  7. Toss spinach with cilantro.
  8. When quinoa is cooked, place all ingredients except ranch in large bowl or travel container.
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  9. When ready to eat, top with ranch and stir.

I made these salads in the evening and left them in the fridge overnight to take to work for lunch. I kept all ingredients in separate corners of the containers to keep anything from getting soggy. I kept the ranch separate for the same reason.

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I actually really really loved this recipe. I love cold quinoa salads to begin with, and the buffalo chicken made it that much tastier. Plus, I have enough leftovers to make lunch for both of us tomorrow, as well!

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