Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing is a healthy 30 minute recipe. Enjoy this gluten free, vegetarian chickpea salad for meal prep lunch or easy weeknight dinner.
Why You'll Love this Buffalo Chickpea Salad
This summer-fresh salad is everything I'm craving right now. It's the perfect alchemy of spicy, cooling, creamy, and crunchy. Plus, it comes together in UNDER 30 minutes, making it 100% weeknight approved.
Instead of roasting the chickpeas, they're actually sautéed stovetop to give them a little crisp. Of course you can choose to roast them, however the stovetop method makes the salad ultra speedy.
The spice of the buffalo spice is the perfect match for the cooling Greek yogurt ranch dressing. If you haven't attempted homemade ranch yet, you're in for a treat. It's MILES ahead of anything bought off the shelves, and probably easier than you think.
- Chickpeas: You need one can of rinsed and drained chickpeas for this recipe. You want to make sure to dry them VERY well, which will help them crisp up. I usually wrap them in a kitchen towel and gently massage the beans to remove excess moisture. If any of the skins fall off, just discard or compost them.
- Buffalo sauce: You can use any buffalo sauce you like (homemade or store-bought)! I personally love Noble Made Medium Buffalo Sauce, which is Whole30 and Paleo approved. You can purchase it on Amazon, or find it at Whole Foods or Sprouts.
- Greek yogurt: Using yogurt for the ranch dressing adds quintessential tang and creaminess. I suggest using 2% Greek yogurt over full-fat, which is just a tad too thick.
- Lettuce: I love using crisp, crunchy romaine lettuce in this salad, however you can also use iceburg, kale, or mix greens. Just keep in mind that romaine should not be dressed ahead of time, or it go soggy.
- Herbs: Fresh chives and dill are standard herb elements in yogurt ranch dressing. In addition to using them in the dressing, you can also sprinkle them over the salad as a garnish.
- Cheese: I suggest using feta or blue cheese for this salad, which adds creamy, salty tang. Blue cheese is a little more assertive, however it complements buffalo sauce deliciously.
Step 1: Prepare the Buffalo Chickpeas
Start by heating a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the drained, dry chickpeas and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Once the chickpeas appear crispy, add the buffalo sauce and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Set the chickpeas aside to slightly cool.
Step 2: Prepare the Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
In a medium bowl, add the yogurt, lemon juice, herbs, and spices. Whisk to combine, while gradually streaming in 1 to 2 tablespoon of water to thin out to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, and set aside.
Step 3: Assemble the Salad
Combine the romaine lettuce, red onion, carrots, and cheese to a large bowl and toss to combine. Add about half the dressing, and mix to coat. Next, divide the salad into each of four bowls, and scatter buffalo chickpeas overtop. Use the remaining Greek yogurt ranch dressing to drizzle evenly over the assembled salads.
Lastly, top with garnishes of choice: avocado, extra cheese, herbs, or croutons!
FAQs and Expert Tips:
How Long Does Greek Yogurt Ranch Last?
This healthy greek yogurt ranch dressing will stay good in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (Which means you could easily make a double batch to keep on hand.) Before serving, just give it a stir or shake.
Why Won't my Chickpeas Get Crunchy?
The key to crunchy chickpeas is to make sure they are as dry as possible before sautéing. After you rinse and drain the chickpeas, transfer them to a kitchen towel and to let them dry. I also like to wrap the towel around the chickpeas and gently massage them to remove excess moisture.
If some of the skins fall off, simply discard or compost them.
What is the Best Buffalo Sauce to Buy?
I personally love Noble Made Medium Buffalo Sauce, which is Whole30 and Paleo approved. You can purchase it on Amazon, or find it at Whole Foods or Sprouts. I usually use medium heat, however if you're heat adverse, I suggest using mild.
Alternatively, you can't go wrong with Frank's Redhot Buffalo Wing Sauce!
More Chickpea Salad Recipes
Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing
- Large skillet
- Mixing bowls
- 1 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and thoroughly dried
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ cup buffalo sauce (I use Noble Made brand)
- 3 hearts romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced (optional)
- ½ cup feta cheese or blue cheese
- 1 medium ripe avocado, sliced
Yogurt Ranch Dressing
- ½ cup 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. each fresh chopped chives and fresh dill
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chickpeas, and cook 6 to 7 minutes, until chickpeas start to crisp. Season with salt and garlic powder; stir to coat.
- Add buffalo sauce to chickpeas and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the remainder of salad.
- Prepare Yogurt Ranch Dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Gradually stream in 1 to 2 Tbsp. water to thin out to desired consistency.
- In a large bowl, combine lettuce, red onion, carrots, cheese, and half of dressing; toss to combine. Divide salad evenly between each of four plates. If desired, toss buffalo chickpeas with extra buffalo sauce before scattering evenly over salads. Drizzle remaining dressing overtop, and garnish with avocado slices and additional cheese, if desired.