Looking for a way to spice up your salad game this summer? This buffalo chickpea salad recipe has you covered. Fresh garden vegetables combine with spicy buffalo chickpeas for a seasonal salad that is sure to satisfy those taste buds.
Why I Love This Summer Salad Recipe
Sometimes you just crave buffalo wings, but you don’t actually want to make buffalo wings. (Just me?) Luckily, chickpeas can be a quick and easy substitute for proteins that take longer to cook (like chicken wings). The chickpeas in this salad are so simple to make – just warm in a pan with a bit of buffalo wing sauce and you’re good to go!
Another thing this buffalo chickpea salad recipe has going for it? It features cherry tomatoes, celery, and corn, which are all in season during the summer. Whether you have a thriving vegetable garden or you’re just pining over the thought of your future vegetable garden (me), recipes that use seasonal vegetables can come in handy. Adding veggies from the garden or your local farmer’s market is a great way to celebrate yummy summer ingredients!
How to Make a Salad Into a Meal
Salads don’t have to be a sad side dish. They can totally be a filling standalone meal (if you know how to dress them up). To make your salad more filling, be sure to include:
- A source of protein (Chickpeas and feta cheese provide protein in this recipe.)
- A source of fiber (Again, chickpeas to the rescue!)
- A large enough portion (Load up that plate!)
- Color and texture (Include soft and crunchy textures and a variety of veggies for color.)
This buffalo chickpea summer salad ticks all of the boxes above, which makes it more satisfying than your typical salad recipe.
Become a Grillmaster
If you feel intimidated by the grill, grilled vegetables can be a great way to build confidence. They’re lower cost and
(usually) harder to mess up than meat.
Feeling like you need to take a grilling 101 course before you take on the grill? The Spruce has a great grilling guide you can read!
The only part of this recipe that needs to be grilled is corn, which is super easy to prepare (even for a grillmaster in-training). Just heat the grill up to 400F, then add the corn to the grill – right in the husk – and flip until all of the sides are evenly charred. The corn will steam and cook inside the husk!
If you want grill marks on your corn, prepare it according to the recipe, but then peel back the husk and char it on all sides.
Still not feeling like grilling? That’s totally okay! Canned or frozen corn would work just fine in this recipe.
- Make it without a grill – Substitute grilled corn with either drained canned or cooked frozen corn.
- Make it with dried chickpeas – Soak overnight and boil until tender or make your chickpeas in the Instant Pot (if you have one).
- Make it with a different type of cheese – Bleu cheese would be perfect with the buffalo sauce, ranch, and celery. Any crumbly cheese (gorgonzola, cotija, vegan feta, etc.) would work nicely too.
- Make it with different vegetables – Swap celery with cucumber if desired. Shredded carrot, raw broccoli or cauliflower, sliced radishes, chopped bell peppers, and peas would also make awesome additions or substitutions.
- Make it vegan – Make sure you choose a vegan buffalo sauce (some contain butter) and vegan ranch. Omit the cheese or substitute with a crumbly vegan cheese like Violife.
- Make it with a different dressing – The creaminess of ranch dressing pairs nicely with the spiciness of the buffalo sauce, but f you’re not into creamy dressings, a simple vinaigrette would also taste good.
- Make it without buffalo sauce – Barbeque sauce or DIY buffalo seasoning are also tasty options for the chickpeas if you don’t have buffalo sauce on hand.
Buffalo Chickpea Salad
- grill (optional – see recipe modifications)
- 2 ears sweet corn
- 2 cans chickpeas low-sodium, drained and rinsed
- 4 tbsp buffalo wing sauce (I used Moore's brand)
- 2 stalks celery sliced thinly
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 8 cups spring mix
- 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 6 tbsp ranch dressing
- Preheat grill to 400F. Grill corn (husk on) for 25 minutes, turning every 5-10 minutes. The husk should be nice and charred by the time you're done! Remove from grill and cool.
- While the corn is grilling, heat a pan over medium heat. Add chickpeas and buffalo sauce. Cook until the chickpeas are warmed through, about 10 minutes.
- Peel back the husk and cut the corn from the cob.
- Layer greens, chickpeas, celery, tomatoes, corn, and feta in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with ranch dressing and serve!