Buffalo Chicken Salad Freezer Meal Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Enjoy a healthy crockpot buffalo chicken. This can also be an instant pot buffalo chicken recipe. Cleaneating at its best with a shredded instant pot buffalo chicken sandwich.
Gluten Free

Today, I’ve got a mouthwatering treat that’s about to make your busy days a whole lot easier, Shredded Buffalo Chicken!

Imagine this tender, juicy chicken drenched in that iconic Buffalo sauce, ready to take your taste buds to another level. But here is the kicker, it’s not just a scrumptious meal, it’s a freezer meal superhero! Yes, you heard that correctly. This shredded Buffalo Chicken recipe is your answer to stress-free dinners on those hectic nights.

The beauty of this dish lies not only in its bold flavors but also in its incredible convenience. As a mom myself, I understand the juggling act of parenthood, work, activities, and everything in between. That’s why I am here to introduce you to the world of freezer meals. With this Shredded Buffalo Chicken recipe, you can prepare a batch in advance, pop it in the freezer and have a wholesome dinner ready in a snap. No more last-minute takeout or mealtime stress! 

So, whether you’re a food-loving parent, a time-strapped friend, or anyone in between, get ready to savor the bold flavors of Buffalo Chicken like never before. Let’s embark on this culinary journey together and discover how the magic of freezer meals can transform your dinner time routine, one delicious bite at a time.

Why you’ll love This prepped Buffalo Chicken Salad

  • Explosive Taste
  • Easily Prepared
  • Great Meal for a Crowd
  • Easily customized
  • Kid-friendly
Buffalo Chicken Salad Freezer Meal Recipe
Enjoy a healthy crockpot buffalo chicken. This can also be an instant pot buffalo chicken recipe. Cleaneating at its best with a shredded instant pot buffalo chicken sandwich.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Equipment
  • 1 Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 1 High speed blender
Ingredients
  
  • 2-3 lbs chicken breasts or chicken thighs
Buffalo Sauce (Blend Together):
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For Serving
  • 1-2 heads romaine lettuce
Instructions
 
Freezer Prep Directions:
  • Prepare a gallon freezer bag, labeling according to your preferred method.
  • Add sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (You may have to scrap sides once or twice).
  • Add all ingredients, except for serving, to labeled gallon freezer bag.
  • Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, and freeze for up to three months. 
Slow Cooker Directions
  • Thaw freezer bag in fridge 12-24 hours before cooking.
  • Dump contents of the freezer bag into a slow cooker. 
  • Cook on low 4-6 hours.
  • Remove chicken, shred, then mix back into buffalo sauce in the slow cooker.
  • Serve over romaine lettuce and enjoy!
Instant Pot Directions
  1. Dump the contents of the freezer bag into the Instant Pot, add 1/2 cup water.
  2. Set to High Pressure for 20 minutes, then allow a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release. 
  3. Remove chicken, shred, then mix back into buffalo sauce in the Instant Pot.
  4. Serve over romaine lettuce and enjoy!
Dietary Adjustments
Make it Gluten-Free:
  • Ensure your hot sauce is gluten-free, and use coconut aminos or tamari, not soy sauce.
 
 
Make it Dairy-Free:
  • This recipe is naturally dairy-free.

Notes

  • Coconut aminos are used as a soy sauce substitute for those with gluten sensitivity or anyone following a specific diet. Soy sauce can be used as a replacement. 
  • If desired use garlic powder instead of garlic cloves. 1 garlic clove = 1/2 tsp garlic powder. 
  • This recipe is a buffalo sauce so it does have a kick to it. 
Keyword Chicken Recipes, crockpot dinners, Easy Dinner, Healthy Crockpot Buffalo Chicken
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Equipment Needed to make Buffalo Chicken Salad

  • 1 Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 1 High speed blender

Ingredients For Your Buffalo Chicken Salad Freezer Meal

  • 2-3 lbs Chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • Buffalo Sauce (Blend Together):
  • 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp Coconut aminos soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp Dill
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • For Serving
  • 1-2 heads Romaine Lettuce

How to Make a Shredded Buffalo Chicken Salad

Freezer/prep directions:

  • Label Freezer bag with recipe name, cooking from frozen directions and expiration date (todays date plus three months).
  • Add sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (You may have to scrap sides once or twice).
  • Add all ingredients to labeled gallon freezer bag.
  • Store in freezer for up to three months.

Cooking directions:

  • Thaw overnight in fridge or in the morning in some warm water (meal may not be 100% thawed but that is ok).
  • Add freezer bag contents into slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 4-6 hours.
  • Remove chicken, shred (removing bone if necessary), then mix back into buffalo sauce in a slow cooker.
  • Serve over romaine lettuce and enjoy!
  • NOTES
  • Coconut aminos are used as a soy sauce substitute for those with gluten sensitivity or anyone following a specific diet. Soy sauce can be used as a replacement. 
  • If desired use garlic powder instead of garlic cloves. 1 garlic clove = 1/2 tsp garlic powder. 
  • This recipe is a buffalo sauce so it does have a kick to it.

What to serve/pair with your Make-Ahead Buffalo Chicken Salad

Sides:

Desserts:

  • Fruit Salad
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Cheesecake

Desserts:

  • Virgin Buffalo Mary
  • Cucumber Mint Cooler
  • Pineapple Ginger Ale

Popular Substitutions and Additions

Substitutions:

  • Leaner Protein: Substitute skinless, boneless chicken breasts for chicken thighs. Chicken breasts are lower in fat and calories, making the dish healthier.
  • Healthier Hot Sauce: Opt for a hot sauce with no added sugar or preservatives to reduce the sugar and sodium content. Look for hot sauces made with natural ingredients.
  • Healthier Oil: Instead of olive oil, use avocado oil or grapeseed oil. These oils have a higher smoke point and can be a better option for high-heat cooking, reducing the risk of harmful compounds forming.

Additions:

  • Veggies: Add a variety of vegetables, like bell peppers, onions, and celery, to the slow cooker along with the chicken. These veggies provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making the meal more nutritious.
  • Greek Yogurt: After cooking, stir in a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt to the shredded chicken and Buffalo sauce. It adds creaminess without the excess fat of heavy cream or sour cream.
  • Fresh Herbs: Incorporate fresh herbs like chopped cilantro or parsley for a burst of flavor and added nutrients. Herbs can enhance the taste without adding extra calories or sodium.

These substitutions and additions can help you create a healthier version of Shredded Buffalo Chicken without sacrificing flavor. It’s a great way to enjoy the spicy and tangy goodness while making the dish more nutritious.

How to Reheat and Store Convenient Buffalo Chicken Salad Freezer Meal after cooking?

Best way to store Buffalo Chicken recipe leftovers

For the best way to maintain the freshness of your healthy Buffalo Chicken leftovers, start by letting the meal cool down entirely before storage. This cooling process helps prevent excess moisture inside the container, which can lead to bacterial growth. Try to separate the chicken from the lettuce, to make sure the lettuce remains fresh and not to soggy.

Utilize airtight containers or resealable plastic bags for storage. If you anticipate not reheating the entire batch at once, portion out the leftovers into meal-sized servings before storing.

How long will Buffalo Chicken Salad last in the fridge?

Assuming you store your leftover Buffalo Shredded Chicken correctly in suitable containers and allow it to cool properly, it should remain fresh in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days. Keep a close eye on your fridge’s temperature, ensuring it stays at or below 40 degrees F to maximize the chicken’s shelf life.  

Can I freeze Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken after cooking?

Certainly! If you foresee that you won’t be consuming your leftover Buffalo Shredded Chicken soon and want to prolong its shelf life, follow the same storage process as you would for refrigeration. Allow the leftovers to cool thoroughly, then portion them into meal-sized servings for ease of use.

When preparing the leftovers for freezing, employ airtight containers or freezer bags. Ensure you label your leftovers before freezing them.

For those interested in transforming this recipe into a raw freezer meal, simply combine all sauce ingredients into a blender, and blend together until smooth. Then all all ingredients in a single freezer bag, remove any excess air, shake the bag to coat all chicken, and freeze. Remember to label the bag with storage duration of 3-6 months.

How to Reheat Healthy Buffalo Chicken?

When it’s time to dig into your leftover Buffalo Chicken Salad, you have several effective reheating methods at your disposal. For a quick individual serving, the microwave is the best way to go.

Place leftovers on a safe dish, and heat in 30 second intervals, making sure to stir in between until it’s warmed through. If you’re dealing with a larger portion, consider using the stovetop. Begin by heating your saucepan on medium heat, reheat the base of the salad only, to get your buffalo chicken to a desired temperature.

Should you need to reheat from a frozen state, make sure to thaw your leftovers in the fridge overnight before proceeding with the same microwave or oven reheating methods.

Buffalo Chicken Salad Meal Prep FAQs

Other chicken recipes you’ll love!

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Don’t forget to come back and let me know how your Buffalo Chicken Salad turned out!

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