If you’re fan of spicy and savory flavors, then buffalo chicken recipes should definitely be on your list of must-tries. However, most commonly, buffalo chicken dishes are fried and loaded with calories. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our collection of buffalo chicken recipes that aren’t only delicious but also healthy! From salads to wraps to pasta, you’ll be surprised at how many ways you can enjoy this classic recipe without feeling guilty. Try out our buffalo chicken recipes and get ready to satisfy your cravings while keeping a healthy diet.
What Is Buffalo Chicken
Buffalo chicken is a popular dish that originated in Buffalo, New York in the 1960s. It is a type of chicken that is coated with a spicy sauce made of hot sauce and butter. The chicken is typically deep-fried, but it can also be baked, grilled, or air fried for a healthier option.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken
Making buffalo chicken is relatively easy and straightforward. Here is a simple recipe for making buffalo chicken at home:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Coat 1 pound of chicken tenders or wings in the flour mixture.
- Place the chicken on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and crispy.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup hot sauce and 1/4 cup unsalted butter. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Toss the baked chicken in the sauce until the chicken is completely coated.
- Serve with celery sticks and ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Recipes
Buffalo chicken can be high in calories and fat due to the butter used in the sauce and the method of cooking. However, there are ways to make buffalo chicken healthier without sacrificing flavor. Here are some healthy buffalo chicken recipes to try:
|Grilled Buffalo Chicken
|Chicken breasts are grilled instead of fried and coated in a homemade buffalo sauce. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables for a healthy meal.
|289 calories per serving
|Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
|Chicken tenders are coated in a mixture of almond flour and spices and baked until crispy. A healthier homemade buffalo sauce made with Greek yogurt and hot sauce is used for dipping.
|265 calories per serving
|Buffalo Chicken Salad
|Grilled chicken breast is tossed with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a homemade buffalo ranch dressing. A healthier alternative to traditional chicken wings.
|285 calories per serving
These healthy buffalo chicken recipes are perfect for those who love spicy chicken but want to maintain a healthy diet. Experiment with different cooking methods and ingredients to find your favorite recipe.
Benefits of Buffalo Chicken Recipes
Buffalo chicken recipes have gained popularity because of their delicious and spicy taste. However, did you know that these recipes can also provide various health benefits? Depending on the preparation method, buffalo chicken recipes can offer a healthy dose of protein, healthy fats, and various vitamins and minerals. Below are some of the benefits of including buffalo chicken recipes in your diet.
1. High in Protein
Chicken is an excellent source of protein, and buffalo chicken recipes are no exception. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build muscle, repair tissues and maintain a healthy immune system. With buffalo chicken recipes, you can get the necessary protein intake for the day without adding unnecessary fats and calories.
2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Buffalo chicken recipes can provide various vitamins and minerals, depending on how they are prepared. For instance, chicken contains niacin, a B vitamin that helps maintain healthy skin, nerves, and digestion. It also contains vitamin B6, which is crucial for brain development and function. Furthermore, chicken is an excellent source of minerals such as phosphorus, which is essential for strong bones and teeth, and selenium, which helps protect against oxidative damage.
Additionally, the accompanying ingredients in buffalo chicken recipes, such as vegetables, can also contribute to the overall nutritional value of the dish. For instance, adding mixed greens in buffalo chicken salad can provide vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.
3. Healthy Fats
Buffalo chicken recipes can also be a source of healthy fats. For example, skinless chicken breasts are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, some recipes may use chicken wings or drumsticks, which are higher in fat and calories. To make a healthier version of buffalo chicken wings, you can use skinless chicken breasts and bake them instead of frying. Additionally, choosing a low-fat or homemade sauce can also trim down the fats and calories in the dish.
4. Versatility in Preparation
Buffalo chicken recipes are versatile in preparation, and you can adjust them according to your dietary preferences. For instance, you can make a gluten-free version of buffalo chicken tenders by using almond flour instead of regular flour. You can also make a vegetarian buffalo chicken version by using cauliflower as a substitute.
Overall, buffalo chicken recipes can offer health benefits as long as they are prepared using healthy cooking techniques and accompanied by nutrient-rich ingredients.
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Recipe Ideas
Buffalo chicken is a classic American dish that is typically breaded, fried, and then coated in a spicy sauce. Although it’s delicious, this dish can be quite unhealthy due to the high calorie and fat content. However, with a few tweaks to the recipe, you can enjoy this tasty treat while still maintaining a healthy diet. Here are some healthy buffalo chicken recipe ideas to try out:
Grilled buffalo chicken salad
If you’re looking for a lighter option, try making a grilled buffalo chicken salad. This recipe usually consists of grilled chicken breast marinated in buffalo sauce, mixed greens, and your choice of vegetables. To make the buffalo sauce healthier, substitute traditional butter with a lighter alternative such as olive oil or Greek yogurt. The chicken can be cooked on a grill or stovetop to add some extra flavor. This recipe is a great way to enjoy a tasty and nutritious salad with a spicy kick.
Baked buffalo chicken tenders
If you’re a fan of chicken tenders, you’ll love this healthy version. Instead of frying the chicken, opt for a baked recipe that uses lean chicken breast and a simple breading made from whole wheat flour, spices, and panko breadcrumbs. To prepare the tenders, coat them in the breading mixture and bake in the oven until golden brown. Once they’re finished, toss them in buffalo sauce and serve with a side of carrots and celery sticks. This recipe is a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of buffalo chicken while still maintaining a healthy diet.
Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps
For a low-carb option, try making buffalo chicken lettuce wraps. Instead of using tortillas or bread, wrap the chicken in lettuce leaves for a light and refreshing dish. To make the chicken filling, sauté lean ground chicken with onion, garlic, and spices, and then mix in buffalo sauce. Once the mixture is heated through, spoon it onto lettuce leaves and serve with sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime juice. This recipe is a perfect lunch or dinner option for anyone looking for a healthy and flavorful meal.
Ingredient Swaps for Healthier Buffalo Chicken Recipes
Buffalo chicken is a popular game-day snack that is often enjoyed with beer and other unhealthy treats. However, with a few simple ingredient swaps, you can enjoy this spicy dish without the added guilt. Here are a few ingredient swaps for healthier buffalo chicken recipes:
1. Use Greek Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream
Sour cream is a popular choice for dipping sauces, but it is high in fat and calories. Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative that provides a similar texture and flavor. Greek yogurt is high in protein and contains probiotics, which aid in digestion. You can use plain Greek yogurt to make a creamy buffalo chicken dip or sauce. It pairs well with celery and carrot sticks.
2. Use Whole Wheat Flour Instead of All-Purpose Flour
Breading is an essential component of buffalo chicken dishes. However, all-purpose flour is refined and processed, which means it is low in nutrients and high in calories. Whole wheat flour is a healthier alternative because it contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It also has a nutty flavor that pairs well with buffalo chicken. You can use whole wheat flour to make a crispy and flavorful breading mix for chicken wings or tenders.
3. Use Low-Sodium or Reduced-Fat Options for Cheese and Other Toppings
Cheese and other toppings can add a lot of flavor to buffalo chicken dishes. However, they are also high in fat and sodium. To make your dish healthier, use low-sodium or reduced-fat options for cheese, ranch dressing, and other toppings. These ingredients are widely available at most grocery stores and taste great with buffalo chicken. You can also use fresh herbs and spices to add flavor to your dish without adding extra calories.
4. Swap Fried Chicken for Grilled or Baked Chicken
Buffalo chicken is typically made with fried chicken, which is high in calories and fat. You can make your dish healthier by using grilled or baked chicken instead. Grilled chicken is a great option because it is low in calories, high in protein, and has a smoky flavor that complements buffalo sauce. To make baked chicken, marinate chicken breasts in buffalo sauce and bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes. This will give you the same spicy flavor without the added calories.
Healthy Sides to Serve with Buffalo Chicken
Buffalo chicken recipes are a spicy and delicious way to enjoy chicken. However, if you want to keep your meal healthy, you need to pair it with some nutritious sides. Here are five healthy sides to serve with buffalo chicken:
1. Roasted Vegetables
Roasting vegetables is a healthy and easy way to add some extra nutrition to your meal. You can roast any vegetable you like, but some great options to serve with buffalo chicken are broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini. Simply chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they are tender and slightly charred. Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and makes them a tasty and satisfying side dish.
2. Sweet Potato Wedges
Sweet potato wedges are a tasty and nutritious alternative to regular fries. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, which makes them a great choice for a healthy side dish. To make sweet potato wedges, simply cut a sweet potato into wedges, toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite spices, and bake them in the oven until they are crispy and golden brown. Sweet potato wedges are a great way to add some extra color and flavor to your meal.
3. Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a healthy and versatile grain that makes a great base for a salad. To make a quinoa salad to serve with buffalo chicken, cook some quinoa according to the package instructions, and then toss it with some fresh vegetables, such as chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Add a simple lemon and olive oil dressing, and you have a tasty and nutritious side dish that will complement the spicy flavor of the buffalo chicken.
4. Steamed Broccoli
Broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable that makes a great side dish for any meal. To keep it simple, just steam some broccoli and season it with a little salt and pepper. Steaming broccoli helps retain its nutrients and produces a tender and slightly crunchy texture that is perfect for serving with buffalo chicken.
5. Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Cucumber and tomato salad is a fresh and light side dish that is perfect for pairing with buffalo chicken. Simply chop some cucumber and cherry tomatoes and toss them with a little red onion, some fresh herbs, and a light vinaigrette dressing. Cucumber and tomato salad is a great way to add some extra vegetables to your meal and keep it healthy and nutritious.
FAQs About Buffalo Chicken Recipes
Buffalo chicken is a favorite dish for many people, and it’s not hard to see why. The spicy and tangy flavors of the buffalo sauce, combined with the juicy and succulent chicken, are a match made in heaven. But for those who are health-conscious, buffalo chicken recipes may seem like they’re off the menu. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about buffalo chicken recipes and provide tips on how you can make them healthier.
Can buffalo chicken be made in the slow cooker?
Yes, absolutely! Making buffalo chicken in the slow cooker is easy and convenient, especially if you’re short on time. Simply place your chicken breasts or thighs in the slow cooker, add your favorite buffalo sauce, and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once it’s done, shred the chicken and serve it on a bed of lettuce or in a wrap for a quick and easy meal.
Are there any vegan alternatives for buffalo chicken recipes?
Yes, there are plenty of vegan alternatives for buffalo chicken recipes that are just as delicious and healthy. One option is to use seitan instead of chicken. Seitan is a protein-rich food made from wheat gluten, and it has a texture similar to chicken. You can marinate seitan in your favorite buffalo sauce and cook it in a skillet or in the oven. Another option is to use cauliflower instead of chicken. Simply coat cauliflower florets in a mixture of buffalo sauce and flour, and bake them in the oven until they’re crispy and golden. These vegan alternatives are also a great source of fiber and vitamins.
Is it possible to make buffalo chicken gluten-free?
Yes, it’s definitely possible to make buffalo chicken gluten-free. You can use gluten-free flour or cornstarch to coat your chicken or cauliflower, and make sure to use a gluten-free buffalo sauce. There are also many recipes for homemade buffalo sauce that are naturally gluten-free. Another option is to use lettuce wraps instead of tortillas or buns to make your buffalo chicken recipe even healthier and lighter. Just be sure to double-check the ingredients of any store-bought sauces or seasonings to make sure they’re gluten-free.
How can I make buffalo chicken recipes healthier?
There are several tips and tricks you can use to make buffalo chicken recipes healthier without sacrificing flavor. First, choose high-quality and lean chicken breasts or thighs and remove any skin to reduce the amount of fat and calories. You can also use Greek yogurt or low-fat mayonnaise instead of heavy cream or sour cream to make your buffalo sauce healthier. Another option is to use whole-grain tortillas or buns instead of white ones to increase the fiber content of your meal. Finally, load up on fresh veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers to add more vitamins and minerals to your plate.
Thanks for Checking Out These Healthy Buffalo Chicken Recipes!
We hope you enjoyed this article about healthy buffalo chicken recipes. Remember that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. With these recipes, you can enjoy a classic flavor in a nutritious way. Stay tuned for more articles about healthy food coming soon! Don’t forget to visit us again later for more content like this. Take care!