With spicy buffalo chickpeas, creamy avocado, and refreshing greens, this Buffalo Chickpea Salad hits all the right notes.

Vegan dairy-free Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Salad recipe - Addicting chickpeas, drenched in red hot sauce and then spooned over crisp lettuce and veggies. So good! But the kicker is that cool tahini ranch. I think this is my favorite salad ever.

This salad is SPICY. But then you also have the icy cucumbers and that cool tahini-based ranch. And one sort of tries to counteract the other, but ultimately, the heat wins out.

No worries; just have a few more sips of beer, because it’s perfect with this thing. Then the burn will be gone before you know it and only the “WHEN will I get to have that again?!!” feelings will remain.

In this Article

The Story Behind the Recipe

I’ve been dreaming about this recipe concept for awhile. At first, I roasted the chickpeas and then stirred in the buffalo sauce, but it felt a little too overly laborious (and when you’re hangry, roasting takes way too long).

Then I discovered these buffalo chickpea wraps and saw how a quick saute made for spicy-hot sauced chickpeas in a fraction of the time. Duh!

That made this salad even easier to whip up, and the chickpeas this way add more sauce and sass to the whole endeavor.

A saute pan of buffalo chickpeas with a wooden spoon on a marble countertop.

Buffalo Chickpea Salad Ingredients

This vegetarian and vegan buffalo chickpea salad is made up of three components: The spicy chickpeas, the salad veggies, and the ranch dressing.

For the chickpeas, we have:

  • Chickpeas – one can of them. Feel free to use cooked-from-scratch chickpeas too! You’ll want about two cups.
  • Red hot buffalo sauce – Yep, the red stuff in the bottle.
  • Garlic powder – you can use fresh garlic, too.
  • Salt & pepper – the classic flavor enhancers.

For the ranch dressing, the ingredients are:

  • Tahini – I love tahini-based ranch. It is so good! It lends a creaminess without needing any dairy ingredients.
  • Almond milk – any non-dairy milk will do, just keep it unsweetened. Or if you’re okay with dairy, dairy milk will do just fine too.
  • Lemon juice – a bit of acid gives a nice kick.
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, & pepper – flavor flavor flavor!
  • Fresh parsley and fresh chives – homemade ranch calls for fresh herbs!

To make a faster buffalo chickpea salad, feel free to use store-bought ranch. Just stick with a dairy-free/vegan brand if you need to.

Then, we put it all together with these salad ingredients:

  • Shredded romaine lettuce – feel free to sub in another favorite green, though romaine is nice and sturdy and holds up perfectly to a pile of buffalo chickpeas. I like adding in some red leaf lettuce for some color and variety.
  • Celery – gotta have celery for the full buffalo experience!
  • Cucumber – I love the cooling counterpoint that cucumbers provide.
  • Avocado – for a creamy texture. So good!
  • Red onion – I love the bite of red onion in this salad.
A bowl of chickpea salad on a marble countertop with an extra bowl of ranch dressing to drizzle over the top.

How to Make It

First, make the dressing (or skip this step if you’re using a store-bought ranch dressing). Just whisk everything together in a bowl and set aside.

Next, whip up those saucy-spicy chickpeas. You’ll add some olive oil to a saute pan and warm over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and all of the other ingredients, holding back a bit of the buffalo sauce. You’ll cook until they’re warmed through and golden, then remove them from the heat and stir in the remaining buffalo sauce.

Then, you’ll arrange your veggies in a big salad bowl and pour the chickpeas right over the top.

Drizzle with ranch and dig in!

A bowl of buffalo chickpea salad with a serving spoon, ready to eat.

What to Serve with Buffalo Chickpea Salad

This salad is pretty much a meal in itself, but if you’d like some bread alongside (and you’re okay with dairy), these Brown Sugar Garlic Mozzarella Breadsticks hit the spot.

For dessert, something cooling is always welcome. How about some no-churn Sea Salt & Honey Ice Cream?

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it and loved it (or even if you didn’t!) please come back and leave a review. That helps others know that this recipe is worth making, and helps me make any needed adjustments to the recipes I put out in the world.

Buffalo Chickpea Salad
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Buffalo Chickpea Salad

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 4
Addicting chickpeas, drenched in red hot sauce, served over crisp lettuce, and drizzled with ranch. This Buffalo Chickpea Salad is SO good!


Cool Tahini Ranch:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt ( + more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( + more to taste)

Spicy Buffalo Chickpeas:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (drained)
  • 1/4 cup red hot buffalo sauce (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (can substitute 1 small clove garlic, minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 5 cups shredded romaine lettuce (or a combo of romaine and red leaf lettuce)
  • 1 batch Spicy Buffalo Chickpeas
  • 1 celery stalk (diced; [about 1/2 cup])
  • 1/2 medium cucumber (peeled and diced [about 1 cup])
  • 1 medium ripe avocado (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/2 small red onion (sliced into half-rounds [soak in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes if you prefer to reduce the bite])
  • 1 batch Cool Tahini Ranch


  • 1 medium saute pan
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large salad bowl


Make the dressing

  • Add all dressing ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor or blender. Puree until blended, adding additional almond milk if needed to thin it. Set aside.

Cook the chickpeas

  • Set a medium saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil. Add the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the buffalo sauce, garlic or garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until warmed through and golden brown in places, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in additional 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce. Set aside.

Assemble the salad

  • In a large salad bowl or on individual plates (your choice), arrange a bed of lettuce. Scoop the warm chickpeas over the top. Arrange celery, cucumber, avocado, and onion over each. Drizzle generously with dressing. Serve immediately.


A note on servings

I’d say this serves 2-3 as a hearty main course, and more like 4 as a side. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 4g, Calories: 432kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Sodium: 792mg, Potassium: 899mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5500IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 135mg, Iron: 5mg

‘Cuz it’s, well, grubbin’.

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