Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Salad

The idea of using hot wing sauce on anything other than meat may sound a little sacrilegious to the most devout carnivore. And the thought of me using hot wing sauce, period, is a bit strange since I don’t even like wings and I (thought) I didn’t like hot wing sauce.

So why do I have the stuff around? Well, the nice people at Barhyte Specialty Food are hosting a recipe contest right now and urged bloggers to enter by sending them sample packs of some of their most popular condiments. I agreed to accept some (free!) samples, but I told them (in a very polite way) that if I didn’t like their products, I wouldn’t be blogging about it. I like you guys, and I want you to trust that when I “endorse” something, it’s because I really do like it and everything I say about it is my honest-to-goodness opinion.

For example: the Spicy Mama Hot Wing Sauce that came in my sample pack. I opened it, stuck the tip of my finger in the bottle, and hesitantly placed it on my tongue. I’m not sure what I was expecting — hot lava, maybe — but I was pleasantly surprised. Like I said, I’m not a hot wing sauce eater, so I have nothing to compare this to.  That little dab was plenty spicy, but there was also flavor underneath the heat — slightly sweet and tangy.


Steve and I were both in the mood for salads one night, and I like to add some kind of protein when we eat salads as a meal. Recently I’ve been experimenting with roasted chickpeas and thought hot wing sauce might be an interesting addition. Let me tell you . . . they were too spicy for my kids, but they were some of the best “croutons” I’ve ever had. I also added a little wing sauce to the vinaigrette to give the whole salad a touch of heat. I didn’t want the salad too spicy, so I added some avocado, cucumber, and goat cheese to tone down the heat. Beautifully balanced, I must say.

Like I said earlier . . . this salad would probably be scoffed at by hot wing lovers, but would make vegetarians, or non-wing eaters like me, feel included at a party where wings are abundant. And we wouldn’t have wing sauce dripping from our chins.


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Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Salad


For the dressing:
4 tsp Saucy Mama hot wing sauce
juice from one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
2 small cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp honey
big pinches of salt and pepper, to taste
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the chickpeas:
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed well
1/4 cup Saucy Mama hot wing sauce, divided
2 T oil

For the salad:
2 10-oz bags of mixed salad greens
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
2 cups crumbled goat or blue cheese (about 6-7 ounces)


To make the chickpeas, preheat oven to 400 degrees and place the oven rack to the upper third position. Place chickpeas on a large, rimmed baking sheet, add 2 T hot wing sauce and 2 T oil. Using your hands, toss them together so all of the chickpeas are coated. Bake for 15 minutes, then pull a chickpea out to taste. If you'd like them spicier, toss in an additional tablespoon (or two) of hot wing sauce and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Even if you don't add more sauce, they still need to bake for another 15 minutes or so until they're slightly crisp on the outside, but soft on the inside. When they're finished baking, let them cool off, then transfer to a serving bowl.

To make the dressing, put all ingredients except oil into a small bowl and whisk to combine. While continuing to whisk, add the oil in a small, continuous stream. Dressing should thicken slightly as it combines.

At this point, you can place all of the ingredients in separate bowls for guests to build their own salads or toss the greens, dressing, cucumbers, and avocados together, then sprinkle the goat cheese and some of the chickpeas on top.

Makes 8 side-dish or 4 main-dish servings.

Nat's Notes:
1. Blue cheese dressing is traditionally served with hot wings and "buffalo" type dishes (right? I'm not the expert on this, remember?), but because of our family's preferences, we opted for goat cheese.

from Perry's Plate

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11 Responses to “Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Salad”

  1. #
    Joanne — August 25, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

    I'm not a wing lover either…I just don't see the point in eating something for that many calories that is so un-satisfying. However, I do love hot sauce. I usually make buffalo chicken pizza out of it. This salad would surely please me though! Such an inventive idea.


  2. #
    Natalie — August 25, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

    YUM! we're about to leave town but when we get back I am making this!!!! Thank you for an amazing recipe :)


  3. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — August 27, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    Joanne – Amen. My thing with wings is texture. It seems like a lot of work and picking around to get a sliver of edible meat off. Now I know that wing sauce won't burn my face off I may venture into other "buffalo" things… like pizza :)

    Natalie – You're certainly welcome! Have fun where ever you're going!


  4. #
    Malia — August 27, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

    This looks fantastic! We get tired of topping salads with plain beans, so I will definitely try this. I love how inventive your recipes are.


  5. #
    danasfoodforthought — August 27, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

    This sounds fantastic… I love chickpeas and hot sauce is my preferred condiment… sounds like the perfect combo :)


  6. #
    jennoreilly — September 1, 2010 @ 2:04 am

    this looks amazing! I'm totally going to the store tomorrow to get all the ingredients, thanks for posting this!!


  7. #
    Lia — February 12, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    I’ve made this a half dozen times in the past year, so I figured it was time to let you know much I enjoy this recipe! It hits the spot when I’m craving buffalo, but don’t want the gross feeling that comes from eating too many wings.

    I do eat it with homemade blue cheese dressing. One day, I’ll try your hot sauce dressing….

    Thanks, Natalie!


  8. #
    Rainey — April 12, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    Oh my gosh – this salad is AMAZING! We used bleu cheese in ours, which was perfect. I highly, highly recommend you try this salad! It is unique, inventive and so delicious! Yum.


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