Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili has the perfect amount of spice, a smooth creamy base, lots of tender chicken, and takes only 10 minutes to prepare. Be ready to win chili contests and hand out the recipe because this is the best chili you’ll ever make!
Now with Instant Pot Directions!
Best Buffalo Chicken chili Recipe
Once you make this recipe slow cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili you will be amazed how stupid easy it is and how damn good it tastes. Pin it, print it, and tape it to your fridge because this a stress-free, delicious meal to make over and over again.
#1 It pretty much requires zero brain cells. If you have mastered operating a can opener and correctly using measuring spoons, it’s game on.
#2 If you are too busy to find ten minutes to make dinner, call for pizza and I won’t judge. But if you can manage ten minutes of prep and clean-up time, you will have the most delicious chili waiting for you in eight hours.
#3 Given how ridiculously easy this crock pot buffalo chicken chili recipe is to make, it’s impressively delicious. In fact, it is so impressive, I often make it for entertaining, tailgating, or to take to a friend.
They WILL ask you for the recipe, though, so be careful with feigning how much effort you put into making it. Awkward.
#4 Is there really nothing better than buffalo chicken ANYTHING?! Whatever classic dish is morphed into “buffalo chicken” flavors like Buffalo Chicken Baked Potatoes, Buffalo Chicken Tacos, or Buffalo Chicken Salad, I am sold. The bit of spice with creamy ranch and tender chicken gets me every time.
Ingredient substitutions and modifications
- Chicken – The recipe calls for skinless chicken breasts, but boneless chicken thighs or cooked ground chicken would work as well. The cooking time would remain the same.
- Ranch seasoning – Use one dry ranch seasoning packet. For a gluten-free soup, use Hidden Valley Ranch brand.
- Beans – White beans, such as Great Northern, navy beans, or cannellini beans blend in with the creamy consistency. However, readers have also sang the praises of substituting different beans, such as black beans or kidney beans.
- Hot sauce – I prefer Franks Red Hot Sauce and the spice level can be adjust based on personal preference, just like buffalo chicken wings. Adding 1/4 cup will be mildly spiced, while 1/2 cup will give medium heat.
- Cream cheese – Soften to room temperature before adding for the creamiest results. Light cream cheese may be substituted, but it doesn’t blend in as smooth.
- Diced tomatoes – I prefer the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes, but any diced tomato may be used.
- Additional veggies – Besides corn, add in diced celery or even carrot!
- Optional seasonings – If you’d like to add your own flavor, consider adding a dash of chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, or even a squeeze of lime juice!
How To Make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
- Combine chicken breasts, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, white beans (drained and rinsed), hot sauce, chicken broth, ranch dressing mix, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried cilantro in the crock pot. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high 4 hours.
- Take two forks to shred the chicken in the slow cooker. Alternatively, used a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cut.
- With chicken back in the slow cooker, add the cream cheese. Stir until buffalo chili is creamy and smooth. Serve with blue cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips.
How to Make it in an Instant Pot
- Combine chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, corn, hot sauce, chicken broth, ranch dressing mix, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried cilantro in the pressure cooker. DO NOT ADD THE BEANS OR CREAM CHEESE YET. Stir to combine.
- Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 15 minutes. Naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release remaining pressure through the valve.
- Use two forks to shred chicken in instant pot or remove chicken to cutting board to cut. Add the chicken back to pot.
- Add drained and rinsed beans and cream cheese to instant pot. Stir until chicken chili is creamy and smooth.
Intimidated by using an Instant Pot? Learn in minutes with this Easy Start Instant Pot Guide full of tips, hacks, and tricks.
Stove top directions
If you leftover cooked chicken on hand, this recipe will also work in a dutch oven or a large pot.
First, bring the broth and seasonings to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the cooked chicken, diced tomatoes, corn, and beans.
Once the chili is heated through add the softened cream cheese and stir until smooth and creamy. Serve in a bowl with desired toppings.
Can you freeze this chili?
There are a lot of rules for freezing soup, so you might be wondering if this chili can be frozen. Normally chili recipes freeze without an issue, but this recipe contains cream cheese, which can make it tricker.
Here are some tips for successfully freezing buffalo chicken chili:
- For make-ahead freezer chili complete the recipe, but leave out the cream cheese in the last step. After the chili has been thawed and re-warmed, add the softened cream cheese.
- To freeze leftover chili, cool completely first so ice crystals don’t form. Transfer to a ziplock freezer bag or airtight container.
- The chili may be frozen with the cream cheese added, but it may “break” upon thawing. This means it will look slightly curdled. It is fine to eat, but might not look as appetizing.
- When reheating frozen chili containing cream cheese, low and slow is best. You can add additional cream cheese, freshly grated cheese, or a 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with water to help thicken and smooth the chili.
This crockpot buffalo chicken chili can be a meal in itself, or served with side dishes. If serving this recipe at a party, check out the best side dishes to serve with chili article!
- tortilla chips or fritos
- blue cheese crumbles
- fresh cilantro
- chopped celery
- freshly grated cheddar cheese, pepper jack, or colby jack
- sour cream
- sliced jalapenos
- green onions
- additional hot sauce
Tips for Making the Best Buffalo-style Chili
- If you are worried about the chili being too spicy, don’t add the 1/2 cup hot sauce to the crock pot or pressure cooker. Start with adding 1/4 cup to the recipe. Serve with additional hot sauce or add more to the chili at the end.
- Boneless chicken thighs, ground chicken, or turkey may be substituted for the chicken breasts.
- To make keto buffalo chicken chili, omit the beans and corn.
- If the chili is too thick, thin it with additional broth. For chili that is too thin, check out these helpful tips for thickening chili.
Win A Chili Cook-Off with Buffalo Chicken Chili!
Check out this chorizo chicken chili recipe for tons of tips on making an award winning chili and creating your own recipe.
This recipe has won 42 CHILI COOK-OFFS entered by readers!
Comment below to add your win to the tally!
SAVE THIS Recipe For Buffalo chicken Chili TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
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Award Winning Buffalo Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 14.5 ounce can Great Northern beans, drained
- 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained (can substitute regular diced tomatoes)
- 14.5 ounce can chicken broth (read label to make sure it’s gluten free)
- 1/4-1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce* I used Frank’s Red Hot
- 1 package ranch dressing mix envelope (Hidden Valley brand is gluten free)
- 14.5 ounce can sweet corn kernels drained
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounce cream cheese** softened
- Optional toppings: tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, blue cheese crumbles, additional hot sauce
Slow Cooker Directions:
- In a 5 quart slow cooker combine all the ingredients except the cream cheese and toppings.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- Shred the chicken in the slow cooker using two forks. You can also use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken to a cutting board, shred it, and then return to the pot.
- Add the cream cheese and stir until it is incorporated. Serve with desired toppings.
Instant Pot Directions:
- Place all the ingredients in the instant pot EXCEPT beans and cream cheese. Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 15 minutes. Naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release remaining pressure.
- Use two forks to shred chicken in instant pot or remove chicken to cutting board to shred. Add chicken back to pot.
- Add drained beans and cream cheese to instant pot. Stir until chili is creamy and smooth. Serve with desired toppings.
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