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.
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step-by-step web story instructions for this recipe!
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
- gluten free beer bread
- celery and ranch
- gluten-free cornbread
- green salad
- Instant Pot baked potatoes
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 45 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.
- DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?? DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE FEEDBACK AND/OR CLICK A STAR RATING ON THE RECIPE CARD!
I love anything buffalo flavor and this recipe was super easy and delicious! The only thing I left out was the dried cilantro since I’m not a big fan. Add another Chili Cook-Off win to the tally!! I won my office cook-off today with this recipe! 🙂
I am right there with you. I am such a sucker for ANYTHING buffalo. So glad you won! I’ll add it to the tally!
Our Christmas Eve tradition is soup, salad and dessert after church. This year we included this recipe as one of our 3 soups and everyone loved it. I appreciated how easy it was to prepare and the flavors were delicious. Even my picky eater said he’ll be making this one when he returns to college. I will definitely make this again.
Thank you so much for writing. I’m so happy this soup was such a hit, and big win for the picky eater!
Happy New Year!
Thanks for sharing! How far ahead of time can I make it?
It can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. As it reheats it will thin out, but if you need to thin it out more just add additional chicken broth. Enjoy!
It’s good for more than 2 days
Agreed, but I guess safe than sorry for the non risk takers!
This looks so good! We love buffalo chicken dip, but it looks even better with all the additional veggies!
did you use frozen or thawed chicken breasts?
You can use either in the instant pot. For frozen chicken breasts add 5 more minutes to the cooking time. I wouldn’t recommend using frozen chicken in the slow cooker. Hope this helps!
Yes that really helps thanks!
Add another win to the books! I added the beans I on the Instant pot and it turned out great!
That is so great and thank you for letting us know the tip about the beans. I will add your win to the board!
I won my work chili cook off today with this recipe!! My coworkers were raving about it!
Way to go, Jesse! I will add the big win to the board and thank you so much for letting us know!
Fast. Easy. Delish.
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.
If you double the crockpot recipe do you need to add cook time?
No you leave the cook time as is. Enjoy!
Do you think it’s best to cook on low or high?
I’ve done both ways and it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.
I made your chili for a chili cook off that I have been in for 5 years, and tonight I finally won! Thank you for a great recipe! People were even taking leftovers!
This is amazing! I’m so glad you finally won! I’ll be happy to chalk that win on the board for you. 🙂
I won a work chili cook off with this recipe and so many people wanted it! I did cheat and used canned chicken because I was on a budget lol but you could not tell the difference!
Yay for you! Good to know canned chicken works as well and will still result in a win! I’ll add your win to the tally.
Stephanie L. says
I made this for my neighborhood chili cook-off and i won most unique! everyone loved it. i did double it since there were so many people. i also added come cayenne pepper, extra beans (mashed 1 can to add for thickness), and some extra franks red hot. I will definitely be making this again!! it was delicious!!!
Hey Stephanie, Way to go! I will add a tally for you. Thanks for the tip about mashing the beans. That is a very helpful suggestion!
Mary Grace says
I won a chili cook-off with this recipe tonight!! So delicious!
That’s fantastic! I will add your win and congrats!
B Lou says
I put in the beans with all ingredients as I was reading slow cooker recipe but making in instant pot. Hope turns out??
It should be fine. A lot of instant pot chili recipes have you add the beans before cooking. I just leave them to the end so they don’t get too mushy. Let me know what you think!
It worked out fine! I have made multiple times now :).
My son loves it!! He had us use his favorite honey bbq wing sauce instead and is fabulous!
I also got the spicy ranch dressing by accident but loved.
That’s so great to hear! Love the idea of honey bbq wing sauce. Yum! Thanks for dropping a line!
Wow! This turned out amazing. I was worried it would be too runny, but once I added the cream cheese it was perfect. I used the instant pot, doubled the recipe (using this for a chili cook-off tonight) and was absolutely pleased with how it turned out! Top the chili with some frito chips and maybe some blue cheese — delish.
Hi Emily, I really hope your chili cook off turned out well! Good to know that a double recipe fits in the Instant Pot. Thanks for writing!
Add another win to the tally. I took this to a friends chili cook off and won against 11 other chili’s so thanks for the recipe.
Will do right now! Thanks for letting me know, Shannon. So glad you won!
I won at a friends chili cook off tonight with this recipe. I’ll be making it again for sure.
Hey Sarah! That’s incredible! I added your win and thank you so much for letting me know! Congrats!
Sooooo good! We used ground turkey and it turned out amazing! I added mushrooms and they were great in it!
That’s wonderful! Adding mushrooms always improves a dish in my book, as well! Thanks for writing!
Do you start with frozen or thawed meat?
Hi Jamie, I always use fresh, but you could use frozen. Add 4 minutes more to the instant pot cooking time.
Melanie Prentice says
I won the cook off today! Thanks for the recipe!!
Oh yay! Now you officially legendary status in the office. I’ll add you to the win tally board!
Melanie Prentice says
Entering a SOUPervisor cook off tomorrow using this recipe. Fingers crossed!
Love the name of the contest and of course I’ll send good juju your way, Melanie!
Patricia Sirwaitis says
Add another win to your list, Mama!
I wanted to try something different for our annual hospital chili cook off and this recipe was just the ticket.
It took first place over all, beating out 14 other entries. I used my Instant Pot to cook the chicken by itself with some seasoned salt, then shredded it, placing it back into the pot with the other ingredients for an extra 10 minutes before adding the creamed (low fat) cheese. Thanks for the winning idea!
Fantastic! I added you to the official winner’s tally! Thank you for your tips as well for how to do it a little differently in the Instant Pot. I will give it a try!
Julie Seitz-Brummer says
I have made this several times! Always a big hit! So, my husband brought home buffalo chicken sausage. Has anyone tried using that? Seems like it would work. Not sure how to adjust the other ingredients. Any ideas would be welcome! Thanks 🙂
I think the buffalo chicken sausage would work great! However, you can probably skip the slow cooker and throw it together quickly on the stove top. Cook the sausage, chop, and set aside. Place all the remaining ingredients (except cream cheese) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cooked sausage, cream cheese, and stir until smooth.
The only thing I’m not sure about is if you would need additional chicken broth since the liquids won’t be condensing as much as they would in a slow cooker. Hope this helps!
I won my church chili cook-off tonight! Thanks for the great recipe!
Fantastic! Seems like this chili performs very well in church cook-offs 😉 I’ll add your big win and congrats!
It’s true! I won my chili cook off with this recipe. I doubled the recipe and made some modifications. I didn’t double the corn but straight doubled everything else. Since I am a chili purist and require chili powder in my recipes, I added 2Tb chili powder and 1Tb cumin to the recipe. It was so good!!
That’s amazing! I love everyone writing in to share their wins and all their tips to make it their own. I’m definitely going to try out the chili powder and cumin with my next batch. Adding your win right now!
I just won my school chili cook off with this recipe!! It was so delicious. Thank you!
HOT DOG! I’ll add you to the winner winner chicken dinner tally. Thanks for writing!
I made this after my Sister won her work chili cookoff. My husband and son loved this and I will be making it for our church chili cookoff. It would get 6 stars for taste and how easy it is to make!
How generous of you! 6 stars?! I’ll take it! Please check back in after your church cookoff and I’ll hopefully add your win to tally! Did your sister write in to add her win to the tally?
Won a chili cook off tonight with this recipe!! I used my instant pot and it was absolutely delicious!
Hot dog! Congrats and I’ll add your big win. I find myself using the instant pot more now to make this recipe. I love how fast it is!
Ashley Coleman says
I won my Chili & Soup Cook-Off today with this recipe! Everyone loved it. Thanks to you, I now have the coveted bedazzled ladle for the next year 🙂
Absolutely amazing and I am completely loving the the prize. A bedazzled ladle?! Fabulous idea! I’ll add your win to the tally!
We won first place with this recipe!!!
Yay! I appreciate you letting me know. I added your big win to the winner’s tally! 🤗
This won by a unanimous vote at a work cook-off! Thank you so much for a delicious recipe!
Unanimous?! That’s amazing! I added you to the cook-off tally and thank you for writing!
I followed this recipe to the T and it was entirely too watery. Closer to soup than chili. Long spice after bite. Four hour on high slow cook did not work out. Will not make again, and definitely would not win any chili contests.
Hello, I’m truly sorry this didn’t work out for you. I know how frustrating that can be!
Perhaps the soup was watery because too much condensation collected while it was cooking (especially on high)? I used to have a slow cooker that cooked too hot and everything would be too liquidy because of all the condensation. I would leave the lid off the last hour of cooking for some of the liquid too evaporate.
I hope you have a wonderful day and I apologize for your frustrations 🙂
Loved this recipe! Only change I made was to use a combination of white and black beans ..
Placed 3rd out of 20+ contestants…had only about 1/2 cup left !
Just a note … had to temper the cream cheese ,in a separate bowl, by stirring a little of the hot liquid from the pot into the cream cheese before adding it into the pot ! Otherwise if cheese is too cold it won’t blend in easily.
Thanks again for a great recipe!
Thanks for writing Rita and way to go! That is a lot of contestants! Thank you for adding that about the cream cheese. Usually I just set mine on the counter for 30 minutes – 1 hour before I add it so it’s room temperature and soft. Until you pointed that out, though, it seems I never added that to the recipe. Thanks for the heads up!
Jeanne Reese says
This recipe is amazing! I just won our department chili cook off with this recipe, so add another win to the tally! I cooked it overnight, kept it warm and added the cream cheese about an hour before the judging. My chili was the only one completely eaten!
That’s amazing! I happily added your win to the tally 🤗🥳 Thanks for sharing the good news!
You weren’t kidding — my family loved this recipe and I won our annual department chili cook-off today! Thank you!
Wow, it was a great day for this chili! I added your win to the tally and congrats!⭐️⭐️ Thank you for taking the time to let me know 👊
Hi! Just like a few others I too have to bring this to work for a chili cook-off,but my commute is 1 hour+ so I am not sure I will even have the time to let it cook 4 hours before the cook-off. How does this taste as a leftover? I thought about cooking the entire thing today then popping in the fridge overnight and simply keeping it on a warming setting in my slow cooker for 1 hour or so tomorrow.
Hi Ashley, That would be perfectly fine to make it the day before and warm it up. Just make sure to stir it occasionally and you might want to heat it on LOW versus WARM when you are warming up. Also, it will thicken upon refrigerating so you might need to add a little broth to it (wait until after it’s warmed up to see). Good luck and hope you win! Please let me know how it works out.
My update – cooking ahead and reheating on low for about 3 hours worked really well! This chili was a bit hit. Our cook off has two categories the first is Best Overall and the second is Best Unicorn (a unique variation of chili that is delisous) . I took first place in the Besr Unicorn category and had only a few cups full left at the end of the day! Thanks so much for a great recipe and help!
Hi Ashley, I’m so happy to hear from you with a positive update. Thank you for letting me know. I added your win to the tally and congrats! You’re very welcome. Talking food and recipes is my favorite thing and I’m always happy to help!
Is there a way to make it more low carb? Where do 33g of carbs per serving come from?
Hi Jenni, It looks like most of the carbs come from the beans (87g for whole recipe) and corn (73g for whole recipe) so reducing or eliminating those would help. You can substitute chopped celery for the corn. Hope this helps!
Hey Marnie, No you can discard the water. I don’t find I ever need to any extra broth than what the recipe calls for. Just shred the chicken and refrigerate that.
Made this for dinner tonight and loved how it turned out! You weren’t kidding when you said ‘easy’. It was delicious.
Thank you so much Kim for taking the time to let me know. This is hands down one of my favorite recipes because of how easy it is and how amazing it tastes! So glad you enjoyed it as well.
I want to leave it over night to be ready for 11 am tomorrow for our chili cook off. What’s the longest I can have it cooking I guess? This is my first time making chili, well, anything in a crock pot 😀
I wouldn’t cook it anymore than 8 hours because the chicken will get mushy. You can do 4 hours on high in the AM, which is how I primarily cook it. If you want to do the low setting perhaps save putting in the beans till the end when you add the cream cheese. Hope this helps and good luck!
Hi! Do you think it would work to bake the chicken in the oven the night before and then assemble all ingredients in crock pot to simmer the next morning? Like the commenter above, I am bringing this to my middle school teacher chili cookoff, and I am concerned of chicken being too mushy if I make it ahead, or the cream cheese consistency n ot being good and breaking down. I appreciate your correspondence and this recipe! Making it for Friday!
Hi Marnie, You could do that, but I think it would affect the consistency of the chili. The shredded chicken helps thicken the chili and yours would be baked and chopped. Before the chicken is shredded into the chili, it’s pretty liquidy. After shredding the chicken, stirring it into the liquid, and adding the cream cheese it gets a lot thicker and chili-like (vs. soup-like).
Here’s a thought of what I think would work though…
The day before simmer the chicken breasts in water until very tender (about 30-45 minutes). Shred, cool completely, and store in fridge.
In the AM mix together everything but chili and cook on high for a couple hours or low if have a longer time. Right before serving mix in shredded chicken and cream cheese. Voila!
Good luck and hope you win! I’d love to hear back if this works for you 🙂
Thank you for your response! Do you think I should keep the water from the cooked chicken to use in the morning? Or keep the shredded chicken alone? I’m definitely going to make this with your suggested variation!
Lauren @ Bookmark Lit says
Not sure if anyone else suggested this (too many comments to read through!) but I ended up making this with only 4 oz of cream cheese instead. I’m on weight watchers and needed to cut some points down. It tasted amazing still! Creamy, not too thin. Just a tip for anyone else cutting calories or points!
Thanks for chiming in Lauren. We all appreciate the tip to make the chili lighter, especially if you are making it for a weeknight dinner!
I saw this video yesterday, and decided to make it for our chili cookout at work today. Put everything in crock pot at 830 this morning, cooked all day. Had tasteing contest at 3pm and i was named the winner. It is a wonderful tasting chili and i will be making it a staple at home!!!
Wow, what a great day you’re having! Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I added you to the official cook-off tally!
This was amazing ! Hubby loved it ! I made it with ground chicken and I didn’t have to break it apart. Do you think fat free cream cheese would be good ?
Thanks for writing, Carolyn. You can use fat free cream cheese too. It might not mix as smoothly into the sauce, but it will still taste fine!
Absolutely love this dish! I’m making it for the second time this month, tomorrow. Just curious on the cook time. I believe I placed mine on high for four hours last time. Does anyone prefer a certain time over the other? I totally did the buffalo sauce on top with green onions, cilantro & blue cheese crumbles. So good!
Hi Lex, Thanks for writing! When I make it I usually do it on high setting and it turns out great. If you scroll through the comments I think people have had a lot of success with making it in the instant pot too (leaving out the cream cheese until after it cooks). I’m glad you enjoy it!
Gerald Fieser says
I tried this for the first time today. I loved it and will cook it again.
A minor complaint: it seemed a bit salty. So, I might eliminate the regular salt next time.
The author suggests 1/4-1/2 cup of buffalo wing sauce. I used 3/8 cup and was happy with the result.
I used tortilla chips (crunched up) and blue cheese as toppings. Excellent!
The recipe makes about 3 quarts, so you can double the recipe if you have a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. That’s my plan for next time.
Hi Gerald, Thanks for writing! I’m glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the measurements. Yes, salt is hard to nail down precisely because everyone’s tastes buds read it differently. I’m sure if you eliminate the salt for next time you should be good to go!
Heidie Godfrey says
fantastic! I totally forgot the rançh tho. so we will have to make it again and it may be a totally different soup!
Hey, the important thing is you still liked it so ALL GOOD! Thanks for writing 🙂
I made this for a pot luck at work and it was a major success! I didn’t have any of the spices the recipe called for (except garlic) so I used that, S&P, cumin and chili powder — just dumped a whole bunch in and it worked out just fine.
Good to know, Leslie. And I like your style!
Believe the hype. I made this and won a chili contest today! Super yummy!
Yay Crystal! I add you to the tally. Thanks for writing!
I made this for my boyfriend who loves all things buffalo chicken. HUGE HIT! He loved it. I added more hot sauce to give it a bigger kick and extra cream cheese to make it even more creamier. So easy and the perfect dish for football Sunday!
That’s great! This is the perfect football food. I serve it on Super Bowl Sunday every year. Thanks for writing, Erin!