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!
Sarah M says
Soooooo good and sooooo easy to make. This is going to the front of my recipe book! Made with beans and made again without beans (for the kids) either way. Delicious.
Melissa Erdelac says
That’s a pretty impressive placement! I’m so happy it made it to the most coveted spot!
Tony Taylor says
Add another win to the list. I won the chili cook-off today at work. 1st out of 6 entries. I didn’t change a thing. It was a big hit!!
Melissa Erdelac says
Will do, Tony! Thanks so much for letting me know!
I won best overall in our “Soup”er Bowl Chili and Soup Contest!! I added carrots and celery and omitted the corn and celery salt (only because I did not have on hand). Everyone loved it!! Will definitely be making this again!!
Melissa Erdelac says
Congrats on the win and thanks for sharing your adaptations! I will add your win to the tally!
I won first place in my work chili cook-off! 🙂 I used mild buffalo sauce because I am a spice wimp, but love flavor. This recipe was so good!! I had none left over 🙁
Melissa Erdelac says
Nothing wrong with a spice wimp! That’s what is great about this – you can always adjust and add more when serving. I’ll add your win!
Vanessa G says
We had our annual school chili cook off tonight, AND I WON with this recipe! I’ve already sent it to half a dozen friends. My husband is bummed because he didn’t want to go, and after making a double batch….I didn’t take a single serving home. Add this to your hat!! What a KILLER chili! Im making it again this coming week.
Melissa Erdelac says
Love this so much, Vanessa! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know! I’ll add your win to the tally!
Do you think this can be made in the crockpot with already cooked Turkey? Trying to use up those thanksgiving leftovers!
Oh and I’ve made this many times just as written. It’s delicious and I did win the non-traditional category in a chili cook off with this recipe!
Thanks for sharing!
Melissa Erdelac says
Thanks for sharing, Sarah! Yes I do think you could use leftover turkey, but I wouldn’t bother with the crockpot. Just heat everything up together on the stove and then add the cream cheese!
That was amazing! Definitely will be making again. Can you provide what a serving size is? It says it is 6 servings, but not sure how much is in each serving.
Melissa Erdelac says
Glad you enjoyed the recipe. A serving is 1 1/2 cups. Enjoy!
I just won at our church chili cook off! Followed the crock pot version exactly as written. Thanks for the great recipe
Melissa Erdelac says
Thank you, Crissy, and congrats! I’ll add your win to the count!
Won my office chili cook off! You can add another one to your tally!
Melissa Erdelac says
Awesome! Will do, Erin!
Kerri Kingsley says
My family loves this! Daughter requests it all the time!
Oh, love this Kerri! Thanks for sharing!
Suzi Fullam says
What a great recipe! Douch flavor but not overpowering. Will definitely keep this I. The rotation!
Thank you, Suzi! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I won a chili cook off! Add another one to your list! Everyone wanted your recipe! I made it again for my family. It was a huge hit!
Yay! Thanks for letting me know, Linda! I will add your win!
This recipe is amazing! We have made this chili over and over. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I’ve also passed it on to many friends who also love it. It’s a real winner!
Thank you, Becky! I completely agree! I make this chili so much this time of year!
#5… Yes, yes it will!!! I won a chili contest last night with this recipe!!!!! It’s SO good!!!!!
So glad to hear, Samantha! I’ll add your win!
So delicious…I will make this again and again! Thank you!
I entered a contest for the first time (local community group) and came in 3rd out of 10! I shopped at 10 am that morning and all was ready by 5ish.
Some hints if you are time pressed: get chicken to room temp, and cut it into smaller pieces (quarters?). Run the beans under hot water to warm.
I doubled the beans and used frozen corn added in the last half hour (but cooked in microwave first).
You need at least 45 minutes to bring the cream and shredded chicken back to hot enough. I ended dumping into a pot on stove, using that time to clean out crock pot for presentation and then returning the mixture to the hot pot
Thanks so much for sharing all your tips and congratulations!! I’ll add the big win to the count!
We made this today. The directions were simple and it had just the right amount of spice. Thanks for an easy option.
Leann G Thacker says
I used 2 tbsp hot sauce because my diced tomatoes had mild chili peppers in it. It is plenty spicy! I also used a rotisserie chicken just to speed up the process. So, I left out the salt because the chicken is seasoned. I like the creaminess from the cream cheese. Now, hoping my family likes too.
The diced tomatoes with chili peppers sounds like a great addition! I hope your family enjoys it as well!
Glad you enjoyed!
We make this all the time. I use it with Weight Watchers. It is a reasonable amount of points and so filling and delicious.!!
So glad this works with Weight Watchers! Thanks for sharing, Leslie!
The first time I made this I forgot to drain the fire-roasted tomatoes so I added a can of creamed corn as well as the drained while kernel corn. It was very creamy and flavorful so I did it the same way again. I used 1/2 cup of Anchor Bar mild chicken wing sauce and was just enough kick. (I don’t like things super spicy). Definitely one of my favorites!!
Oh I love the idea of using creamed corn! I’m going to try this next time. Thank you so much for taking the time to write!
D.K. Johnson says
Easy and delicious, even earning a rare compliment! This is now a favorite go-to. I used chickpeas instead but would also think cannelini would work well, maybe even black beans. I think anything would taste great in this yummy creaminess.
Well, I’ll take the rare compliment and thank you! I LOVE chickpeas and I think that sounds like a great addition. Thanks for sharing!
I absolutely love this recipe! Can extra leftovers be frozen?
I’m so glad. Technically, yes, but the chili might “break” because of the cream cheese added. Dairy doesn’t freeze the best and it will separate upon freezing. It won’t affect the taste, but it might not look as appealing.
If you make it and know you will only eat a portion of it, you can let it cool and freeze before adding the cream cheese. Add a portion of the cream cheese to the part you are enjoying now. Hope this helps!
We LOVED this recipe!!! My husband really has a gift for seasoning whatever I cook to make it taste great. I make soup, he tastes, doctors it up, and voila. This EASY (minimal clean up) recipe needed NO TWEAKING whatsoever. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo wings sauce, 1/4 cup. Served w celery sticks. We just cleaned up the kitchen and I wanted to check out this website for more amazing ideas. Thank you!!
Wow, thank you so much for writing! I’m so glad it required no extra efforts by your husband (although what a great resource to have!) I’m so happy to have you part of our community and I hope you find many more recipes you love!
Stephanie Freeman says
Is the nutritional amounts for the whole lot? If not, what is the serving size? Thanks!!
The nutritional info is for 1/6 the recipe, which is about 1 1/2 cups. Enjoy!
Won best overall at the office chili cook off last year out of 15 entries! Excited to cook this tomorrow for some Sunday football.
Yes, it’s definitely time to start putting this recipe in the rotation again. It’s perfect for watching the game and congrats your chili cook-off win! I’ll add it to the count.
Made this today. It was delicious and the directions were simple to follow. It had a perfect amount of spice (I used 1/2 cup of Frank’s).
So glad to hear! Thank you so much for taking the time to write!
Could you make this on the stove top? I’m thinking if I precooked the chicken, the rest is just heated through and the cream cheese is added and melted at the end, right? I want to make it on our upcoming beach trip and we don’t have a slow cooker or an instant pot at our beach house.
Yes, I don’t see that as a problem! Just give it about 20-30 minutes to simmer, without the cooked chicken, to give time for the flavors to blend. Add the cream cheese and chicken at the end.
I have made this so many times, and it is always a favorite. I have won the chili/soup contest at my work for 2 years in a row with this recipe!
Thank you so much for letting me know. I will add two more wins to the tally!
My boyfriend LOVED this recipe!! Everyone at his job kept asking him what he was having for lunch and said it smelled amazing. Instead of chicken breasts, I used ground chicken. I cooked it before putting it in the crockpot and it still turned out amazing! Thank you so much! This week he asked me to make it again 🙂
I really appreciate you taking the time to write. I’m so glad this chili was such a hit! We make it at least once a month because everyone loves it!
I was creeped out initially because I am used to “traditional” beef/tomato style chili’s. My husband is a huge buffalo fan (I am NOT) and he has been on me about making some variety of Buffalo Chicken Chili but wanted one without cream cheese. I did my research and finally located this recipe and when I tell you it’s F’ING AMAZING, seriously it’s one of my top 5 favorite recipes EVER (we are foodies and I try two new recipes a week and WOW this is the holy grail of chili’s.) I have tried this recipe with and without cream cheese and both ways are delicious! I cannot give this recipe enough stars! Please note we did not alter the recipe at all. Every ingredient is perfect as is for our taste. We tend to do 1/4 cup buffalo. Thank you so much Melissa!
I think this goes down in my favorite comment of all time. It’s going to be hard to top so I think it will be a front runner for quite awhile.
Thanks so much for putting a smile on my face!
This just won my office’s chili cookoff, too! If you love buffalo chicken dip, you’ll love this recipe.
Hey Liz, That’s great to hear! I’ll add your win. Way to go!
I’ve made this several times for my husband and he LOVES it!! It’s even BETTER the next day!!! I use the instant pot and its very easy!
I’m so glad. That’s great. I agree, you can’t really get any easier than this recipe! Unfortunately after my family haves at it, there usually isn’t any leftovers. 🙁
Anna Claire Brault says
Won the office chili cook off with this recipe! Sooo good
Hi Anna, This is so wonderful! I’ll add your win to the “official” board.
I just won “the most unique” at the chili cook off at my church! Thank you 🙂
Amazing! So glad to hear! I’ll add your official win!
You’re right! I won first place at our community chili cook-off! SO GOOD, TOO!
Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll add your win!