If you’re like me- a fan of Buffalo Chicken everything– you’re going to love this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili! This chili is so super easy to throw into the crockpot at the beginning of a busy day, and then return to a great meal at dinner time.
Get ready to merge two favorites into one epic recipe: Buffalo chicken wings and Chili! Classic chili taste from the pinto beans, cumin, garlic, and onion… and Buffalo wing sauce and ranch seasoning to bring it home for a huge win!
What is Buffalo Chicken Chili?
This Buffalo Chicken Chili recipe is an amazing explosion of bold flavor and tangy fulfillment, delivered with plenty of nutrition and without all the calories.
Because this recipe leans right in to the Buffalo Hot Sauce flavor, there is an inherent spiciness. But if you’re a fan of that heat in the cool fall season, go ahead and dial it up to yours and your family’s desire.
If you’ve enjoyed my Crockpot Creamy White Chicken Chili, then this one is definitely for you!
I know lots of people stick to classic beef chili, which we all know and love. But there are lotsa interesting and creative options for chili. If I didn’t explore all the ways to make fun, delicious, and Skinny-ish recipe spin-offs, I wouldn’t be doin’ my duty to myself and all of you! So after spending some time doing my thing- experimenting and perfecting- I’m very happy to say this is our favorite new way to enjoy soup and chili season! ~ Sshhh, keep our voices down… don’t tell the other chili recipes! ~
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken Breast- Boneless skinless chicken breast is what I used, but you can use chicken thighs or ground chicken in this recipe too!
- Buffalo Wing Sauce- We love to use Frank’s. *Whatever sauce you choose, MAKE SURE it’s Buffalo Sauce, and NOT Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce! This is important- it would make a big difference in taste!
- Pinto Beans- Great Northern, Black Beans, or Cannellini beans work well. Use the beans you prefer.
- Ranch Seasoning Packet– Because where there’s Buffalo, you’ve gotta have Ranch!
- Rotel– diced tomatoes with green chiles. If you can’t find these, just substitute a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and small can of green chilies.
- Chicken Broth
- Spices- For more ranch and chili flavors: Chili Powder, Ground Cumin, Garlic Powder, Dill Weed, Oregano, Pepper, Smoked Paprika
- Cream Cheese (cut into cubes, not pictured)- softens the spice and a delicious creaminess!
How to make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
My favorite part of this recipe is how easy it is! Relax for a moment, and imagine this- it’s morning before you leave for the work day, or just go running errands away from home. You throw the simple ingredients into the Crockpot, switch it on, and go about your day without giving it a thought… until the moment you return and open the door, and the delicious, rich scent of piping hot chili wraps itself around you like a warm blanket out of the dryer. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure is! Coming home to a yummy dinner is one of the best simple pleasures in life.
So here we go friends! Join me in my kitchen, and I’ll show you exactly how to make this delicious and wholesome meal.
In a Crock Pot (or slow cooker) add the drained Pinto Beans, Chicken Breast, Tomato with Green Chilies, Corn, Celery, Carrots, Onion, and Chicken Broth.
Now let’s throw in all the spices!
- 1 packet Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon each of Cumin, Dill Weed, Oregano, Pepper, and Smoked Paprika
I know your eyes just popped out of your head a little when I said add Dill Weed to chili… but trust me!
Stir it all together, place the lid on the Crockpot, and set it it to cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or HIGH for 4-5 hours.
Note: Because both the Ranch Seasoning and the Buffalo Sauce have a substantial sodium content, I recommend against adding salt to this before cooking. For the best result, salt to taste after it cooks (you most likely will not need it), and you’re good to go!
When the Buffalo Chicken Chili has finished cooking- turn the slow cooker to high. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and dice it up. Return the chicken into the crockpot along with the cubed cream cheese. Stir it all together well.
Place the lid back on, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Let the cream cheese melt and blend beautifully into your chili. Give it a stir a few times while waiting.
Note about the Cream Cheese: If you can get it close to Room Temperature before adding the cubes into the chili, it will melt more quickly & easily.
Toppings to serve with your chili!
Would it even be a chili recipe without lots of toppings? I’m 1000% sure I’ve told you this before, but in case you’re new around here, toppings are pretty much everything. They add texture, freshness, color, and taste! When serving this up for family or guests, toppings will push your chili over the top for that ultimate WOW factor!
Grab your favorite bowl and use a few, or use them all! Here are some ideas:
- Tortilla chips
- Crispy onions
- Diced green onion
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Diced celery leaves
- Bacon crumbles
- Diced avocados
- Squeeze of lime
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Chili on Stovetop or in Instant Pot
Stove Top Method:
- Add the chicken breast, tomatoes with chiles, beans, carrots, corn, celery, onion, chicken broth, buffalo wing sauce, and seasonings into a large pot or Dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Continue to cook for about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken and dice or shred, then put back into the pot.
- Add in softened cream cheese that’s been cut into small cubes.
- Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese is melted.
Instant Pot Method:
- Add chicken breast, Rotel, beans, corn, carrots, onions, celery, chicken broth, wing sauce, and seasoning. Stir together.
- Place lid onto the Instant Pot and securely lock the lid in place. Set to Manual High Pressure for 16 minutes. When 16 minutes is up and the timer beeps, let the pressure naturally release for about 10 minutes. Then use your usual method to do a quick release, carefully and safely. (I use a long wooden spoon to make sure I’m clear of the venting steam when pressure valve opens)
- Remove chicken from pot, and shred with two forks. Stir the shredded chicken back into the pot, along with the small chunks of cream cheese. Replace the InstantPot lid and simmer for about 5 minutes to let the cream cheese melt into your chili.
Storage, Reheating, and Freezing Tips
One of the best parts about this recipe is that, just like most chili, it actually tastes better after refrigeration, and it reheats so well. This Chili is perfect for meal prep. It’s also nice to make a big batch and freeze half of it. That way, your dinner 2 weeks or 2 months from now is ready-made.
Fridge Storage: Add to a glass or plastic airtight container with a tight fitting lid. It should stay good for 4-5 days in the Refrigerator.
How to Reheat: You can reheat by placing it in a sauce pan on the stove top, and heating over low until warmed; or just scoop some into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until warm, stirring between heating cycles.
Freezer Storage: Place cool chili into a freezer-safe airtight container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to label it! When I go to reheat I just let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
More Buffalo Chicken Recipes to Love!
- Easy Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Wraps
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Zucchini
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Cups
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Chili
- 1½ lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 3/4 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (I use Frank's)
- 2 16 oz cans Pinto Beans (drained but not rinsed) (about 3 cups total)
- 1 – 10 oz can rotel (or store brands usually make "diced tomatoes with green chiles)
- 1¾ cup Canned Corn (canned, fresh, or frozen will work)
- 1 medium Diced Onion
- 1 cup Diced Celery
- 1 cup Diced Carrots
- 1 14.5 oz can Low Sodium Chicken Broth (about 1 ¾ cups total)
- 1 0.4 oz packet Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning (about 3 tsp if using a different kind of ranch seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH Dill Weed, Ground Cumin, Oregano, and Smoked Paprika
- 4 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes (I use the 1/3 less fat)
- blue cheese crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, diced celery leaves, tortilla strips, crispy onions, sour cream, diced avocado, lime juice
- In a crockpot add in chicken breast, beans, corn, Rotel, carrots, celery, onions, buffalo sauce, chicken broth, ranch seasoning packet, and all of the spices. Stir together.Don't forget! Do NOT add the cream cheese in at the beginning. You will add this in when it's done cooking.
- Put the lid on the crockpot and set it to low and cook for 7-8 hours or set it to high for 4-5 hours.
- When it has finished cooking if your crockpot isn't already on high turn it to high, remove the chicken, and dice it up. *You can shred if you want to, but I like more of a diced consistency.
- Add the diced chicken and cream cheese into the crockpot stirring it back in really well. Put the lid back on and let it continue to cook for about 30 minutes. Stirring every so often to help the cream cheese melt thoroughly. Serve hot and with optional toppings for extra amazing flavors and texture!
- Fridge Storage: Add to a glass or plastic airtight container with a tight fitting lid. It should stay good for 4-5 days in the Refrigerator.How to Reheat: You can reheat by placing it in a sauce pan on the stove top, and heating over low until warmed; or just scoop some into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until warm, stirring between heating cycles.Freezer Storage: Place cool chili into a freezer-safe airtight container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to label it!