Buffalo ranch crockpot chicken wings combine buffalo sauce and ranch into one utterly delicious flavor combination. Smothered in a tangy, spicy, zesty sauce, the wings are slow cooked until the meat falls off the bones then made crispy and caramelized under the broiler!
Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
Come to watch the game, stay for the snacks, am I right? And what’s a game day spread without wings?
I have a great air fryer buffalo chicken wings recipe I like to use for smaller batches, but you know how I love a good crockpot recipe that makes it easy to feed a crowd. This, my friends, is one of them.
Buffalo wings and ranch dipping sauce go hand in hand so I decided to add the ranch flavor to the wings themselves and the results were insanely good!
I’ve put the two flavors together once before in my buffalo ranch chicken wraps, so I knew these crockpot wings would make a great appetizer!
Why you’ll love Buffalo Ranch Crockpot Chicken Wings
No deep frying – These wings don’t require breading or deep frying to get them crispy or long marinating times to give them flavor. You also don’t need to worry about cooking batches because the crockpot holds a ton!
Minimal effort – You dump in the wings, add a few saucy ingredients and cook until they’re done. They’ll need a quick broil to caramelize and crisp up, but otherwise, it’s a hands-off recipe.
Incredible flavor – The finger-licking sauce is a combination of tangy, sweet, and spicy, with a zesty ranch element, and as addicting as the flavors are, the meat was so tender it practically fell off the bone.
Enough for leftovers – I’ve never thrown a Super Bowl party and had any leftovers, but if you’re luckier than I am, take them for lunch the next day, serve them as a snack, or reheat them for movie night.
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Chicken Wings – I use about 2-3 pounds of fresh chicken wings. If they’re not already separated into drumettes and wingettes, go ahead and do that first. If using frozen, just thaw them first.
- Franks Wing Sauce – This is my favorite, but you can use whatever your favorite is. You can make homemade buffalo sauce by mixing the original Frank’s Red Hot Sauce with melted butter.
- Ranch Seasoning Mix – Just a packet or use make some of my homemade ranch blend. Make sure it’s the dry mix and not the actual dressing. Save that for dipping.
- Brown Sugar – For sweetness. It also helps to caramelize the outsides of the wings under the broiler for crispy skin.
- Butter – Adding the butter mellows out the flavors and gives the sauce a silky texture. Use unsalted since there is enough salt in everything else.
How to make Slow Cooker Buffalo Wings
Make these the next time you have a hankering for some wildly addicting saucy wings. Don’t forget to serve them restaurant-style with carrots and celery sticks too!
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- STEP ONE: Add all the wings to the slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk the wing sauce, ranch seasoning, and brown sugar together then pour it on top of the wings.
- STEP TWO: Place the cubes of butter overtop the wings and cover the pot with the lid.
- STEP THREE: Cook on low for 3-4 hours until tender and in the meantime prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- STEP FOUR: Once the cooking time is up, transfer the wings to the prepared baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer with room in between each one.
- STEP FIVE: Baste them all with the remaining sauce and broil them for about 2 minutes. Baste again and broil for another 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp.
What to serve with Buffalo Ranch Crockpot Chicken Wings
If you’re serving them on their own as a snack or appetizer, a blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing is a classic pairing. Of course carrot sticks and celery sticks for good measure!
They make the perfect game day snack.
If they’re part of a bigger spread, I like to serve a sampling of a few different appetizers.
Might as well go all out with this theme and include air fryer buffalo chicken quesadillas, buffalo cauliflower bites, sheet pan buffalo chicken pizza, or slow cooker buffalo chicken dip on the table.
Tips & Suggestions
- Add more brown sugar if you like a sweeter wing sauce.
- This recipe works with your favorite bbq sauce or teriyaki sauce.
- Try to use fresh whole chicken wings if possible. Frozen will take longer to cook and won’t be given the same chance for the flavors to permeate. They’ll also add extra liquid.
- Every crockpot is different. Keep an eye on your wings so that the sugars don’t burn at the bottom. The recipe times are a guideline, adjust as necessary.
- You can place your crockpot chicken wings on a wire rack on top of the prepared baking pan for the heat to circulate all around each piece.
- When serving a crowd, keep them warm by putting them back in the crockpot.
How to reheat and store Buffalo Ranch Crock Pot Chicken Wings
How to store leftovers
Crock pot chicken wings will be the first things to go! However, if you’re lucky enough to have any left, store any leftover wings in an airtight container.
How long will crockpot chicken wings last in the fridge?
They will keep fresh for up to 4 days.
How to reheat slow cooker chicken wings
These crockpot chicken wings will lose the crispness that they got under the broiler because of the sauce, however, you can reheat them in the air fryer or in the oven to regain some of that crispy texture.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t care either way, you can reheat them in the microwave too.
How do I know when my chicken wings are fully cooked?
As with any type or cut of chicken, it’s best to tell by using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Insert it into the meatiest part of the wing and when it reaches 165 degrees F, it’s ready.
Can I use frozen wings?
Yes, you can grab a bag of frozen party wings to make this recipe if you don’t have fresh wings. Safely thaw them before use though.
Do I need to pat the wings dry first?
Not in this case. Sometimes we do that to get rid of any excess moisture so wings can crispy up nicely and any seasoning can stick to them. In this case, we’re slow cooking them in a sauce, so patting them dry isn’t necessary.
Are these wings spicy?
These crockpot chicken wings can be spicy especially to those that aren’t used to any sort of heat. I will say that they’re more flavorful than they are hot but yes, there is a kick to them.
Need more chicken wing recipes? Try these:
Need more slow cooker appetizer recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of appetizer recipes.