Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili is everything you love about buffalo wings in the form of a cozy bowl of flavorful chili! Complete with tender shredded chicken, tangy Buffalo sauce, ranch seasoning, tomatoes with green chiles, and cream cheese, this buffalo chicken chili recipe has it all. No wonder it’s always a crowd favorite!
This creamy Buffalo chicken chili crock pot recipe is for anyone who craves a piping hot bowl of chili with the spicy, tangy flavors of buffalo wings!
It’s straightforward to make, pure comfort food, and best of all it’s made in the slow cooker so it’s hands-off.
I like to make it when I need something easy to bring to potlucks or game day parties and of course Friday movie nights!
Why you’ll love Buffalo Chicken Chili
So Much Flavor – If you’re not familiar with the taste of Buffalo sauce, it’s a complex combination of tangy, zesty, savory, and spicy. It’s a velvety smooth hot sauce mellowed out with a buttery element and is finger-licking amazing.
Dump-and-Set – Other than the cheese added at the end, there is minimal prep work. Everything gets dumped in to cook until the chicken is falling apart tender. So much of this recipe is hands-off!
Budget-Friendly – You may already have a lot of what you need in your kitchen, especially if you frequently make things like Buffalo chicken dip or Buffalo ranch crockpot chicken wings. If not, you can find everything you need at most local grocery stores.
Equipment you’ll need
- Slow Cooker – this is my slow cooker of choice. Read my full review here.
- Can Opener
- Cheese Grater – I always highly recommend grating your own cheese, both for cost and quality. This tool makes it a breeze.
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 – Boneless skinless chicken breasts are added in whole and shredded later on. Boneless breasts are easiest to pull apart without having any bones to worry about.
- Chicken Broth – Use homemade chicken broth if you have it. Otherwise, your favorite chicken broth from the store will do!
- Beans – I used white beans in this batch of buffalo chicken chili. They’re a fun textural element that is a familiar part of any chili recipe. Buttery navy beans, pinto, or red kidney beans could also be used. Make sure you drain & rinse whichever you choose.
- Canned Tomatoes – For a bit of extra spice I like to use the ones that come with green chiles (like Rotel). You can use spicy or mild, it’s up to you.
- Tomato Sauce – This will help add body and a rich tomato flavor to the base of the chili, taking it from a soup to a thicker stew.
- Buffalo Wing Sauce – The reason we’re all here, folks. Tasty Buffalo sauce. I use Frank’s but you go ahead and use your favorite.
- Seasoning – Onion powder, garlic salt, and ranch seasoning.
- Cream Cheese – Bring it to room temperature ahead of time so that it melts easily into the chili.
- Cheddar Cheese – Shredded from a block of cheese rather than pre-shredded from a package. It melts better and easier and just tastes better overall.
- Scallions – aka green onions, for garnish.
How to make Buffalo Chicken Chili in the Crockpot
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: To the slow cooker, add the chicken breast, broth, beans, Rotel, tomato sauce, wing sauce, and seasoning. Stir everything to mix, making sure the chicken breasts are well coated.
- Step Two: Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. There is no right or wrong choice here, it depends on what you’ve got going on in the day and how much time you have.
- Step Three: Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to pull at the chicken breasts and shred them. Use tongs to place the shredded pieces back into the slow cooker.
- Step Four: Slice cream cheese into cubes and stir them in, along with the shredded cheddar. Replace the cover and let it cook for another 15-30 minutes, or until both cheeses have melted completely.
- Step Five: Serve topped with more shredded cheese and scallions, or other favorite toppings and enjoy!
What to serve with Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
First, you’ve got to think about the toppings. Have an assortment set out for people to choose from.
Things like blue cheese crumbles, bacon bits, shredded cheese, crunchy tortilla chips or strips, corn chips, diced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, or diced celery. Even some fresh cilantro or lime wedges for a refreshing finish.
You can serve Buffalo Chicken Chili over white rice for a more complete meal and have a side salad to go along with it.
As with any hearty chili, a slice of homemade honey cornbread on the side is always a good idea.
Tips & Suggestions
- Chicken breasts are great because they’re lean meat and shred easily but you could also use chicken thighs instead. The darker meat with a bit of extra fat will only add flavor.
- Ground chicken can even be used in a pinch, I just recommend browning it before adding to the slow cooker.
- You can use Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, pinto, or red kidney beans instead of Navy beans if preferred.
- Go for some fun toppings! Blue cheese crumbles, a drizzle of ranch dressing, or some diced celery to take it over the top. I like to use Greek yogurt to up the protein.
- For even more heat, add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or even more Buffalo sauce.
- There is quite a bit of salt in the ranch seasoning, the Buffalo sauce, and the garlic salt itself, so avoid adding any extra salt. Use low-sodium broth if you can.
How to reheat and store Buffalo Chicken Chili Crockpot
How to store leftovers
Keep any leftovers stored in an airtight container. Make sure to let it cool all the way first before covering it with a lid.
How long will Buffalo Chicken Chili last in the fridge?
For up to 3 days! It makes a great lunch the next day or a quick dinner using leftovers.
Can I freeze Buffalo Chili?
It’s a great freezer-friendly meal! Make a double batch or just make it ahead of time if you’d like. Allow it to cool and store it in a freezer bag or freezer-friendly container (I love Souper Cubes).
Keep it frozen for up to 3 months, then thaw in the fridge overnight.
How to reheat Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
No fancy method here, just pop a bowl in the microwave and enjoy!
If you do have more than a single serving, you can reheat it on the stove or in the crockpot itself. This is handy if you’ve made the whole batch the day before and you’re serving a crowd the next day. They can just serve themselves right out of the slow cooker.
Technically yes, however I wouldn’t in this case. It’ll take longer to cook and sometimes I find that the texture is funny. So, if you can, thaw the chicken breasts first!
I use a 6 quart slow cooker which is perfect for this recipe, but you can go larger. It serves about 8 people. You can always double the recipe if needed.
Absolutely! For a milder chili, you can skip the diced tomatoes with green chiles and just use tomatoes, as well as using just 1/4 cup of Buffalo sauce.
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
Need more Buffalo sauce recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of Quick Fix recipes.