Buffalo Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker & Stovetop!)
Wildly simple to make and anything but boring, this award-winning easy Buffalo chicken chili is spicy, hearty, and deliciously creamy without any added cream. Plus it’s protein-packed, healthy (without tasting like it!) and can be made on the stovetop in one-pot or in the slow cooker with just 5 minutes of prep.
5 star review
“I won a neighborhood chili contest with this recipe! Couldn’t have been easier, too. Will definitely be making this again!”– Marissa
Visual Guide: How to Make Buffalo Chicken Chili
Testing Notes from Robyn
This easy Buffalo chicken chili is one of my favorites for feeding a crowd, game nights, parties, or family dinners.
Slightly spicy thanks to hot sauce, hearty and protein-packed thanks to both chicken and white beans.
It also happens to be my go-to recipe when I want something different and a little more exciting than traditional chili.
It’s actually a take on my wildly popular, award-winning slow cooker white chicken chili, using the same simple method of prep, but with the addition of a kick of heat from the Buffalo hot sauce.
And because I’m all about saving time in the kitchen, I have two cooking options based on what you need: Want dinner in a hurry? Try the stove-top version for a 30-minute dinner.
Or, try the crockpot version, perfect for feeding a crowd or making dinner ahead of time since you can keep it on warm until it’s time to eat, plus I love how tender and shreddable the chicken gets in the crockpot.
Since I know you’re going to love this buffalo chicken chili and the recipe freezes so well, make a double batch and freeze half for a future meal – you will thank yourself later!
How to Adjust the Spice
After cooking, this has a medium to medium-spicy spice level. For a spicier option, add additional hot sauce at the end of cooking time (up to ¼ cup additional hot sauce).
If you don’t like spicy foods, I’d skip this recipe and try my white chicken chili, which is similar in flavor and texture without the heat.
For a milder version, you can also reduce the amount of hot sauce to 2 tablespoons, but it won’t have as much of that classic “Buffalo” flavor.
Simple Recipe Adaptations
This recipe is so good on its own, but feel free to switch things up based on what you have and your preferences.
- Don’t have Great Northern beans? That’s fine! You can use any white bean such as navy beans or cannellini.
- For a no-bean option, leave the beans out and add an additional pound of ground turkey.
- Add extra crunch and a bit of sweetness with the addition of 1 cup of fresh or frozen defrosted corn.
- Make this dairy-free by using diary-free cream cheese.
- If you’re looking for a vegetarian chili, try this slow cooker vegetarian chili.
This Recipe Is…
Buffalo Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker & Stovetop!)
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
- 3 (15-oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed, such as Great Northern or cannellini
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 2-4 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, plus more to taste
To Add at the End
- 3 oz cream cheese, about 6 tablespoons
Optional Topping Suggestions
- Hot sauce, sour cream, blue cheese crumbles, sliced green onions
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Add the chicken, white beans, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, chicken stock and cayenne pepper sauce to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily.
- Uncover, remove the chicken, and shred with two forks or dice into chunks. Using an immersion blender, blend the bean mixture for about 5-10 seconds. Alternatively, carefully, remove ½ to 1 cup of the bean mixture to a blender. Cover, blend on high, then add back to the chili, stirring to combine. Note: blending for just a few seconds will add a creaminess to the chili, while leaving the texture of most of the beans.
- Ladle a few tablespoons of the bean mixture into a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese and stir until smooth. Add the shredded or diced chicken back to the slow cooker, along with the cream cheese-bean mixture, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt or hot sauce if desired. If it's not spicy enough, this is your chance! Add 1 tablespoon of hot sauce at a time until your desired spice level is reached. Serve with any toppings you like.
- Add the chicken, white beans, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, chicken stock and cayenne pepper sauce to a large Dutch oven.
- Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook on medium-low heat at a high simmer, covered, for 40-60 minutes, until the chicken is tender and easily shreds with a fork, stirring occasionally.
- Follow remaining slow cooker steps 2-3.