Buffalo chicken chili is the best of two game-day favorites: buffalo wings and chili! The chili is made with all the things you love about chili—beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, peppers—but it also has buffalo wing sauce to give you that kick of spice you know and love!
Bonus: it cooks in only about 30 minutes!
What Kind of Chicken to Use for Buffalo Chicken Chili
This recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, as white meat is what you would have with buffalo wings, but chicken thighs would work just as well.
(Want to make a vegetarian version? Try roasted cauliflower instead of chicken.)
Is This Buffalo Chicken Chili Spicy?
The ingredients that give this chili a lot of flavor (even though it cooks quickly) are the fire-roasted tomatoes and green chiles, so be sure you look for “fire-roasted” on the label for both of them . The tomatoes might be with the other canned tomatoes in your grocery store, but for the chiles, I found them with the Mexican ingredients.
In terms of spice, buffalo wing sauce is relatively mild, as are the canned green chiles. If you want to make it spicier, try the following:
- Add more hot wing sauce.
- Add a few teaspoons of a spicier hot sauce.
- Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Add in some hot chiles, like diced jalapeños or chiles in adobo sauce.
What to Serve With Buffalo Chicken Chili
If you want to make this an even heartier meal, serve it over steamed white rice or Spanish rice.
As far as toppings go, it’s all up to you! I like to include sour cream, tortilla chips, chopped green onions, extra buffalo sauce, and cheese.
You can go the more common route of shredded cheddar cheese, or lean into the buffalo chicken theme with some crumbled blue cheese—maybe even drizzle on some ranch or blue cheese dressing. (Sounds kind of strange, but I think it could work. Let me know if you do!)
Make-Ahead Tips for Buffalo Chicken Chili
The only thing that really needs to cook in this chili is the chicken. You can use leftover shredded chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to make this meal come together even more quickly.
How to Make This Chili in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
Want to make this chili in a slow cooker or pressure cooker? No problem!
- SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Just dump all of the ingredients except the beans into the slow cooker and cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through, two to four hours on high, or six to eight hours on low. Then shred the chicken, add the beans, taste, and adjust the seasonings to your liking, and serve!
- PRESSURE COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Shred the chicken, add the beans, and adjust seasonings to taste.
Storing and Freezing Buffalo Chicken Chili
This chili stores well in the fridge for up to five days, and it will freeze perfectly for up to three months if stored in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop.