by Olena

Buffalo Chicken Chili

by Olena

5 from 9 reviews

Buffalo Chicken Chili made healthy and yet creamy in slow cooker or Instant Pot. Or turn into a freezer meal.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili Recipe

Let’s say if you like the concept of buffalo chicken wings, you will love this healthy buffalo chicken chili where things are sealed with 1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese. It melts and makes a bowl of hearty chili so creamy and irresistible! Who can say “no”, right?!

This buffalo chicken chili recipe is an old recipe of mine (inspired by Rachael Ray) I have improved with a lot of flavor, Instant Pot version and how to turn this recipe into a freezer meal. Are you enjoying this improved version of me?:)

Tips for Best Buffalo Chicken Chili

  • If you are not a fan of blue cheese, stir in 1/2 cup of cream cheese instead.
  • Use any chicken pieces you have on hand. Even with bone in. Done it many times.
  • Add more or less hot sauce to taste. My tasty buffalo chicken chili is kid friendly.
  • Choose meaty beans that break down starches more like red kidney, pinto or cannellini beans.
  • If not a fan of shredded chicken, use ground chicken. Just saute to break down into small pieces first.

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Chili

This recipe includes slow cooker and Instant Pot versions.

In Instant Pot

  1. Cook chicken, vegetables and spices on High pressure for 35 minutes with Quick Release of pressure.
  2. Remove chicken onto plate and shred with 2 forks. Return to the pot.
  3. Add blue cheese, stir and let sit for a few minutes.

Tip: It is important to always place canned tomatoes on top to avoid Burn.

Buffalo Chicken Chili Instant Pot

In Slow Cooker

  1. Since food is not cooked under pressure, we need to bring flavors out by sauteing vegetables for 5 minutes.
  2. Then cook sauteed veggies, chicken, beans, tomatoes and spices on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  3. After repeat same steps as for Instant pot.

How to Serve This Chili?

Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, green onion and lime. And tortilla chips if you have any.:)

Buffalo Chicken Chili Recipe

Make a Freezer Meal

  1. Freeze all ingredients in a gallon size Ziplock bag for up to 3 months.
  2. Cook from frozen in Instant Pot or thawed in slow cooker. Clearly, pressure cooker wins.

Watch how I meal prep 5 healthy freezer meals in 2 hours on my Youtube cooking channel. And print recipes + shopping list, this buffalo chicken chili is one of them. Isn’t it amazing to not worry about dinners for entire week? I’m obsessed!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili

More Cozy Healthy Stews


Buffalo Chicken Chili

5 from 9 reviews

Buffalo Chicken Chili made healthy and yet creamy in slow cooker or Instant Pot. Or turn into a freezer meal.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot, Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex


  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 x 15 oz cans any low sodium beans, drained & rinsed
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • Avocado oil, for frying
  • Cilantro, green onion, lime and tortilla chips, for garnish


  1. Slow Cooker: Preheat large skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large slow cooker along with beans, diced tomatoes, Frank’s red hot sauce, maple syrup, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Add chicken breasts and push on them to sink in. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  3. Instant Pot: In Instant Pot, add ingredients in the following order: garlic, onion, carrots, celery, beans, maple syrup, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, chicken, Frank’s red hot sauce and diced tomatoes. Do not stir!
  4. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 30 minutes. To release the pressure, do quick release by turning pressure valve to Venting position until float valve drops down.
  5. Remove chicken breasts, shred with 2 forks and return to the slow cooker/Instant Pot. Add blue cheese, stir and let sit for a few minutes.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, green onion and lime. And tortilla chips if you have any.:)

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freezer Meal: In a gallon size Ziplock bag, add all ingredients finishing with tomatoes on top. Let as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months.

If cooking in Instant Pot, pressure cook on High from frozen for 30 minutes with Quick Release. 

If cooking in slow cooker, you would have to sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery before freezing with other ingredients. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours (food safety thing), then add to a large slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low. Garnish and serve.

Please note this is large meal, so if you are cooking in anything other than 8 quart Instant Pot (I have one) then freeze in 2 bags or 2 containers. For 8 quart Instant Pot freeze the bag standing upright, then it fits and lid will close.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.


Chicken thighs would be great as they are more fatty.

Also if cooking from fresh in Instant Pot, tomatoes might leak to the bottom and “burn” message might display. If so, add 1/2 cup water, don’t stir and keep cooking. Also if it displays again (IP can be finicky), just let a bit pressure out and “burn” message should be gone.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

51 comments on “Buffalo Chicken Chili

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  1. I tried this recipe in the instant pot for a few friends last night. They loved it. I sprinkled boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a chipotle raspberry rub and then browned them in olive oil for four minutes on each side using the saute setting. You can fit about five pieces at a time in the bottom of the pot. Then I added the other ingredients per the recipe except I left out the onions at a friend’s request and used water instead of hot sauce. Opted for honey over maple syrup. Easily makes enough for six large servings. Great meal for a cold day.

  2. Made this as a freezer meal and then cooked from frozen in my instant pot. Lovely recipe, so easy to prepare and was amazed at how well it turned out from frozen…the chicken was really juicy and the flavour lovely, will definitely make again.

  3. Loved this! Such a fun twist on chili, easy to put together and totally satisfied my wings craving! I found your blog after buying an instant pot and trying to figure out what to do with it, haha. Thanks to you, I’ve been loving all the healthy, crazy delicious and easy recipes I can make! Thank you so much for sharing these delicious recipes!

    1. Haha I’m so glad you didn’t stare at the box for a year haha. Happy to hear! I love my Instant Pot too! Thank you so much for your kind words. Enjoy!

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