by Olena

Buffalo Chicken Chili

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Olena Osipov
5 from 21 votes

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

I love hearty meaty chili recipes like this healthy white chicken chili, one-pan quinoa chicken chili, Instant Pot chili,  and crockpot turkey chili!

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?! I love buffalo sauce so I’ve also made a healthy buffalo chicken dip, buffalo chicken tacos, and even an avocado greek yogurt dip with buffalo sauce!

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?:)

Want more ideas for hearty meals? how about One-pot chili mac, Instant Pot beef stew and beef barley soup, chicken stew, or Instant Pot pot roast!

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.

how to make Instant pot Buffalo Chicken Chili step by step

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.:)

bowl of Buffalo Chicken Chili garnished with lemon and cilantro

Make a Freezer Meal

How to make it into a Freezer Meal: 

  • Instant Pot: 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. Pressure cook on High from frozen for 30 minutes with Quick Release.

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.

  • Slow cooker: Sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery before freezing with other ingredients in a gallon size Ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months and when ready to eat 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.
  • After cooking: Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Return to the pot, stir and serve.

Watch how I meal prep 5 healthy freezer meals in 2 hours on my Youtube cooking channel. And check out my full list of 20 healthy frozen dinners. I’m obsessed! This buffalo chicken chili is one of them. Isn’t it amazing to not worry about dinners for entire week? I’m obsessed!

 Buffalo Chicken Chili prepped in freezer bag; bowl of buffalo chicken chili

More Cozy Healthy Stews

You might also enjoy browsing through my entire collection of soups and stews!

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili made healthy and yet creamy in slow cooker or Instant Pot. Or turn into a freezer meal.
5 from 21 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 318kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Add chicken breasts and push on them to sink in. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

      Freezer meal: Please see Notes below.

        Notes

        • 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.
        How to Make a Freezer Meal: 
        • Instant Pot: 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. Pressure cook on High from frozen for 30 minutes with Quick Release.
          • 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.
        • Slow cooker: Sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery before freezing with other ingredients in a gallon size Ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months and when ready to eat 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.
        • After cooking: Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Return to the pot, stir and serve.

        Nutrition

        Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 813mg | Potassium: 634mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4724IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg
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        olena osipov in the studio

        Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

        My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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