Buffalo Chicken Chili

5 from 11 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.