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If you love buffalo chicken wings but don’t want to deal with the mess, we have good news for you. Today, we are making buffalo chicken chili. This weeknight chicken chili recipe is easy to make, flavorful, and a healthier way to enjoy the buffalo wing sauce we all love.
Why should you make this recipe?
- Easy weeknight dinner: Made with everyday ingredients, this recipe comes together in 30 minutes on the stovetop.
- Crowd pleaser: A big pot of chili simmering on the stove will bring the whole family together.
- Stores and freezes well: As it is with most stews and chili recipes, it tastes better the next day. It also stores well so you can make it a part of your weekly meal prep.
Buffalo chicken chili ingredients
To make this buffalo chicken chili recipe you will need two sets of ingredients:
- Chili Ingredients: Gather onion, celery, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic cloves (or garlic powder), ground chicken, fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, buffalo wing sauce, and cannellini beans.
- Toppings: When it comes to chili toppings, the sky’s the limit. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand. A few of our favorite toppings for this chili are avocados, blue cheese crumbles (or any other Mexican cheese), tortilla chips, sliced jalapenos, and chopped red onion.
Variations & Substitutions
- Chicken: Since we wanted this chili recipe to be a quick weeknight dinner, we used ground chicken as it cooks faster. However, you can also use leftover shredded chicken instead. In the past, we've made this recipe with leftover baked bone-in chicken breasts that were shredded and it turned out perfectly.
- Canned tomatoes: If you can’t get your hands on fire-roasted tomatoes, you can use canned diced tomatoes as well.
- Buffalo Wing Sauce: Our favorite brand is Frank’s, but feel free to use your favorite brand. If you are serving this homemade chili to children, you might want to look into a wing sauce that is less spicy or else use less of it.
- Beans: Cannellini beans are in the recipe, but you can also use kidney beans, navy beans, or even black beans.
- Cream Cheese: Some people add a block of cream cheese to the soup in the end. To make it a healthier recipe, we've skipped the cheese. But if you are in the mood to treat yourself, add that in at the end for lusciously creamy chicken chili.
How to make buffalo chicken chili on the stovetop
- Saute veggies: Cook the onion, celery, chili powder, and ground cumin in a large pot until the veggies are soft then stir in the garlic.
- Cook ground chicken: Add the ground chicken and break up the meat as it cooks for about 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: Put the rest of the ingredients into the pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the toppings & serve: When you're ready to serve the chili, ladle it into bowls and add all of your favorite toppings!
How to make slow cooker buffalo chicken chili
If you prefer more of a set it and forget it kind of approach, you can make this buffalo chicken chili in a slow cooker as well. Here's how:
- Saute veggies and chicken: Heat the oil in a large pot then add the onion, celery, chili powder, and cumin. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and ground chicken and cook until it's browned.
- Place everything in the crockpot: Transfer the cooked veggies and chicken in the bowl of your slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and give it a gentle stir.
- Cook: Set your slow cooker to cook for 5-6 hours on low heat setting or 3-4 hours on the high heat setting.
- Ladle & serve: Ladle into bowls and top it off with your favorite toppings.
How to store, freeze, and thaw?
It's unlikely that you will have any leftovers, but if you do you can easily store this easy chicken chili. It's best to keep the toppings separate.
How to store buffalo chicken chili.
Does this chili freeze well?
Yes! Place leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to a month.
To thaw frozen chili …
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup buffalo wing sauce
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini bean (drained and rinsed)
- Sliced jalapenos
- Sliced avocados
- Diced red onion
- Tortilla chips
- Shredded Mexican cheese or Blue Cheese
- Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, chili powder, and ground cumin. Saute, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 medium onion, 2 stalks celery, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the ground chicken and saute, stirring constantly and breaking the large chunks of the meat, for 5 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink.1 pound ground chicken
- Put the fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, buffalo wing sauce, and cannellini beans into the pot and stir. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer, uncovered, for 15-17 minutes.28 ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 cup chicken stock, ½ cup buffalo wing sauce, 2 15-ounce cans cannellini bean
- When ready to serve, ladle the chili into bowls and add your favorite toppings.
- To Store: Bring leftover chili to room temperature, place in airtight containers, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze: Place leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to a month.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.