Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo chicken lovers will line up for this zesty chili. This Buffalo Chicken Chili has two types of beans, chicken, hot sauce, and even blue cheese.  It’s a meal that is sure to be a new favorite.

If you’re looking for more delicious chili recipes, check out my Creamy Taco Chili, Chicken Chili Bean Chowder, or my White Bean Chicken Chili. These recipes are even better the next day!

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two bowls of buffalo chicken chili

Why We Love Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Hot Wings are always a favorite with my family.  Big surprise right?  I mean I’m pretty sure we aren’t the only ones.  

Buffalo Chicken Chili brings all the flavors of our favorite appetizer to the table without missing a beat!  This zesty chili starts out with a base of onions, carrots, and celery, just like what is often served alongside buffalo wings. From there, the chili is seasoned with warm spices and of course, plenty of your favorite buffalo sauce, while the addition of cream cheese adds an unexpected creaminess.

The chili is bulked up with two varieties of beans, Great Northern Beans and Kidney Beans, as well as tomatoes and of course chicken.  – I like to use a rotisserie chicken I picked up at the deli to make it super easy.  Serve the chili piping hot topped with crumbled blue cheese for a true buffalo chicken wings experience.

buffalo chicken chili in a white bowl and celery in background

Buffalo Chicken Chili Ingredients

I love buffalo chili because it doesn’t take much prep work at all. All you have to do is make sure you have all the delicious ingredients for this recipe and you’ll be cooking like a pro. Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken– You will need cooked and shredded chicken for this recipe. I love to use leftover rotisserie chicken and shred it up.
  • Olive oil– I like to use olive oil, but you can use canola oil or vegetable oil as well. 
  • Onion– Yellow onions or sweet onions work best in this recipe. 
  • Celery– Dice up your celery into bite-sized pieces. It adds a nice crunch to the chili.
  • Carrot– You only need 1 large carrot, peeled and diced. 
  • Garlic cloves– I like to use jarred minced garlic.
  • Chili powder– if you don’t have this, you may have all the spices to make your own chili powder.
  • Beans- For this recipe, you will need both kidney beans and great northern beans. 
  • Tomatoes– For the tomato base, you will need tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. 
  • Spices– In addition to the chili powder, you will also need ground cumin and paprika for flavoring. 
  • Hot sauce– Grab your favorite hot sauce. I use Frank’s Hot Wings Sauce. 
  • Cream cheese– Allow your cream cheese to sit out on the counter for 30-minutes prior to beginning the recipe. It needs to be softened so that it blends easily in the hot chili. 
  • Blue cheese– Crumbled blue cheese is optional, but I think it’s the perfect topping. 

photo collage of how to make buffalo chicken chili

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Chili

This isn’t your average chicken chili, but it’s just as easy to make— and it’s absolutely irresistible. Follow the steps to whip it up in no time!

Saute the veggies: First, heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Then, cook your onion, celery, and carrot for about 5-minutes, stirring often. 

Add garlic and spices: Next, add your garlic and dried spices to the veggies and continue to cook for another minute or two. 

Simmer everything: Add the chicken, beans, tomato sauce, and crushed tomatoes to your saucepan. Allow it to simmer for 20-25 minutes. 

Combine cream cheese and hot sauce: After your chili has simmered and is nice and hot, stir in the hot sauce and softened cream cheese until smooth. 

Top and Serve: Top your chili with crumbled blue cheese or any topping you prefer and serve. 

buffalo chicken chili served in a white bowl

Topping Suggestions and Sides To Serve With Chili

Suggested Toppings:

  • crumbled blue cheese
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • shredded cheddar cheese, or Colby jack
  • sliced  jalapenos
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips

What To Serve With Chili:

spoonful of buffalo chicken chili

Recipe FAQs

Is buffalo chicken chili spicy?

Yes, this buffalo chili is spicy! You can use mild chili powder and hot sauce if you prefer less spice. If you are worried about the chili being too spicy, start with just 1/4 cup hot wing sauce to the recipe. Taste and add more to taste, or serve alongside the buffalo chicken chili so everyone can add more if they’d like.

How do I use raw chicken in this recipe?

This chili recipe is made using pre-cooked chicken. If you don’t have chicken that is cooked, I recommend cooking your chicken either in the crockpot or Instant Pot first and then adding it to your chili. Or, you can chop the chicken into small pieces and cook it in the saucepan before cooking the veggies. Boneless chicken thighs, ground chicken, or ground turkey may be used in this recipe.

 

Can you make this buffalo chicken chili in a slow cooker?

Absolutely! If you want a hands-off approach to this recipe, you can easily throw everything in your crockpot and let it slow cook. Cook your ingredients on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. 

Can you freeze buffalo chili?

Yes, you can freeze this buffalo chili. In fact, chili of any kind makes for a fabulous freezer meal. Simply cook everything up, let it cool, and put it in a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze it until you’re ready to eat it, and then reheat it on the stovetop or in the crockpot. 

buffalo chili with chicken in a white bowl

Pro Tips for Delicious Buffalo Chili

Use precooked chicken: This recipe is quick and easy if you already have your chicken cooked. If you don’t have leftover chicken you can use, I would suggest making shredded chicken the night before. 

Do a taste test: Before serving your chili, do a taste test to ensure it’s seasoned the way you want it. If it’s not, you can add salt, pepper, or even more hot sauce. 

Dice carrot into small bites: You want your carrot pieces to be tiny. Dice them up well, so that they are soft at the end of your cooking time. They will not fully cook if you make the carrot pieces too big. This goes for the celery as well.

Like This Buffalo Chicken Chili? Pin It!

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close up of a bowl of buffalo chicken chili

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Originally posted in December 2013. UPDATED November 2021. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

two bowls of buffalo chicken chili

BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Buffalo chicken lovers will line up for this zesty chili. This Buffalo Chicken Chili has two types of beans, chicken, hot sauce, and even blue cheese, this meal is sure to be a new favorite.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can BUSH’S® Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 (15.8 ounce) can BUSH’S® Great Northern Beans, drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4-1 cup your favorite hot sauce* (see notes)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cook 5 minutes; stir often.
  2. Add the garlic and dried spices and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add chicken, beans, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Simmer 20-25 minutes.
  4. Stir in hot sauce and softened cream cheese until smooth.
  5. Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese, if desired.

Notes

If you are worried about the chili being too spicy, start with just 1/4 cup hot wing sauce to the recipe. Taste and add more to taste, or serve alongside the buffalo chicken chili so everyone can add more if they’d like.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 645mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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buffalo chicken chili in a white bowl

Disclaimer:  I grew up in a house that used  Bush’s Beans. I am now fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with them as a brand ambassador. This post is sponsored by Bush’s Beans, but as always, all opinions are my own.