Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili – This easy buffalo chicken chili recipe comes together in a snap thanks to the pressure cooker! Don’t have one? I’ve got slow cooker instructions, too! (Gluten free, dairy free, paleo-friendly)
Did anyone get an Instant Pot over the holidays? I got one for Christmas a few years ago, and I’ll admit, it took me a while to really build up the courage to try using it. For some reason, it seemed a bit more intimidating than the slow cooker or stovetop. BUT. It *really* isn’t all that complicated once you get going! (Pinky promise!)
I’ve tackled plenty of recipes in my Instant Pot over the last few years. On my site, you’ll find things like my velvety Carrot Ginger Soup, The EASIEST Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (Vegan + Whole30 friendly!), Beef Stew, and delicious breakfasts like Steel Cut Oats (You *need* to try all the flavors in that post!). Today, I’ve got a fantastic EASY recipe that’s great whether this is your first Instant Pot recipe or your 500th: Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili!
This Buffalo Chicken Chili requires no fancy skills, comes together in a flash, and tastes INCREDIBLE. I love the little kick and love that it’s a lighter chili than most. Plus, you can make it with beans or without–I’ve got a great paleo/Whole30 option included!
Let’s see how easy it is to make, shall we? (Don’t worry! I’ll walk you through the whole thing!)
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO MY INSTANT POT BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI
CHICKEN. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast, chicken tenders, or chicken thighs for this buffalo chicken chili recipe. Your choice!
ONIONS + CELERY + CARROTS. This classic trifecta (called “mirepoix”) adds a solid flavor base and makes this chili just a little different than most.
CANNED TOMATOES. I love using fire-roasted tomatoes in chili because I feel like they have a richer, deeper flavor that doesn’t taste so tinny, though regular is totally fine. Choose diced or crushed based on your preference!
WHITE BEANS OR CAULIFLOWER RICE. To fill the soup out a bit more, I add white beans (like Great Northern). Or, for Whole30 or Paleo Buffalo Chicken Chili, I swap out the white beans for cauliflower rice. See the FAQ for more details!
DRIED DILL + CUMIN + SALT. Though most of the flavor comes from the buffalo/hot sauce in this chili, I like adding a little bit of these seasonings to round out the flavor.
FRANK’S RED SAUCE. The big flavor punch in buffalo chicken chili! I recommend going with the classic (original) Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (not sponsored) rather than buffalo or other sauce brands because the balance of flavors is spot on. It’s got the right balance of kick + vinegar without either going overboard, and the ingredient list is remarkably simple and straightforward–cayenne peppers, vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder. Other varieties/brands add different ingredients, so if you use another brand, just know you’ll get slightly different results.
CHICKEN BROTH OR VEGGIE BROTH. A little broth carries the flavors in this chili and keeps it from being *too* spicy.
GARNISH = GREEN ONIONS + CILANTRO. It’s optional, but I love and recommend adding a little sliced green onion and some fresh herbs (like cilantro, parsley, or dill) on top of this chili. The color and flavor is lovely!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI
To turn this Buffalo Chicken Chili into a full meal, you may want to add a side dish or two to the meal. Some of my go-to’s are:
- A SIDE SALAD. Pick your favorite easy green salad to go with this buffalo chicken chili!
- SOME FRESH FRUIT. A little fresh fruit can cool your mouth down if this chili runs spicy for you. Bananas, apples, or grapes do a great job!
- A GRILLED SANDWICH. A little grilled sandwich pairs so nicely with a cup of buffalo chicken chili!
- SOME CORNBREAD. You can also go with some cornbread. These cornbread muffins or this maple cornbread are two of our faves!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR PERFECT BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI
WHAT SIZE INSTANT POT DO YOU USE FOR THIS CHILI? I have the 6-quart size, and it’s been big enough for everything we’ve made, but it should work just fine in other sizes. (Just make sure you don’t fill a pressure cooker past the “max fill” line.)
DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS IN AN INSTANT POT? Nope! Other brands of pressure cookers also work, you’ll just want to follow similar times and instructions based on your machine. You can also absolutely make this in a slow cooker (or on the stovetop). I’ve got slow cooker instructions below!
HOW LONG DOES THIS TAKE START-TO-FINISH? This buffalo chicken chili only takes 10 minutes to cook at pressure, but requires about 35 minutes total. You’ll spend 5 minutes sautéing the veggies, 15-18 minutes to come up to pressure, 10 minutes to cook, and about 2 minutes to release the steam.
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS. Add all the ingredients except garnishes to the crock of your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover with the lid, and cook on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken & garnish. Easy-peasy!
DOES THIS FREEZE WELL? Pretty well, yes! The chicken and beans do lose some of their original texture upon thawing, but I don’t mind. I love having leftover soup in the freezer!
PALEO? WHOLE30? MAKE IT LIKE THIS! This buffalo chicken chili can totally be paleo! To make it as paleo buffalo chicken chili, swap out the can of beans for 2 cups of riced cauliflower and proceed as directed. Also, be sure you’re using complaint hot sauce. Frank’s original is A-ok! (It’s also Whole30 made this way!)
LOVE THIS BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI? I BET YOU’D LIKE:
- Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
- Salsa Verde Chicken & Rice Soup
- Simple Slow Cooker Chili
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Taco Soup
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE:
This easy Instant Pot buffalo chicken chili recipe comes together in a snap thanks to the pressure cooker! Don’t have one? I’ve got slow cooker instructions, too! (Gluten free, dairy free, paleo-friendly)
FYI – This recipe takes about 35 minutes once you start cooking. 5 minutes to saute + 15-18 minutes to come to pressure + 10 minutes cook time + 2 minutes to quick-release steam. Total cook time = about 35 minutes
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (or thighs)
- 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced (about 2 cups)
- 2 carrots, diced (about 2/3 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (about 2/3 cup)
- 1 (15oz) diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15oz) can white beans, drained & rinsed (or 2 cups cauliflower rice)
- 1/4 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Press SAUTE button and add olive oil to your Instant Pot.
- Add onion, carrots, and celery and stir on SAUTE setting 4-5 minutes, or until mostly tender.
- Press CANCEL to turn off saute setting.
- Add chicken, tomatoes, beans, hot sauce, broth, dill, and cumin.
- Stir to combine, then cover with the lid.
- Seal the lid closed and double-check that your pressure valve is set to SEALING (not venting).
- Press PRESSURE COOK (manual) and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. (It took my Instant Pot 15-18 minutes to come to pressure in my tests).
- After the 10 minutes of cook time, quick-release the steam (about 2 minutes), then carefully open the lid.
- Shred the chicken with two forks directly in the Instant Pot (or remove chicken to a cutting board or plate and shred there) and stir shredded chicken back into the soup.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and cilantro or more fresh dill.
TO SLOW COOK INSTEAD:
- Add all ingredients except green onions & cilantro to the crock of your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken and garnish with green onions & cilantro.
- Category: Main Dish, Soup, Chicken
- Method: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Buffalo Chicken Chili, Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili, Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili