Crockpot Buffalo Chicken
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken is easy, juicy, versatile with customizable heat so everyone wins! This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken is destined to become a new “dump and run” recipe favorite! The chicken is seeping with flavor from a bevy of seasonings as well as your favorite buffalo wings hot sauce. You can add more or less hot sauce at the end of cooking to control the level of heat so it can be mild OR as spicy as you want it. This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken is stand-alone delicious with just potatoes, rice or zoodles or it is fabulous in sandwiches, wraps, salads, nachos, tacos and more (I've included tons of recipe ideas)! This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken reheats beautifully so it’s make ahead friendly and freezer friendly too!
Servings 8 servings
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (thawed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Frank's BUFFALO WINGS Hot Sauce not original
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, salt, dried chives, onion powder
- 1/2 tsp EACH ground cumin, smoked paprika
- 4 oz. cream cheese cubed, softened
- additional hot sauce to taste
Rub chicken breasts with oil and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients and give the top a stir. It won’t seem like a lot of liquid but the chicken will produce a lot of moisture when cooked.
Cover and cook on high 2-4 hours or low for 5-7 hours OR until chicken is tender enough to easily shred with a fork.
Shred chicken when tender, return to slow cooker, and let cook on LOW for another 20 minutes to soak up some of the juices.
Drain chicken of excess liquid (if there is any). Top shredded chicken with cubed cream cheese and cook on HIGH for an additional 20 minutes then stir in cream cheese until chicken is evenly coated. Taste and add hot sauce to taste if desired. Serve with rice/potatoes or in sliders, sandwiches, wraps, salads, macaroni and cheese, pizza, tacos, etc.
Tips for Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
- Trim chicken: It’s tempting to add chicken breasts directly to the crockpot, but you’ll want to inspect them first and trim off any excess fat or cartilage or it will get shredded directly into your chicken and can have unappetizing, chewy results. Your chicken will also shred much easier if it’s a nice, clean cut.
- Don’t overcook chicken: You will want to check your chicken breasts towards the earlier end of the cooking window to make sure they don’t become overcooked. Although its harder to overcook chicken in the crockpot, it can be done with dry results.
- Cook chicken long enough: On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll want to cook the Crockpot Buffalo Chicken long enough so it’s shred-apart tender. If the chicken isn’t easily shredding with a fork – cook on!
- Add hot sauce to taste: Don’t just pile on the hot sauce at the end of cooking. Taste the chicken and decide how much -if any-additional hot sauce you would like to add. Remember you can always add more hot sauce but it is hard to take it away so start with less.
- Customize heat: If some of the partakers like heat, and others don’t like as much heat, you can allow individuals to dress their own servings of Crockpot Buffalo Chicken with desired amount of buffalo wings sauce.
What Toppings are best with Buffalo Chicken?
Buffalo Chicken is delectable on its own but it benefits greatly from a secondary flavor profile. Here are some of my favorite toppings to make your Crockpot Buffalo Chicken exponentially more delicious:
- Blue cheese dressing: tones down the heat and adds a complimentary zingy tang.
- Blue cheese crumbles: always a favorite with buffalo wings sauce to cut through the heat.
- Ranch: tones down the heat and adds a complementary flavor.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: is a fabulous pairing with buffalo chicken on potatoes, nachos etc. also tones down the heat.
- Bacon: salty, crispy bacon + buffalo chicken - especially with cooling blue cheese or ranch - is always a big win.
- Green onions: adds a fresh zip of flavor.
- Pico de gallo: the vibrant fresh, zippy flavor brightens the entire chicken.
How to Serve Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken:
- Buffalo Chicken with Grains: pile Crockpot Buffalo Chicken on white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, couscous, etc.
- Low Carb Buffalo Chicken: pile on spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, zoodles or any other spiralized veggies; pile it in zucchini boats and top with cheese and bake until melted.
- Buffalo Chicken Bowls: go one step further with your grains or low carb options and pile on veggies such as steamed or roasted broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, lettuce, etc., black beans. I also love adding mangos or pineapple then topping with some Greek yogurt and blue cheese crumbles.
- Buffalo Chicken with Potatoes: pile it on mashed potatoes or in stuffed baked potatoes with any of the following toppings: cheddar cheese, blue cheese, bacon, broccoli, ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing.
- Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches: always a fav! You can keep it simple and just use chicken or add cheese, lettuce, pickles, bacon, tomatoes, ranch dressing, etc. I recommend toasting the buns first so the chicken doesn’t make them soggy.
- Buffalo Chicken Sliders: I have a detailed recipe coming soon, but essentially, you slice Hawaiian rolls in half, place half of the rolls in a buttered 9x13 baking dish, cut side up and bake for 7 minutes to lightly toast. Next, top with mozzarella cheese, chicken and blue cheese crumbles, then place tops on. Brush top of sliders with melted butter mixed with dried parsley, dried chives, garlic powder, salt. Bake, covered at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes to toast the tops.
- Buffalo Chicken Wraps: Spread a flatbread or tortilla with blue cheese or ranch dressing, then top with Crockpot Buffalo Chicken along with any of your favorite veggies: tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, etc.
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps: Stuff Bibb lettuce with Crockpot Buffalo Chicken and desired veggies and drizzle with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.
- Buffalo Chicken Salad: instantly make any salad a meal by adding Buffalo Chicken or get a little fancier and follow my Buffalo Chicken Salad recipe with Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch.
- Buffalo Chicken Soup: add buffalo chicken to any chili or soup for instant flavor and protein.
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza: use my favorite homemade pizza or shortcut it with store-bought pizza dough. Cover pizza with ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing. Top with chicken, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, bell peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, etc. and bake according to directions. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of buffalo wings sauce to taste.
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos: you can use Crockpot Buffalo Chicken in my soft Buffalo Chicken Taco recipe or make hard tacos like my baked fiesta ranch tacos.
- Buffalo Chicken Burritos, Quesadillas, Tostadas: add buffalo chicken to tortillas along with your favorite fixings and either roll up or grill up for quesadillas.
- Buffalo Chicken Nachos: pile Crockpot Buffalo Chicken on top of your favorite cheesy chips and drizzle with blue cheese or ranch.
- Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese: Add this Buffalo Chicken to my Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe and use less wings in the mac sauce OR add to any pasta you want to add a little protein to.
How to FREEZE Crock Pot Buffalo CHICKEN
To freeze before cooking:
This method comes in handy when you want ZERO thinking or prep at dinner time, or to use up hot sauce or chicken OR to gift to a friend so all they have to do is cook the chicken.
- Place thawed or frozen chicken in a freezer safe container or freezer bag.
- Add all crockpot ingredients and give them a stir.
- Squeeze out any excess air, seal and label.
- Freeze for up to three months.
- When ready to cook, defrost chicken overnight in the refrigerator.
- Cook recipe according to directions.
To freeze after cooking:
- Let chicken cool completely.
- Transfer chicken to either a large freezer size bag or divide into smaller size bags. Alternatively, transfer to airtight container(s).
- Press air out of the freezer bag, seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to use, defrost chicken overnight or microwave on defrost setting, stirring occasionally.
- If defrosting chicken overnight, warm it in the crockpot for 1-2 hours on LOW or transfer to a large Dutch oven and warm until heated through, stirring frequently.