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Buffalo Chicken Chili

This Buffalo Chicken Chili is rich, creamy, hearty, as spicy as you want it, and the layers of flavor are out of this world! It’s made with juicy shredded chicken, sweet corn, smoky fire roasted tomatoes, creamy white beans and of course buffalo wings sauce all swaddled in a luxuriously creamy broth spiked with cream cheese. Top off your perfect bowl of Buffalo Chicken Chili with salty, sassy blue cheese, crunchy tortilla chips and creamy avocado and cozy up to this outrageously delicious bowl of comfort. This quick and easy Buffalo Chicken Chili is make-ahead friendly, pantry friendly and guaranteed to become a new favorite!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs patted dry OR rotisserie chicken (see notes)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can cream style corn
  • 1 14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices)
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tsps EACH smoked paprika, ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, salt, pepper

Add later

  • 4 oz. cream cheese cubed, softened


  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven/soup pot. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper then sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate but leave drippings.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium low heat. Once melted, increase to medium-high heat and add onions, celery and bell pepper; cook for 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook one additional minute while stirring (it will be thick).
  • Add chicken back to the pot followed by beans, creamed corn, corn, diced tomatoes, hot wings sauce, chicken bouillon and all seasonings. Whisk cornstarch with 1 cup of chicken broth and stir in. Add remaining chicken broth.
  • Cover the soup to bring to a boil then uncover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is tender enough to shred, stirring often so the bottom doesn't burn. Remove chicken to a cutting board; shred, then stir back into the soup.
  • Turn heat to low and stir in cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Season with salt/pepper and/or buffalo wings sauce to taste. Thin with additional chicken broth if desired. Serve with blue cheese, crushed tortilla chips, chopped avocados, sour cream and/or cilantro.


Tips for Success

  • Prep Ahead. You can trim your chicken, chop your onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and prep all your toppings ahead of time.
  • Rotisserie chicken:  To use rotisserie chicken, add about 2 ½ cups shredded chicken to the chili when the recipe calls for adding the shredded chicken back to the soup.
  • Buffalo Wings Sauce: I use Frank's RedHot BUFFALO Wings Sauce– NOT Frank’s original sauce.  You’ll want to look for “Wings” on the label.  Take care, however, - there is “buffalo” and there is “hot buffalo.” I recommend “buffalo” – it’s hot enough!  If using a different hot sauce, you will want to start with less and add more to taste.  
  • Customize spice level:  This Buffalo Chicken Chili is “medium” spicy if you use the 1/2 cup buffalo wings sauce. The good thing is, you can start with less, about ¼ cup if you like, then stir in additional wings sauce after the chili is done cooking. This way the chili is milder for the kiddos but you can add additional buffalo wings sauce to your own bowl.
  • Stir often. The chili can stick to the bottom and burn while it’s simmering because it’s quite thick, so you’ll want to stir often so the bottom doesn’t burn.  
  • Use soft cream cheese.  You want the cream cheese pretty soft before it goes into the chicken chili so it will melt more easily. I chop into cubes and microwave for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir until melted. If you have white specks after you add the cream cheese, this isn’t the cream cheese curdling, this is simply unmelted cream cheese. Continue to cook on low until the cream cheese is fully incorporated.
  • Make it less thick. I love my Buffalo Chicken Chili thick and creamy BUT the consistency is totally up to you! For a thinner soup, simply add additional chicken broth.
  • Season to taste. Spice up your chicken chili with additional buffalo wings sauce or add chicken bouillon to enhance the flavors.
  • Gluten free: Use gluten-free flour – the rest of the ingredients should be gluten free.
  • Recipe variations:  See post for how to use cream cheese, sour cream, other veggies, etc. 

How to Store and Reheat

  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  • Stove: Reheat large batches on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes.
  • Microwave: Transfer individual servings to a microwave-safe dish and cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave at 30-second intervals, if needed.

How to Freeze

Buffalo Chicken Chili does not freeze well due to the cream cheese which can become unpleasantly grainy as the dairy and fat separate. If you plan on freezing, omit the cream cheese and it will freeze great for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, warm on the stove and then add the softened cream cheese.