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Buffalo Chicken Rolls

A savory take on the cinnamon roll, these buffalo chicken rolls are loaded with a creamy buffalo sauce and tender chicken, then topped with cheese and baked to perfection.

Skillet with buffalo chicken rolls and a towel.

Jessica Halverstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

We Kansans are anxiously awaiting the big game. You know, the one with a ball and a bunch of guys in helmets running around a field tackling one another.

If you couldn’t tell football is not really my thing. But you know what is?

!!!!!FOOD!!!!!

Whether you like football or not, I think everyone can agree that no game day celebration is complete without lots of tasty snacks to sink your teeth into.

This year I plan to go all out, because why not?

The opportunity to celebrate with food is something I rarely pass up to begin with and beings the pandemic continues to rage on a little distraction in the form of fun and games (and snacks) couldn’t hurt.

So what does going all out entail? First and foremost these buffalo chicken rolls.

They’re like cinnamon rolls only savory. Yes, I know this sounds weird, but trust me when I tell you they are so good and other than the fact they’re rolled up like cinnamon rolls they’re not all that alike.

Except for the dough – it’s your standard sweet roll dough although less sweet.

Rolled up in the dough is a delectable combination of tender chicken, tangy (and spicy if you wish) peppers, and a creamy buffalo sauce.

The tops of the rolls are brushed with garlic butter and plenty of cheese.

Serve ’em up hot straight outta the oven with a side of blue cheese dressing or ranch.

Top down shot of cast-iron skillet rolls.

So what do you need to make these rolls? (+ substitutions)

Ingredients for buffalo chicken rolls (see recipe card).
  • Milk: Warmed to 110-115 degrees in order to activate the yeast.
  • Honey: Or white sugar.
  • Dry-active yeast: One 1.25 ounce package or 2 1/4 teaspoons.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Large egg: Make sure to bring the egg to room temperature.
  • Unsalted butter: If you don’t have unsalted butter, you can certainly use salted. You should, however, leave out the added salt if you do.
  • Cream cheese: It will need to be warmed to room temperature so that it can be easily mixed together with the other ingredients for the filling and spread across the dough.
  • Frank’s Red Hot: My personal favorite base for buffalo sauce.
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder: For the filling and to brush atop the rolls.
  • Cooked chicken: You can chop up a portion of a rotisserie chicken or like I do, boil a couple of chicken thighs. It’s super easy to do so and you also end up with some delicious chicken broth so there is less waste. Personally, I’m all about that!
  • Banana peppers: I love the added zing of these peppers, so I highly recommend their addition. That being said, they are totally optional. Alternately, you could use pickled jalapenos. Both peppers come in different levels of heat, so you have some control over how spicy the rolls come out.
  • Dried parsley
  • Cheddar cheese: This recipe calls for a combo of cheddar and mozzarella, however, you can opt to use one or the other if you choose.
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing: Optional for dipping.

How do you make buffalo chicken rolls? (+ tips)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook, add the warm milk (105-110 degrees), sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until there is a foamy layer on top which indicates it has properly proofed.

Once proofed, add the egg and whisk to combine.

Add the flour and salt and mix at low speed until just combined. Continue mixing while adding the butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter has been incorporated, increase the speed to medium, and mix an additional eight minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, but still somewhat sticky.

If you do not have a stand mixer you can knead the dough by hand. Sprinkle flour onto a flat surface. Knead the dough for six to eight minutes adding additional flour as needed (up to 1/2 cup) and allowing the dough to rest for five minutes at the midway point. Resting the dough allows it to absorb more of the liquid resulting in a dough that is much easier to work with. To avoid the dough sticking to your hands, you may want to coat them with a small amount of oil or water before kneading. The dough should end up smooth and elastic, although still somewhat sticky. 

Progression of dough in four steps.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm location for one hour or until doubled in size.

Risen dough in bowl.

When the dough is nearly done rising, in a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the buffalo chicken filling and set aside.

Buffalo chicken filling in a white bowl.

Once the dough has doubled in size punch it down, spread some flour onto a flat surface, and knead it a few times. Flatten the dough into a rectangle using your hands, then using a rolling pin flatten the rectangle to approximately 10×16 inches. Try to keep edges even and thickness as uniform as possible, but don’t stress yourself out trying to attain perfection; it’s not necessary.

Evenly spread the buffalo chicken filling across the dough.

Rolled out dough and rolled out dough topped with buffalo chicken filling.

Then roll the long end (16″) of the dough as evenly and tightly as possible; pinch the ends shut. With a sharp knife or un-waxed dental floss slice dough into eight pieces and arrange them in a greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can use a round 10-inch cake pan.

Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the melted butter with the garlic powder and dried parsley. Uncover the rolls, brush the tops with melted butter mixture, and bake on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes.

Savory rolls in cast-iron skillet.

After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle on the cheese. Return to the oven and bake another ten minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve warm with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

How to store

Cover and refrigerate for up to four days.

Close up of buffalo chicken rolls from the front.
Close-up of a fork full of buffalo chicken rolls.

More buffalo chicken inspired dishes:

  • Buffalo Fried Pickles: Make way for your new favorite appetizer! If you love fried pickles and buffalo wings you will not be disappointed. These pickles are dredged in a buffalo sauce batter and fried to perfection. Pair them with some garlic ranch and BAM!
  • Buffalo Fried Pickle Tacos w/ Garlic Ranch: What’s better than fried pickles, buffalo sauce, and tacos?!?! A combination of the three; BUFFALO FRIED PICKLE TACOS!! These tacos start with crispy buffalo flavored fried pickles which are tossed in a tortilla and topped off with garlic ranch, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Great vegetarian option with quick and easy prep.
  • Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili: This Instant Pot buffalo chicken chili lets you get your weeknight wing fix with ease. Although super simple and hands-off, it’s definitely not lacking in flavor. Naturally gluten-free.

If you make these buffalo chicken rolls I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light and happy cooking ya’ll 

Skillet with buffalo chicken rolls and a towel.

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

A savory take on the cinnamon roll, these buffalo chicken rolls are loaded with a creamy buffalo sauce and tender chicken, then topped with cheese and baked to perfection.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm milk, 110-115 degrees
  • 1/4 cup honey or granulated sugar 
  • 1.25 ounce package dry active yeast (2/14 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 

Buffalo Chicken Filling

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/8 cup Frank's RedHot 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup banana peppers, diced (optional), can sub for pickled jalapenos

Topping

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook, add the warm milk (105-110 degrees), sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until there is a foamy layer on top which indicates it has properly proofed. (See notes for additional information about proofing yeast).
    2. Once proofed, add the egg and whisk to combine.
    3. Add the flour and salt and mix at low speed until just combined. Continue mixing while adding the butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter has been incorporated, increase speed to medium, and mix an additional eight minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, but still somewhat sticky. (See notes for hand mixing/kneading instructions).
    4. Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm location for one hour or until doubled in size.
    5. When the dough is nearly done rising, in a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the buffalo chicken filling and set aside.
    6. Once the dough has doubled in size punch it down, spread some flour onto a flat surface, and knead it a few times. Flatten the dough into a rectangle using your hands, then using a rolling pin flatten the rectangle to approximately 10x16 inches. Try to keep edges even and thickness as uniform as possible.
    7. Evenly spread the buffalo chicken filling across the dough.
    8. Roll the long end (16") of the dough as evenly and tightly as possible; pinch the ends shut. With a sharp knife or un-waxed dental floss slice dough into eight pieces and arrange in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap (see notes if you wish to prep ahead). Allow to rise for approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    9. Mix the melted butter with the garlic powder and dried parsley. Uncover the rolls, brush the tops with melted butter mixture, and bake on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes.
    10. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle on the cheese. Return to the oven and bake another ten minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly golden. Serve warm with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

    Storage: Cover and refrigerate for up to four days.

Notes

  • It is essential that the milk is up to temp to ensure successful proofing of yeast. It will need to be 105-110 degrees. You may heat milk in a saucepan over low heat or by microwaving for 10 seconds at a time until it reaches temp. If you do not have a thermometer to gauge the temperature you can simply test it with your finger. To touch, it should feel like a nice warm bath.
  • If the yeast does not have a foamy/frothy layer on top it has not proofed properly. In this case, you will need to repeat this step until you have a properly proofed yeast. See the note above about the temperature of the milk and make sure your yeast has not expired. You may also need to allow the yeast to proof for an additional five minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour onto a flat surface. Knead dough for six to eight minutes adding additional flour as needed (up to 1/2 cup) and allowing the dough to rest for five minutes at the midway point. Resting the dough allows it to absorb more of the liquid resulting in a dough that is much easier to work with. To avoid the dough sticking to your hands, you may want to coat them with a small amount of oil or water before kneading. The dough should end up smooth and elastic, although still somewhat sticky. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 526Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 1022mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 22g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

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