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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.

Bowl of chili with spoon and dish towel with second spoon.

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.

Ok, guys, I admit I was slow to get on board the Instant Pot train and that was a mistake. I’m not one to quickly buy into the hype and follow trends, but after years of hearing about this handy kitchen tool, I decided to give it a try.

All I can say is……WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING?

I absolutely love to take my time in the kitchen. For me it’s not just about making great food, it’s the whole experience; listening to some tunes, getting present, and savoring both the aromas and the flavors of all the diverse ingredients and combinations of ingredients.

The problem is I don’t alway have time for that. Last week I headed back to work after a six month furlough and found myself struggling to find balance between my nine to five, household duties, homeschooling, kids, etc.

After walking in the house several evenings in a row and being bombarded by at least three “what’s for dinner?” inquiries, I was quickly reminded that I could no longer spend hours prepping/cooking dinner.

The kids made it clear to me that they were hungry and they were not inclined to wait. They’re really good at that 🙃.

Instant Pot to the rescue!!! This gadget has the ability to slash your cooking time in half, is easy to use, and requires very little hands-on work. If you don’t have one yet, you better get yourself one.

So now that I’ve raved about the Instant Pot, let me tell you a little bit about this soup inspired by buffalo chicken wings.

My family would go for chicken wings pretty much every night, but the truth is they can be a bit of a hassle to make and there is just not enough meat on them to suffice as a meal.

The solution: buffalo chicken chili. It’s got all the great buffalo chicken flavor that you know and love but is heartier and perfect for a cool fall or winter day.

This chili is packed full of veggies, beans, and tender shredded chicken. The base is creamy and permeated with cayenne pepper (the base of buffalo chicken sauce). It’s got a slight kick to it but is mild enough my two-year slurps it down with no problem.

Aside from the amazing flavor this chili has going on, it is incredibly easy to make. It seriously can’t get much simpler. It’s just a matter of sautéeing the veggies (right in the Instant Pot), dumping in the rest of the ingredients, and letting it do its thing. Once it’s done you whisk it up real good to blend in the cream cheese and shred the chicken and it’s ready to serve.

Top down shot of three bowls of chili and white dish cloth with a spoon.

So what do you need to make this soup? ( + substitutions)

Top down shot of ingredients for buffalo chicken soup (see recipe card).
  • Olive oil: For sautéeing the veggies.
  • Carrots: You can coin or dice them.
  • Celery
  • White onion: Or yellow.
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken breasts or tenderloins: One of the great things about this recipe is you can stick the raw chicken right in the pot with the other ingredients and cook it up, so there is no prep work involved.
  • Canneneli (white) beans: If you prefer you could use Great Northern beans.
  • Pinto beans
  • Petite diced tomatoes: Regular or fire-roasted.
  • Cream cheese
  • Franks Red Hot: My personal favorite buffalo wing sauce base.
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika: Regular paprika is fine if you don’t have smoked, however, I highly recommend you get some smoked paprika. You won’t regret it.
  • Kosher salt

How do you make Instant Pot buffalo chicken chili? ( + tips)

Begin by setting the Instant Pot to sauté. Add the olive oil and wait for it to indicate it is hot, then add the carrots, celery, and onions and sauté for five minutes. Next, add the garlic and sauté an additional one minute.

Close-up shot of sautéed vegetables in Instant Pot bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Close-up shot of chili in Instant Pot prior to cooking.

Then cover, seal, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to reach high pressure, so this process will take about 35 minutes altogether.

Close-up of buffalo chicken chili in Instant Pot.

After 20 minutes, allow the pressure to release naturally for ten minutes, then do a quick release. To do this you simply, turn the pressure release switch to the venting position. Once any remaining steam has released you can remove the lid.

You will notice the cream cheese is still in chunks. To incorporate it you will need to whisk the chili, which will also break apart the chicken.

Close-up of buffalo chicken chili in Instant Pot.

Add salt and pepper to taste, crown with desired toppings, and serve warm.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

Close-up of bowl of buffalo chicken chili with a spoon with second bowl of soup and dish towel with a spoon in background.
Close-up of bowl of chili with a silver spoon.

If you like this recipe, you may also like:

  • 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.

If you make this Instant Pot buffalo chicken chili 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 ♥

Close-up of bowl of chili with a silver spoon.

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This Instant Pot buffalo chicken chili lets you get your weeknight wing fix with ease. Although it may be super simple and hands-off, it's definitely not lacking in flavor. Naturally gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced or coined, approximately 1 cup 
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced lengthwise then diced, approximately 1 1/2 cups 
  • 1 small white onion, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • 1 15.5 ounce can canneneli (white) beans
  • 1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, cubed 
  • 3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot 
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder 
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Optional toppings: Blue cheese, feta cheese, cilantro, green onions, buffalo sauce.

Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot to sauté function. Add the olive oil and wait for it to indicate it is hot, then add the carrots, celery, and onions and sauté for five minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional one minute.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, seal, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to reach high pressure, so this process will take about 35 minutes altogether.
  3. After 20 minutes, allow pressure to release naturally for ten minutes, then do a quick release.
  4. You will notice the cream cheese is still in chunks. To incorporate it you will need to whisk the chili, which will also break apart the chicken.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, crown with desired toppings, and serve warm.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 2347mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 42g

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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Soheila Hakimi

Saturday 14th of November 2020

This looks amazing! Love chili in the fall especially this gluten free one! Never had Chili with buffalo chicken in it though (sounds amazing!) so I'm excited to try it.

Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

I like the idea of a Buffalo Chicken wings fix, but in a healthier form like this soup. And, it's gorgeous to boot!

Jessica Halverstadt

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Thank so much! I love sneaking in veggies whenever I can.

Sabine

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

This chilli chicken recipe looks delicious. I love the addition of cream cheese to this recipe as well as the pinto beans.

Jessica Halverstadt

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Thanks, the creamy base is really tasty and you can't go wrong with pinto beans.

Jeff Albom

Monday 9th of November 2020

I have been looking for a good chili recipe that doesn't use beef and I think you've nailed it. I love the chunky texture.

Jessica Halverstadt

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Thanks, it's definitely a good alternative to your traditional beef chili.

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