The BEST Buffalo Chicken Chili

Bowl of buffalo chicken chili topped with blue cheese and celery leaves.

This Buffalo Chicken Chili features all the flavors of your favorite finger food in a spicy chili. It’s a healthy, hearty way to enjoy buffalo wings in a new way!

Looking for more buffalo sauce recipes? Be sure to try my Buffalo Smashed Potatoes, Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites and Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites.

I have to say that I’m a bit of a Buffalo Wing snob. I grew up near Buffalo and had access to some pretty darn good wings. People in Western NY are particular about their wings. They CAN’T be boneless, they have to use Frank’s Red Hot sauce, and they’re served with blue cheese NOT ranch.

I’m now a full-day flight to Western NY and I haven’t found any wings out here on the West Coast to compete with the real deal. Here in Portland, it seems to be more about the Vietnamese Chicken Wings, which Pok Pok made famous. And, while, they’re also fantastic, they’re just not quite the same for me….

So… what do I do? Whip up a batch of Buffalo Chicken Chili. It’s still got the great flavor of the Frank’s, you can taste the crispy celery, AND it’s got beer in it! Plus, the addition of refried beans gives it a great, thick and hearty texture that’ll warm you right up on chilly Fall days.

For me, it’s comfort food at its finest. I like to make a big batch on the weekend, and then enjoy it all week for lunch. Why is it that chili seems to taste even better when it’s leftover?

Can you freeze it?

  • Yes! This chili will keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Are you a lover of buffalo wings like me? If so, do you consider yourself a purist – Eating only the bone-in variety, or do you go for boneless, and perhaps even some ranch dressing on the side? Would you dig into a bowl of this Buffalo Chicken Chili?

Wine pairings for Buffalo Chicken Chili:

  • Beer and chili go great together! I chose a Kolsch to pair with my bowl, and added some to the recipe as well.
  • This also pairs well with a light lager with a squeeze of lime.
Overhead closeup of bowl of buffalo chicken chili.

If you loved this Buffalo Chicken Chili recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished bowl and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

More chili recipes:

Two hands holding bowl of buffalo chicken chili.

More buffalo chicken recipes:

Buffalo Chicken Chili Recipe

Overhead shot of bowl of buffalo chicken chili.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

This Buffalo Chicken Chili features all the flavors of your favorite finger food in a spicy chili. It’s a healthy, hearty way to enjoy buffalo wings in a new way!
4.12 from 43 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (minced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 15.5 ounce can great northern beans (undrained)
  • 1 16 ounce can refried beans
  • 1 cup bone broth (or chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup beer (or water)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

For Topping:

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt/Sour Cream
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the ground chicken, breaking up the meat into small pieces until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  • In the same (now empty) pan add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook stirring until the vegetables soften, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add white beans, refried beans, chicken broth, beer, hot sauce and chicken, bring to a boil and simmer covered on medium-low about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Top with shredded cheese, greek yogurt/sour cream, green onions, as desired.
    Two hands holding bowl of buffalo chicken chili.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1049mg | Potassium: 770mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3320IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1.8mg

This post was originally published in October 2014. It was updated in January 2021 with new pictures. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

34 comments

  1. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine

    This sounds incredible! I love Franks 🙂 And I don’t even like wings. I used to order carrots and celery with a side of wing sauce when my friends ordered wings– because I could eat the sauce with a spoon!

    I love chilis, and am always making new ones. Such a great, easy meal– and the leftovers are great to have around.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Right there with you Michelle! Chili is one of my favorite leftover meals – It just keeps getting better!

      Reply

  2. Margaret

    Thanks for the recipe…but please …if you grew up in Buffalo…that is not upstate New York…it’s Western New York. Can’t wait to try!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Ha – Margaret, if you knew me it wouldn’t surprise you at all that I called it “upstate NY!” I need my GPS to tell me the home from work almost every day. I’m horrible with directions. Thanks for the correction! 🙂

      Reply

  3. Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama

    What a great idea! I bet this’d be a huge crowd pleaser at a football game.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Catherine – I think this is the perfect football food!

      Reply

  4. Tami

    Your recipe looks and sounds delicious! Chili is definitely a fall staple and does get better with time. Look forward to giving it a try.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thank you Tami – Enjoy!

      Reply

  5. Michelle

    I absolutely love buffalo chicken, so as soon as I saw this, I knew I had to visit! This is definitely going on the menu here soon! Pinning!

    And – I prefer wings on the bone and blue cheese, but as long as the sauce is good, I’m happy.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      A girl after my own heart!

      Reply

  6. Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman

    We are a house divided: my sweetheart is all about the bone-in, all over you face wings, while I can stand neither sauce on my face nor bone picking, so I’m all for boneless wings. However, we would both love this chili. Can’t wait to try it out!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you both enjoy Renee!!!

      Reply

  7. Marjorie

    Heehee! I can’t wait to try this. I love it when people are able to combine 2 delicious foods to make something new and creative. I don’t know why I never thought to doing this. Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you enjoy Marjorie!!!

      Reply

  8. Vickie

    Loved this recipe. my guys like it hotter- I followed the directions to the letter. So I left the hot sauce on the side for a kick. but really great. will do this again! thanks so much for the post.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed it Vickie!

      Reply

  9. Sue

    Sounds great but I’m confused..you say to brown chicken and set aside. Then in same pan to do the next steps…why set aside…do I add vegetables, etc into the same pan as the chicken?
    Thanks

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Sue – Yes. You’ll add the cooked chicken back in Step 3. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  10. Leisa

    I tried it and it was fantastic! Our new favorite chili !

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so glad you liked it Leisa!

      Reply

  11. E

    I knew it! I came across a different version of this recipe and I didn’t trust it.
    Ugh, it said to “puree” the vegetables! Puree?! Imagine pureed celery. It would be like hair in your food! And it completely skipped the onion and beer. The blog’s author claimed her version of the recipe had won prizes but I can’t imagine how. I’m glad I checked!

    Reply

  12. Claire f

    Represent upstate NY! Does this freeze well?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Claire – You can definitely freeze this chili. It will keep for up to three months.

      Reply

  13. Kathy

    Can you do this in a crock pot?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You can Kathy – I would brown the turkey before adding it to the slow cooker. Then, cook on high 4 hours, or low 6 hours. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  14. Danny

    5 stars
    I made this and trust me it was outstanding! I thought it might be a little dry because there isn’t much liquid added, but it was perfect!! Thanks so much for this recipe!!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You are so welcome Danny! I’m glad it was a hit!

      Reply

  15. Jennifer

    Mine was good but didnt look like your picture. Mine was creamy but I wanted the thin transparent liquid as pictured. I followed recipe to a tee…what did I do wrong? I used chicken stock instead of bone broth and I used a can of smooth refried beans. Waaaa!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Jennifer – Mine was definitely very thick too! You can always add some additional broth or water to thin it out a bit if you’d like. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  16. Laura

    Hi. I put this recipe into My Fitness Pal and the calories and macros were much different (higher). How did you calculate??

    Btw this is DELICIOUS!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Laura! I’m definitely not a nutritionist. I simply put my ingredients into the recipe card and it calculates the nutrition for me. Unfortunately, it’s not an exact science 🙁

      Reply

  17. Kristen

    5 stars
    Just made this! My whole house smells deliciously of hot sauce. I love it 🙂 Thank you for an awesome recipe!!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You’re welcome Kristen!

      Reply

  18. Cassandra

    I made this recipe, with a couple of changes. I used two large chicken breasts, simmered in beer and chicken stock until shreddable. I reserved this liquid and used it in the finished chili as well as the additional stock and beer the recipe calls for. I also used a lot more chili powder, cumin, and paprika than what was called for and added quite a bit of garlic powder. It’s delicious! Thanks for the idea.

    Reply

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