This slow cooker buffalo chicken is juicy, spicy, and simple! Onion and boneless, skinless chicken breasts are covered in a buffalo sauce mixture for a healthy and ultra versatile protein. This healthy crockpot buffalo chicken is great in sandwiches, on salads, and more!
I've had a slow cooker for ten months now but I've never posted a true slow cooker recipe. What is up with that!? I use it alllllll the time for pulled chicken, pulled pork, soups - you name it.
The slow cooker is one of my favorite methods to cook up a bunch of protein on a Sunday and use throughout the week. Best of all, it's hands-off to the max! Put things in, go about your day, and take things out. Someone tell me why it took me so long to buy one?
Now that I've gotten my slow cooker sea legs, it was about time I branched out and whipped up my own recipe. Thankfully slow cooker experimentation is fairly low risk. Add protein of choice, veggies, liquid(s) and spices, cover, and set the heat. All you have to do is make sure it's plugged in, and you're golden.
This slow cooker buffalo chicken is one of my new favorites. A diced onion and boneless, skinless chicken breasts are added to the slow cooker, with a spicy buffalo sauce mixture poured over top. The spice factor all comes from the sauce you use, so pick one that fits in with your tastes. I have a serious thing for Frank's Red Hot Wings sauce so that's what I used, and the spice was juuuuust right.
Can I tell you how many ways we ate this chicken? In sandwiches like that picture up there (I totally dug in after that photo was taken), over salads, in a quesadilla...sometimes even by itself! I'm already reserving some of my next batch for a simpler than simple buffalo chicken grilled cheese. Give me all the buffalo please!!
This recipe is great as a Game Day main dish and makes a great meal prep protein. The sauce is spicy and tangy, providing a ton of heathy flavor you can use in lots of different ways. Pretty versatile if you ask me.
Slow cooker buffalo chicken recipe notes:
- As written below, this recipe is spicy! A drizzle of ranch dressing on a serving would cool it down some and provide a nice complementary flavor.
- Love a regular buffalo chicken salad? Sub in this chicken instead of shredded rotisserie in my buffalo chicken kale salad recipe for a tasty meal. Avocado ranch dressing and crispy baked tortilla strips take it over the top!
- Short on time? Check out this version for the Instant Pot: Instant Pot buffalo chicken.
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 ¾ cup Frank's Red Hot Wings sauce
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Add diced onion to the bottom of the slow cooker and then chicken breasts. In a bowl, combine all other ingredients. Pour over chicken breasts, ensuring that the slow cooker is at least half full, and no more than three-quarters of the way full.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to cutting board and shred using two forks (it should shred easily once done). Place shredded chicken back in the crock pot and stir so that chicken is combined evenly with the onions and sauce. Serve on sandwiches, over salads, in quesadillas, and more!
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Still in our Top 10 list. I subbed green onions and was generous with the dill. So good and so versatile!!! I've been on low carb for 2 years and this chicken is great served over black beans plus all the fixings...cheese, lettuce, tomato & avocado.
I'm so glad you like it, Deb!
Could I add a little butter if this recipe ends up really spicy?
You could do that! Something I do with other recipes is combine buffalo sauce, butter, and some honey in a small saucepan until warmed. The butter and honey combo does temper the heat.
I make this all of the time with varying amounts of chicken because sometimes I'm just cooking for me, other times I'm cooking for a meal prep week. I'll either half or double the recipe for the sauce or just add extra hot sauce if I feel like it didn't fill the crock pot enough. I find that for my 1.5 quart crockpot, I cook it on low for 4-4.5 hours and then just check the internal temp of the chicken. The last time I made this, I didn't combine the chicken back into the sauce so that I could use it for other things. I've made a buffalo chicken soup, added the sauce to a red sauce recipe, and made so many wraps. Tonight, I'm going to use the chicken to make a buffalo chicken quesadilla. Seriously, fave recipe!!!
I forgot to say that for my 1.5 quart crockpot, I'm using 1-2 chicken breasts!
Excellent recipe, this has become a family favorite! We like it different ways but our very favorite is in bowls over coconut rice with black beans & various toppings...cherry tomatoes, avocados & mangoes are great with it.
That all sounds delicious, Deb! Thanks for letting me know how you and your family like it. 🙂
Melanie Howell says
It says make sure slow cooker is half full? Half full of what and if it’s not what do you add?
Hi Melanie, that's just a recommendation from the crock pot brand for all slow cooking, filling it 1/2 to 3/4 full with the recipe ingredients. Too little or too much food/liquid in there can affect the cook time. As long as you don't have a tiny or massive slow cooker you should be just fine. The crock pot you see in these photos is on the smaller-mid size (4.5 quarts).
Jenna A says
This sounds good enough to try but my family doesn't do onions. Got any suggestions for substituting it?
Hi Jenna, you could just leave it out! All the other flavors here more than cover for it.
Can you do this on low heat in slow cooker, if so how long? Thank you
Hi Frank, yes that would work! I'd say somewhere between 5-6 hours on low would do it, but do check for doneness. The timing can differ depending on the size of the chicken breasts.
I made this for Thanksgiving this year! Everyone went crazy for it! The only thing I changed was the salt since most of my family doesn't like salt. It still ends up really good since the Frank's already has some anyways! Definitely going to be bringing this recipe to family gatherings from now on
I made this tonight and served it in zucchini boats (cut in half, partially hollowed out, and baked in the oven) with a little melted mozzarella, cilantro, and chopped green onions. Delicious and healthy!!!!
That sounds like a DELICIOUS way to serve this buffalo chicken. Yum! Thanks for letting me know how it went.
Just made this last night but using 4 chicken breast still following her ingredients and measurments! I used 1 cup Franks hot wing sauce (regular) and the remaining 3/4 cup frank's XTRA Hot and it is spicy good!
I cut each breast into fours, and used a wider soup pot to cook on the stove on medium high because I don't own a crock pot and I was making it late at night. It took about an 2 hours 15 mins. I would check from time to time and shred gradually. I would definitely share and make again! 🙂
I'm so glad you liked it, Amy! Thanks for letting me know how it went.
Tarah McNelis says
What is the serving size for the provided calories and macros?! Thanks!
Hi Tarah, I'm not sure of the exact serving size in ounces. The nutrition info is an estimate for one-sixth of the dish, which takes into account about half of a large chicken breast and one-sixth of the sauce.
Kaelyn Seidenberger says
Looks yummy & can’t wait to try! Is there a cooking time if I wanted to cook this on low as opposed to high?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Kaelyn, using the estimated conversion times on the Crock Pot brand website, I'd say about 7-8 hours on low would do the trick. But do check that the center of the biggest chicken breast reaches 165°F so it's fully cooked. I hope that helps! 🙂
Amazing spicy buffalo chicken! A perfect topping for sandwiches or nachos! I used 12 oz instead of 14 oz Frank's wing sauce, so the recipe might be skewed a bit... regardless, make sure you have ranch dressing available to cool the spice of the chicken (this is especially important, since I have a non-spicy-eater in my household!). Thanks Alyssa, for a buffalo chicken recipe that includes fresh spices!!
So glad you like this recipe, Pete! Ranch is a go-to pairing in our house for this one, too.
I'd love to see a comment about how this came out not just that it looks good......most recipes 'look' good...but was it good?
Hi Pam, I understand what you're saying. While I can't control what people comment, 18 of the 'star' ratings came from people who did not leave a comment, presumably from people who made the recipe. If you are on Pinterest, this pin of the recipe includes 19 comments from people who have made it: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/180988478754399568/