Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken (or Instant Pot)

slow-cooker-buffalo-chicken-(or-instant-pot)

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is an easy crockpot recipe and a perfect make-ahead meal for busy weeknights. You can make it hearty by serving the shredded buffalo chicken stuffed in a baked sweet potato or regular potato or keep it light and serve it on top of a bed of greens or tucked in a lettuce wrap. However you serve it, this recipe is absolutely and is healthy, wholesome and whole30-friendly!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes drizzled with ranch in a silver pan

Let the slow cooker (or instant pot) do the work!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is a recipe you’ll want to add to your weeknight dinner menu. The mix of heat from the Buffalo sauce with the coolness from the ranch creates a combination that can’t be beat. It gets better because this crockpot buffalo chicken recipe uses simple and clean ingredients that are Whole30 compatible and it’s quick to prepare. It takes just 15 minutes of your time to make the homemade buffalo sauce, throw the ingredients in a slow cooker and whip up the homemade ranch. If you opt to use a pre-made buffalo sauce and ranch dressing which is certainly an option, then it will take just a matter of minutes to prepare this recipe! It really can’t get easier.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes drizzled with ranch in a silver pan

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Ingredients you’ll need for this Whole30 Buffalo Chicken

  • Chicken breast or thighs –  we like to use 1 lb. of each. We love ButcherBox for its quality meat options.
  • Hot pepper sauce – such as Whole30 compatible Frank’s Red Hot or Sriracha-not Whole30 compatible.
  • Ghee, coconut oil or butter – butter is not Whole30 compatible but definitely will work in this recipe.
  • Coconut aminos – a great alternative to soy sauce. Made with real food ingredients and much less sodium. If you use soy sauce, use half of the amount the recipe calls for.
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne – this is optional. If you’re looking for more heat, add a dash or two.
  • Baked sweet potatoes –  about 7 oz. each uncooked. You can find our baked sweet potato recipe here.
  • Ranch dressingHomemade or store-bought

Looking for ease and convenience? This recipe also works great with with Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce and Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing.

For 10% off of all Primal Kitchen products use code: REALFOODRDS

How to make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

  • Place chicken in a slow cooker set on low.
  • In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, combine the hot sauce, ghee, coconut aminos, garlic powder and optional cayenne. Stir together and heat until ghee is melted.
  • Pour sauce into the slow cooker.
  • Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until chicken is tender.
  • Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and toss with sauce.
  • Turn slow cooker to warm (or remain on low) until ready to serve.
  • Serve chicken in baked sweet potatoes and drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch, if desired.

Confused about poultry labeling? Check this post out to learn all about how to choose the best chicken in the grocery store. 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes drizzled with ranch in a silver pan

Can Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken be made in the Instant Pot?

Sure can! To make Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken, simply follow the instructions as written through steps 3. Set the Instant Pot for 15 minutes on high pressure. When the time is up, naturally release for 10 minutes before unlocking lid and shredding.

How to serve the Shredded Buffalo Chicken

We like to serve Shredded Buffalo Chicken stuffed in a sweet potato and drizzled with ranch with a side of roasted broccoli. It makes for one satisfying and, mouth-watering meal. It can also be served in a regular baked potato or if you’d like something a little lighter, we recommend serving it in a lettuce leaf or on a bed of greens and of course with a drizzle of ranch.

Looking for guidance with meal planning? Check out Real Plans, a highly customizable online meal planning service that includes over 300 of our very own recipes.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes drizzled with ranch in a silver pan

How to Freeze Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

This is a great recipe to double and freeze half for a future meal. We’re all about tucking food away in the freezer. It’s a strategy we use to set ourselves up for dinner success in the future during busy weeknights. Simply allow the shredded buffalo chicken to cool and then transfer it to a glass airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also portion the Whole30 buffalo chicken out into individual servings so that you can pull out exactly the amount you need when it time to serve.

How to reheat Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken from frozen

Set the container in warm water until it thaws just enough to remove it. Transfer the shredded buffalo chicken block to a pan and heat it over medium heat breaking it apart as it thaws. It’s ready to serve when it’s hot. You can also reheat the buffalo chicken in a slow cooker on high for a few hours or instant pot.

To reheat in the instant pot, use the sauté setting and break the chicken apart as it thaws for about 5 minutes. Then place the lid on the Instant Pot and switch the valve to sealing. Select the steam function and set the time for 5 minutes. Once the time is up, release the pressure and check to see if it’s heated through. If not you can either add more time or use the sauté function again to finish heating through.

How to bake a sweet potato

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Rub with ghee, coconut oil or butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and bake 45-60 minutes or until fork-tender. Baking time will depend on size of potato.
  4. Remove from oven and serve or cool and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes on a white plate with a side of roasted broccoli

Other healthy buffalo chicken recipes to try

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

A hearty and healthy, whole30-friendly, slow cooker buffalo chicken that’s shredded and stuffed inside of a perfectly baked or grill sweet potato. A recipe for all you buffalo chicken fans.

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Paleo, Dairy-Free

SLOW COOKER BUFFALO CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast or thighs (recommend 1 lb. of each)
  • 1 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Whole30 compatible Frank’s Red Hot or Sriracha-not Whole30 compatible)
  • 1/3 cup ghee, coconut oil or butter (butter, not Whole30 compatible
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional – adds more heat)
  • 8 small baked sweet potatoes (about 7 oz. each uncooked)
  • Ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought)

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker set on low.
  2. In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, combine the hot sauce, ghee, coconut aminos, garlic powder and optional cayenne. Stir together and heat until ghee is melted.
  3. Pour sauce into the slow cooker.
  4. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until chicken is tender.
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and toss with sauce.
  6. Turn slow cooker to warm (or remain on low) until ready to serve.
  7. Serve chicken in baked sweet potatoes and drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch, if desired.

Instant pot directions:

  1. Follow the instructions as written instead in a slow cooker through steps 3.
  2. Set the Instant Pot for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  3. When time is up, naturally release for 10 minutes before unlocking lid and shredding.

Notes

Feel free to substitute a pre-made buffalo sauce such as Primal Kitchen in place of the hot pepper sauce, ghee, coconut aminos, garlic powder and cayenne.

Buffalo Chicken only (no sweet potato or ranch dressing): 221 Calories, 13 g Fat, 435 mg Sodium, 3 g Carbohydrate, 3 g Fiber, 22 g Protein.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe + 1 small sweet potato
  • Calories: 320
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 500 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 24 g

Pin now, make later!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians.

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.

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