This simple Buffalo Chicken Chowder is a set it and forget it meal the whole family will love! Packed with veggies, protein, and flavor, this easy soup is bound to be a new favorite for busy weeknights! Dairy-free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant.
Let’s bust out everyone’s favorite kitchen appliance: the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker! You all know that I live by this during my busy seasons (which is basically year round!). Whether it be a soup or stew, a Sunday Pot Roast, or some of my favorite healthy Asian dishes, I find myself reaching for my Instant Pot constantly!
As a nutritionist, my favorite kind of meals to make in the Instant Pot are soups. I love the way soups pack in nutrition! Hearty vegetables, protein, and fresh herbs are centered around a warming broth that provides a nutrient dense meal. This not only is good for the body and gut, but also so good to keep us warm and full during cooler months!
Reasons you will love this Buffalo Chicken Soup!
- Buffalo sauce is my favorite kind of condiment: spicy and tangy! If you love the flavor of chicken wings, but don’t love chicken wings, this soup is exactly what you’ll want.
- Loaded with veggies! Celery, potatoes, carrots, and fresh cilantro. Flavors, texture, and fiber all loaded in one!
- The leftovers are fantastic! Perfect for meal prep. Make a batch on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week.
- Hit the easy button with less than 10 minutes of prep time. Only 30 minutes of total time for the Instant Pot, or use the slow cooker so that you can let this soup cook while you are gone during the day!
How to make Buffalo Chicken Chowder:
This recipe comes together with just a few easy steps and a handful of healthy ingredients:
- chicken breast or thighs
- chicken broth
- buffalo wing sauce
- full fat coconut milk for creaminess
- fresh cilantro for garnish!
Simply chop up the veggies to prepare. If using the Instant Pot, saute the onion beforehand. Then toss in the celery, carrots, potatoes, chicken, and wing sauce. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, then use a quick release. Shred the chicken with a fork. Pour in the coconut milk to get the creamy texture.
For the slow cooker, dump all ingredients (minus the coconut milk). Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Shred the chicken with a fork and pour in the coconut milk to serve.
Why Coconut milk?
I use coconut milk as the “cream” base to make it a chowder, but if not following a strict dairy-free diet, half and half can also be used. I promise that between the buffalo sauce and vegetable flavors, there is…..Wait for it……
NO COCONUT TASTE!!
Tips and Adaptations:
- Chicken thighs or chicken breast: chicken thighs will pull apart and shred easier. I prefer breast, but this is just a personal preference! You can also do boneless, skinless, thighs.
- Buffalo Sauce: I use 3/4 cup of buffalo sauce. For many, this may be too spicy. You can always start with 1/2 cup and adjust as needed.
- Potatoes: Potatoes provide a hearty starch to this soup. You can omit completely if following a low carb or keto diet, or substitute with cauliflower florets or rice.
This would make the perfect soup for a healthy super bowl meal, or even for a tailgate. And as I mentioned above, this one is kind of a no-brainer for me for an an easy weeknight dish. Serve with my Easy House Salad as a side dish!
Enjoy, my friends!
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Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Less than 10 minutes of prep time is all you need to get this Buffalo Chicken Chowder on the dinner table! Set it and forget it with the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker.
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast
- 1 white or yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1.5 cups diced potatoes*
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup buffalo hot sauce I use Frank’s
- 2/3 cup full fat canned coconut milk or half and half
- 1/4 cup cilantro for garnish optional
For the Slow Cooker:
Place chicken breast at the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, chicken broth, and buffalo sauce.
Cook on low for 4 hours (up to 6 hours, may depend on potatoes for slow cooker).
Remove lid and stir in coconut milk (or half and half). Serve with cilantro for garnish.
For the Instant Pot:
Set your instant Pot to saute. Add a bit of oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Now add in onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Select cancel.
Place chicken, celery, carrots, potatoes, chicken broth, and buffalo sauce on top of the chicken. Now add chicken broth. Secure the lid.
Select the manual function on your IP, and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Use a quick release (place a kitchen towel over the valve to prevent a mess). Once steam is completely released, remove lid.
Add coconut milk or half and half. Top with fresh cilantro and serve!
*I use Yukon gold potatoes cut into small pieces (less than half inch). You can also use russet potatoes
Kristin C says
This sounds yum. Do you put in diced chicken or shred it after cooking?
Shred after cooking!!
I’m confused as to the method of releasing. Is it a quick pressure release or a natural pressure release?
Sorry for the confusion, I just re-worded the recipe. It is a quick release. However, I make this recipe all the time and will use a natural release if I’m not pressed for time. I think it makes the chicken a bit easier to shred. So either one works!
Can I use frozen chicken breast? If so, do I need to adjust cooking time?
Yes, I am thinking it would work but probably make the chicken a little more tough. I would increase time to 15 minutes.
I am following a keto/Atkins induction diet but also need to be dairy free for allergy reasons so is pretty much perfect for me. I cannot have potatoes as they are high GI root veggies. Do you suggest a sub for them or just omit totally. I have an instant pot and love buffalo anything so cannot wait to make this especially because of this artic winter we are having so far!
Hi Barbara! Thanks for stopping by. You should use cauliflower florets or riced cauliflower in place of potatoes. It will taste delicious!
Marsha Arango says
This was my first instant pot recipes and we loved it! We substituted yucca for the potatoes. I will definitely make this again.
So happy to hear that, Marsha! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I just put this recipe in my instant pot 5 minutes ago. I’ll let you know how it turned out. I am using heavy cream though. None of that watery coconut o,ilk or half and half. full fat or nothing 🙂 lol
Amanda Lembesis says
You left 3 stars without having tried it? The cook of this recipe would probably appreciate you waiting to review the recipe until after you’ve tried it. Im not trying to be rude but I feel that its not a fair review.
Eric Esbrook says
Hello, I made the buffalo chicken chowder and it was delicious, thank you! One question, how do you add the chicken breast? Chopped into cubes and raw? Do you leave them raw whole and tear apart after intstant pot is done cooking? Thanks in advance!
Eric Esbrook says
Please ignore and apologies for the redundancy. I saw the in a previous comment that you cook raw whole and then tear apart.
Do you use Franks Hot sauce or Franks buffalo hot sauce?
I use Frank’s Original Hot Sauce.
Can you cook it for longer than 6 hours? I wanted to throw this in the crock pot but I likely will be gone for about 12 hours.
Yes, the potatoes might get too soft. I would cut them into larger chunks.
Do you shred the chicken before you put the coconut milk in or will it fall apart on its own?
I usually have to shred, sometimes it falls apart on it’s own. It depends really, I find that it’s more likely to fall apart in the slow cooker than the Instant Pot.
Heather Eberly says
Hi, should the chicken already be cooked?
Oops…. What if I read the instructions too fast and added the cocounut milk along with everything else…. Will something taste off?
Nope, should be fine!
Not sure if this is because I made this in a crock pot, but the vegetables were not cooked after 4 hours on low as the recipe says to do. It was very thin soup also with the full fat coconut milk. It came out more of an off colored broth than a thick, bright orange chowder as shown in this picture. I ended up adding some heavy cream to try to make it more chowder like. The flavor of the soup itself was good, but the crock pot time definitely needs more, and it needs either more coconut milk or to just omit coconut milk as an option.
Super easy and really good 🙂
Made this last night and it was delicious. I added some minced garlic in with the onions to sauté – also pretty much pulverized the celery and carrot in the food processor so it kind of disappeared into the soup. Also added a can of pumpkin – adds nice thickness and perhaps cuts the spice a little (though I upped the hot sauce so it was still pretty spicy!) my boyfriend who doesn’t love buffalo sauce (which I learned after making it) really enjoyed it!
So glad you loved it!
Kristin B says
I am trying this recipe today. I happen to have one sweet potato and one russet. Will the sweet potato be ok in this? Should I use the slow cooker method since the sweet potato tends to take longer to cook?
You can use either one, I would just maybe add a few more minutes to the Instant Pot if using.
Can you use fat free milk or will it be too thin?
No, don’t use fat free milk. If you are fine with dairy, use half and half.
Barb M. says
This is a delicious soup. I may cut the chicken to 1 lb. next time and increase the vegies. Absolutely a keeper.
Hi! This looks so delish. I’m making it tonight, but I am a very novice cook and had a question: should the chicken be cut at all or put in as full chicken breasts? I didn’t see instruction to cut so just put them in whole but have a feeling that was wrong… thank you!
Keep it whole, and then cut it or shred the chicken after it’s cooked!
Jason D Stout says
Made this last night. With a few changes amazing ! Did 1 full cup of hot sauce. 1 jalapeño , and used Mayocoba beans instead of potatoes , super spicy and wonderful. Was sweating the whole time. Wife and daughter loved it too.
This was a hit with the entire family! Even my girl who doesn’t like spicy food liked it. I took your advice and dialed down the sauce to 1/2 cup and it was bearable and enjoyable for her, while still having enough flavor for the rest of us.
I served it with a spinach salad with bleu cheese dressing to round out the whole buffalo chicken flavor.
Thank you! I will be following you and trying more of your recipes!
Can you double this recipe in the instant pot or crock pot? Any adjustments to time?
Yes!! You could even cut the broth by a cup and it should be great. You will need an extra 5 minutes on the IP, but slow cooker will be fine.
Amber Funsten says
Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
Lucretia Sanders says
Hi ! I made this last night and was hoping you had any idea as far as calorie intake for one serving? This soup is also amazing ????
Hi! Can I make this with cooked chicken? How would I change the receipt?
Yes, you can definitely use cooked chicken. I would make on the stovetop instead, as you won’t need to cook as long to get the chicken cooked.
Jo Anne Seccurra says
I had a hankering for buffalo chicken wings but wanted something healthier. Alas, I found your recipe. I made it and it was delicious and satisfied my craving. I am tracking my food calories. Any idea how many calories are in the chowder? Thank you for an easy and wholesome recipe!
Hi Jo Anne, the nutrition facts are in the note section of the recipe!
Hi. Do you use Frank’s hot sauce or Frank’s Buffalo sauce? Excited to try this!
Amy Rains says
I use Frank’s Red Hot Original
This was delicious! I cooked it on the stove in my Dutch oven instead of slow cooker.
Amy Rains says
So happy to hear the stovetop worked for you, Jill!
This was amazing! My first round of Whole 30 and I’m scared of all of the rules but this was simple and delicious!
Amy Rains says
So glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer!
Loved this recipe and it was so easy! I used a small can of coconut cream vs. coconut milk/half and half (because that’s what I had), and it turned out great. I forgot carrots at the market, but i could have added peas, or something similar if I had thought of it at the time. Will be making this again!
Jerry Lynch says
There is 1800 mg of sodium in this recipe probably from the chicken broth. Have you ever used salt free or low sodium chicken broth? If so how does this affect the taste?
I love buffalo chicken and cauliflower so I made this recipe and it’s delicious! Next time I would use a low sodium broth as the sodium content is very high on this recipe. I found the prep time to be about 20 minutes, not 5 (but I’m not the fastest veggie chopper). I had 1.75 lbs. of chicken and cooked it for 20 minutes in my instant pot and the chicken was perfect. I used cauliflower instead of potatoes and added blue cheese crumbles along with the cilantro. This would make an excellent vegetarian chowder if the chicken was omitted and the cauliflower was the main veggie. It would also be good with sweet potatoes.
We have made this soup over 10 times and I love it! It’s my favorite!
I have a question about the serving size though. It says it serves 6 but if that’s the case the serving size must be huge! Which is fine more bang for your buck but I was just wondering if this was a mistake?
Forgot to rate. If I could give is 100 stars I would!
I’ve made this a few times now, so I figured I should leave you a comment to help your blog. 🙂 It’s so simple and tasty (10/10 recommend Primal Kitchen Buffalo sauce if you can get your hands on it), and quick even with frozen chicken. I also like that I can normally squeeze in some extra veggies. Currently sick and enjoying a hot mug of this with lots of cilantro. Thank you!
Amy Rains says
Love to hear this, it’s one of my favorites, too!