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Buffalo White Chicken Chili with Bacon

Buffalo White Chicken Chili with Bacon is loaded with veggies and the most decadent buffalo queso that is dairy-free! You'll also love the bacon on top.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 431 kcal
Author Amy Rains


  • 5 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast* (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 poblano peppers (stem removed, de-seeded, and chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • 4 oz canned diced green chilis
  • 2 + 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup raw cashews**
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Buffalo hot sauce***
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional for garnish)


  1. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven to medium high heat. Cook the bacon in the pot, 4-5 minutes per side or until desired crispiness. Remove the bacon, reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon grease in the pot. Keep the pot hot.

  2. Now add the chicken (if not using rotisserie or the oven method) to the pot. Brown the chicken on all sides (it does not have to be cooked all the way), and remove from the chicken from the pot. Keep the pot hot!

  3. Add some oil to the pot if it's dry, and toss in the onion and poblano pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Now add in the celery, carrots, paprika, cumin, and salt. Saute for another minute, then toss in 2 cups of the chicken broth and the chicken. Increase the temperature to a boil, then reduce and let simmer.

  4. Meanwhile, make the cashew queso. Be sure the cashews have soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes, drain the water from the cashews. Place the cashews in a blender or food processor with the remaining chicken broth (2/3 cup), hot sauce, and nutritional yeast. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. You may have to pause and scrape down the sides with a spatula.

  5. Pour the queso and diced green chilis into the pot with chicken and veggies. Stir until smooth, and let simmer for another 3-5 minutes before serving, stirring occasionally so that the queso doesn't stick to the hot pot.

  6. Place the chili into individual bowls and crumble bacon on top. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and any other toppings you like.

Recipe Notes

*You can use rotisserie chicken in place of the chicken breast. Alternatively, you can bake the chicken breast ahead of time and shred with a knife and fork. You will need about 4-5 cups of shredded chicken to add. Add the chicken with the queso and diced chilis if doing this step.

**The cashews need to soak for 15 minutes in hot water, or overnight in water. Drain the water when ready to blend. 

***My family is totally fine with 1/2 cup of hot sauce, and it is mildly spicy. If you are extra sensitive to spicy, only use 1/3 cup. 

Nutrition Facts
Buffalo White Chicken Chili with Bacon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 431 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 92mg31%
Sodium 968mg42%
Potassium 891mg25%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 4209IU84%
Vitamin C 37mg45%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.