This Buffalo Chicken Chili is a spicy chicken chili with black beans, ground chicken, and your favorite hot sauce. The best part? This hearty, flavorful one pot meal is ready in under an hour!

Buffalo Chicken Chili in small bowls with spoon

Here we are, the last week of January.

Did you make any New Year resolutions? Or rather, did you break any of them yet?

Mine are pretty boring. There’s the usual eat healthier and exercise more.

I’ve been buying more bananas lately so I can make my banana mango smoothies and clementines for snacking.

I can’t go on a full sugar detox since making desserts is part of my job, so I have to balance it out with green onion salad.

For exercise, I haven’t been walking as much since it gets dark so early, but that’ll ramp back up once the sun sets at a more normal time.

Then of course another resolution is the dreaded menu planning.

Some weeks I really hit it out of the park and plan out the entire week effortlessly with my balsamic chicken with tomatoes.

Other weeks I’m struggling to figure out dinner at 4 PM when it’s time to prep and cook.

When you think of quick meals, chili may not be the first dish to come to mind as most recipes take a few hours to simmer.

However, I tend to be impatient so I made a quicker version with this Buffalo Chicken Chili recipe made on the stovetop. No need for a slow cooker!

I’ve had the idea to make this spicy chicken chili for a few years now but have never gotten around to it. Every time I put it on the list, it was soon replaced by another dinner recipe.

Finally I said January will be it – the month of buffalo chicken chili.

January felt like the ideal month to make it. One – it’s cold and dreary outside (or relatively warm and dreary, depending on Mother Nature’s mood).

And two – the Super Bowl is one month away so instead of making traditional baked buffalo wings, you can totally serve up buffalo chicken chili as Super Bowl food for two.

Buffalo Chicken Chili in large pot

Ingredients For Buffalo Chicken Chili

To make your buffalo chicken chili (stovetop version), gather the following ingredients:

  • Olive oil: Used for cooking the chicken
  • Ground chicken: When I think of chili, I usually think of ground beef so I swapped ground chicken. You can also use leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken.
  • Onion, garlic, and carrot: Used to flavor the chili base
  • Chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt: Gives more depth of flavor to the chili
  • Chicken broth: Helps build the chili sauce so the chicken isn’t dry
  • Canned tomato sauce: This is plain tomato puree in a can. This is not the same as flavored spaghetti sauce.
  • Canned tomatoes: My store sells petite diced tomatoes which is my go-to for the size, but you can use regular diced tomatoes as well.
  • Black beans: I use canned so the beans were ready to go, but you can also make your own from dried beans if you don’t want leftover canned beans.
  • Hot sauce: Use your favorite brand and adjust according to taste.
  • Ranch dressing: It’s not buffalo chicken without ranch!
  • Shredded cheese: Chili and cheese go together
  • Green onion: For garnish

Do you add beans to chili?

Chili – to add or not to add beans?

I asked this question to a group of friends, and it was pretty split.

Half said they added beans while the other half were pretty adamant about no beans.

It boils down to whether you’re from the North or South.

Since I’m from PA, I’ve always had chili with beans, so I added black beans. Otherwise it’d just be ground chicken with sauce, which sounds a lot like homemade sloppy joes to me.

Since you’d be the one making and eating this buffalo chicken chili recipe, I’ll let you be the judge of adding beans.

Recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili in small bowl

How To Make Buffalo Chicken Chili

Making this recipe for buffalo chicken chili is super easy! Here’s how:

  1. Cook chicken, onion, and carrot in a large Dutch oven until chicken is brown and no longer pink. Add the garlic and spices then cook another minute.
  2. Stir in broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and beans then bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer until the chili starts to thicken.
  4. Add hot sauce, ranch, and cheese then cook until cheese melts. Taste and adjust for spice.

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

What To Do With Leftover Black Beans

Since you’ll have extra canned black beans, check out my vegetarian stuffed peppers and slow cooker beef enchiladas for two!

Buffalo Chicken Chili FAQ

Can you freeze buffalo chicken chili?

Yes, chicken chili with black beans freezes well! Cool completely then freeze in a freeze-safe container for up to 3 months.

Can you double this recipe?

Yes, you can double this chili recipe especially if you’re serving it for a tailgating party.

What sides pair well with buffalo chicken chili?

Serve it with cornbread, tortilla chips, or a side salad.

More Buffalo Chicken Recipes

Can’t get enough spicy chicken? Check out these other buffalo chicken recipes:

Buffalo Chicken Chili in small bowls with spoon

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Buffalo Chicken Chili is a spicy chicken chili with black beans, ground chicken, and your favorite hot sauce. The best part? This hearty, flavorful one pot meal is ready in under an hour!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup canned tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)
  • 1 cup canned petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons hot sauce, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 green onion, sliced


  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the chicken, onion, and carrot. Cook until chicken is brown, about 5-8 minutes. Drain any grease, if necessary.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt then cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the broth, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot then stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until it starts to thicken.
  4. Stir in the hot sauce, ranch, and cheese until cheese has melted. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Right before serving, garnish each bowl with green onion.


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First published January 7, 2016