When soup season hits, I love to make this Buffalo Chicken Chili. It is a really fun twist on a classic cold-weather dish and quenches my craving for Hot WINGS.
I am amazed at the way this soup captures all of the flavors of eating a big plate of chicken wings doused in buffalo sauce. And topping it with blue cheese just adds to those flavors.
Most of the items needed to make this Buffalo Chicken Chili are typical of what you would use to make any chili. But in an effort to keep the color light and bright, white beans are used. And in place of dark flavorful seasonings, I use ranch seasoning and buffalo sauce.
The other important flavor that you wouldn't think makes a big difference, but it does, is the celery. It just rounds all the flavors out and keeps the feel of a plate of wings.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
To make the chili, I start by cooking the onions and celery in some oil and butter till they just start to brown a little. Then add in the garlic and let it perfume the mixture. Place the chicken in the pot and cook till it is no longer pink. I start with roughly diced chicken breast and whiz it up in my little food processor till it is like ground chicken.
When the chicken has browned, add the buffalo sauce, and cook till it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Then "deglaze" the pan with the diced tomatoes. Let them simmer and stew till almost all of their juices have evaporated.
When the tomatoes have gotten thick, add the chicken stock and ranch seasoning. Let that all simmer for a while to let all the flavors meld.
Finish the soup by adding the cream cheese and beans and as soon as it is well melted you are ready to eat. I like to serve the chili topped with some cheddar and blue cheese and a sprinkle of chives or green onions too.
Notes & Tips
I often use a can or two of beans to speed things up with this recipe. But you could make this recipe in an Instant Pot and follow the instructions till you add the water and chicken stock.
Add an extra cup of water, and replace the two cans of beans with 1 ½ cups of dry beans. Pressure cook on Manual High Pressure for 35 minutes then stir in the cream cheese till it melts and you are all set.
I like to serve this chili over my Cornbread Muffins with Blue Cheese and Chives. It really amps everything up, and you just need cornbread with your chili!
If you would like to keep this recipe dairy-free, do not use the butter, replace it with all oil. Also, replace the regular cream cheese with dairy-free or plant-based cream cheese, they work equally well in this recipe. And of course, leave the cheeses off the top for garnishing.
I start with roughly diced chicken breast and whiz it up in my little food processor till it is like ground chicken. You could also just use ground chicken if you like. I just always seem to have some chicken breasts around so I dice them and make my own.
When it comes to the buffalo sauce, you can use any heat level you like. I tend to keep things on the lower heat side. But if you like things hotter, feel free to up the heat level to your liking.