This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken recipe was one of the top things I was looking forward to making once I figured out the formula for my Homemade Ranch Seasoning. The slow-cooked chicken is tender, spicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time and there are a hundred different ways you can use it! Sandwiches, dips, salads, pizza, and more. I’ve got a full list of how to use this insanely easy and delish shredded buffalo chicken below, so don’t miss it! I’m sure this is something you’ll want to make over and over again throughout football season and the holidays.
What is Buffalo Sauce?
If you’re unfamiliar with this American classic, Buffalo Sauce is basically a combination of hot sauce (traditionally Frank’s Red Hot Sauce) and butter, which creates a super tangy, spicy, and slightly rich sauce that is used to coat fried chicken, among other things. For this slow cooker buffalo chicken, we’ve gone one step further and added ranch seasoning mix, which is a super tasty combination of buttermilk powder, herbs, and spices. The ranch seasoning adds a huge burst of flavor to the sauce and makes it even a little bit more creamy. It’s just to die for!
What Kind of Hot Sauce to Use
As mentioned above, buffalo sauce is usually made with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, but you can use any similar vinegar-based cayenne flavored hot sauce for this recipe. I used the ALDI version of Frank’s and it was great!
Can I Substitute the Ranch Mix?
The ranch seasoning mix really brings a lot of flavor to this sauce, so I would avoid skipping it if possible. If you don’t have the ingredients to make your own ranch seasoning mix you can definitely use one packet of store-bought ranch seasoning in place of the ingredients listed below. Or, if you want to use your own herbs and spices but just don’t have the buttermilk powder, that will still taste really good, just slightly less rich.
How to Use Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
Okay, here’s the fun part. How do you use this delicious shredded buffalo chicken? SO MANY WAYS. Here are some ideas:
- As a buffalo chicken sandwich or wrap: bun or tortilla, coleslaw, pickles, ranch dressing
- On nachos: on tortilla chips with lettuce, shredded carrot, and a drizzle of ranch dressing
- Make a buffalo chicken dip: stir cream cheese into the shredded chicken until melted for a super creamy dip
- In a quesadilla: fill a tortilla with the chicken and shredded Monterey jack cheese, then toast in a skillet
- On a salad: pile the chicken onto crisp iceberg, top with chopped celery, shredded carrots, and blue cheese dressing
- Pizza: add it to a pizza with a white sauce and top with a little mozzarella and maybe a drizzle of ranch after baking
My mouth is totally watering just typing all of that out! This stuff is seriously so good.
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
- 12 oz. hot sauce ($2.19)
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts ($9.53)
- 4 Tbsp butter ($0.40)
- Combine the ranch seasoning (buttermilk powder, parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper) and hot sauce in a bowl.
- Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Cut the butter into chunks and place the butter on top of the chicken. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the chicken and butter.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for four hours. After four hours, use two forks to shred the chicken (if it's not tender enough to shred yet, let it cook a little longer).
- Serve the shredded chicken and sauce on sandwiches, in quesadillas, on top of nachos or salads, or as a dip for crackers and chips.
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How to Make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken – Step by Step Photos
Combine the ingredients for the ranch seasoning (2 Tbsp buttermilk powder, ½ tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp dried dill, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp lemon pepper, ⅛ tsp sugar, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper) with one 12 oz. bottle of vinegar-based hot sauce.
Place about 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast in the bottom of a slow cooker. Cut 4 Tbsp butter into chunks and place them on top of the chicken.
Pour the hot sauce mixture over the chicken and butter in the slow cooker.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the chicken on low heat for four hours.
After four hours the chicken should be tender and easily shreddable using two forks (if it’s not, let it cook another 30 minutes).
Fully shred the chicken, then enjoy!