Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

$12.65 recipe / $1.58 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 22 votes
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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.

Shredded buffalo chicken in a slow cooker with tongs

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.

Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs
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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

4.91 from 22 votes
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.
Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 4 hours
Total 4 hours 10 minutes


Ranch Seasoning*

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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*You can use a store-bought packet of ranch seasoning instead of the homemade mix, if needed.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 25gFat: 9gSodium: 1350mgFiber: 1g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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You might also like our Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe!

tongs holding a scoop of buffalo chicken over the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken – Step by Step Photos

ranch seasoning being poured into a bowl of hot sauce

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.

Chicken and butter in the slow cooker

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.

Hot sauce mixture being poured over the chicken in the slow cooker

Pour the hot sauce mixture over the chicken and butter in the slow cooker.

Cooked buffalo chicken in the slow cooker

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the chicken on low heat for four hours.

two forks shredding the chicken in the slow cooker

After four hours the chicken should be tender and easily shreddable using two forks (if it’s not, let it cook another 30 minutes).

shredded chicken in buffalo sauce in the slow cooker

Fully shred the chicken, then enjoy!

A buffalo chicken sandwich with coleslaw
Shown on a bun with Creamy Coleslaw.

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  1. Hi Im currently staying at a hotel (in the middle of a move rn!) I dont have my car atm bc it’s in the shop so I cant leave my house to buy the ingredients for the ranch. do you think if you leave out the ranch seasoning it will still taste good? or should I just use all the ingredients I have even tho im missing some. I dont have the dill weed or the buttermilk powder.

    1. Just be aware that you’re eliminating two of the most important elements of ranch! But if you’re okay with that, the recipe will definitely still work! It’ll be just a slightly different flavor, but still good I think. :)

  2. My wife and friends enjoyed it a star more than I did. They loved it! I used the instructions for chicken dip by adding a block of cream cheese. It’s as good as any chicken dip that I’ve ever had. I’ll lean on this for most NFL game days : )

  3. Super easy, super delicious. I used the shortcut of using ranch powder instead of mixing it from scratch and it is incredible. My one issue is that I live alone and quickly got tired of making buffalo chicken sandwiches. So what I did was I tossed together the remaining few cups of chicken and a jar of tomato sauce and made buffalo chicken spaghetti and I now have a new favorite pasta dish.

  4. This recipe is phenomenal, and so easy! I used a ranch packet since I didn’t have all the seasonings. I also used a bottle of buffalo sauce by mistake because I misread the directions, and it still tasted great!

  5. I cheated and used a ranch packet and it was still absolutely delicious, and I had leftovers for lunches!

  6. I want to make this Beth an anyone on your team that can offer up an answer as too what if I don’t have access to butter milk powder. What’s a good substitute? Thanks you guys rock. 

  7. I made this with Aldi hot sauce. The chicken was done after 4 hours but a little tough to shred (not fall-apart tender), but the BF and I loved!

    1. I wouldn’t change the cooking time or anything, but the end result will be a different texture.