February 12, 2024

Buffalo chicken chili

Serving a bowl of Buffalo chicken chili with blue cheese and celery leaves on top.

The flavors of chicken wings are fused into a pot chili in this spicy and hearty bowl of Buffalo chicken chili.

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Buffalo chicken chili is a delicious meal to make for a chilly fall or winter evening, or for watching a football game. It's full of flavor and a bit of heat from the hot sauce and chili powder.

Chicken wings are classic food here in Buffalo and the greater western New York region. Chicken wings have a sauce of hot sauce (most famously, Frank's hot sauce) and butter and are dipped into a chunky blue cheese dressing.

There are thousands of "Buffalo" chicken recipes out there for dip, soup, tacos, chili, and so much more. But to really be "Buffalo" chicken, the recipe needs to have hot sauce and blue cheese (not ranch).

This Buffalo chicken chili recipe is one I've been making for a decade now. It's one we all enjoy and have frequently during football season at our house. 

Pot of Buffalo chicken chili.

As written, we find this chili to come out around the medium level of heat. You can adjust the chili powder and the hot sauce to be less hot or more hot. The final product will also be impacted by the brands of chili powder and hot sauce that you use.

I recommend starting off with a bit less chili powder if you want a more mild chili and to add your hot sauce slowly, while tasting after each addition. 

This chili contains a bit of cream cheese that is stirred in at the end. This add a bit of creaminess to the chili, but it also acts like the butter in chicken wing sauce here. It tames out the acid and sharpness from the tomatoes and hot sauce a bit, and also thickens it up a little.

This chili is topped with crumbled blue cheese to really amp up the Buffalo and chicken wing flavor in the chili. Don't skip it! I also use the celery leaves as a garnish here for a bit of fresh celery flavor as celery if always served on the side of chicken wings.

Sour cream, thinly sliced green onions, tortilla chips/tortilla strips, and even a bit of extra hot sauce for those who want an extra punch of heat also work as chili toppings here. 

Bowl of Buffalo chicken chili.

This chili uses onions, celery, and carrots to mimic both the chili and chicken wing flavors. Celery is key for chicken wings and carrot are frequently served with chicken wings, too. They also add a nice touch of sweetness in this chili.

I used two kinds of beans here a red kidney bean and cannellini (white kidney) beans. You don't have to follow these beans strictly though. Any kidney beans will work, great northern beans, and even black beans will all be good here.

If you enjoy chili and the flavors of chicken wings and "Buffalo" chicken, give this fusion chili a try. It's sure to warm you up on a chilly day. 

Yield: about 6 servings
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili

The flavors of chicken wings are fused into a pot chili in this spicy and hearty bowl of Buffalo chicken chili.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped (save green leaves to chop for garnish)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 can (15-16 oz.) diced tomatoes (regular or fire roasted)
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15-16 oz.) cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 can (15-16 oz.) kidney beans, drained
  • about 3 tablespoons Frank's hot sauce*
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • crumbled blue cheese, for topping


  1. In a soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, while breaking apart, until it is no longer pink.
  2. Stir in the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables just begin to soften. Then stir in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices and the tomato sauce and let the mixture come to a low boil. Then stir in the beans and let the chili warm through. Then add the hot sauce one tablespoon at a time, stirring well and tasting until you achieve your desired heat level.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cream cheese. Let the chili simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  5. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with some crumbled blue cheese and chopped celery leaves.


*This level of chili powder and hot sauce yields a medium-spicy chili (in my opinion). My kids consider it hot. You can always start with a lower amount and then adjust those two to your liking to achieve the heat level you enjoy.You can use another hot sauce if you prefer, but Frank's is the chicken wing classic.

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I hope you give this Buffalo chicken chili a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Serving Buffalo chicken chili with tortilla chips.

This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated in 2024 with new photos, a recipe card, and more to improve reader experience.

Check out these other Buffalo recipes: 

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Dressing

Cheese Stuffed Banana Peppers

(Un)Stuffed Banana Pepper Soup


  1. I love love loooove buffalo chicken flavor in any form, so I know I'd be all over this chili. It looks and sounds so wonderful! Perfect fall food. =)

  2. We've had our first chilly, rainy day today, and now I'm totally craving a warm hearty soup. This looks great! My hubby loves buffalo stuff too.

  3. I love how thick this chili is - and blue cheese in chili - now that's a first for me! Totally intrigued by this recipe!

  4. My boys love hot wings and let me tell you they would be all over this chili. Great idea!

  5. oh wow- what a great chili recipe! i have some blue cheese in the fridge, never thought to use it in chili. i posted a recipe for chili today too. great minds... :)

  6. Just looking at the list of ingredients, I know I will love this chilli. The blue cheese topping is nice touch.

  7. Looks to me like a perfect combination of gorgeous flavors that make my mouth water!

  8. Wonderful, tasty and comforting. blessings, Catherine

  9. Yum! Amy...I love the spiciness of this chicken...delicious!
    Hope you are enjoying your week :D

  10. nuff said, damn delicious!!!


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