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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken (or Instant Pot)


Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is an easy crockpot recipe and a perfect make-ahead meal for busy weeknights. You can make it hearty by serving the shredded buffalo chicken stuffed in a baked sweet potato or regular potato or keep it light and serve it on top of a bed of greens or tucked in a lettuce wrap. Either way is absolutely delicious. This recipe is healthy, wholesome and whole30-friendly!

Let the slow cooker (or instant pot) do the work!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is a recipe you’ll want to add to your weeknight dinner menu. The mix of heat from the Buffalo sauce with the coolness from the ranch creates a combination that can’t be beat. It gets better because this crockpot buffalo chicken recipe uses simple and clean ingredients and it’s quick to prepare. It takes just 15 minutes of your time to make the homemade buffalo sauce, throw the ingredients in a slow cooker and whip up the homemade ranch. If you opt to use a pre-made buffalo sauce and ranch dressing which is most definitely an option, then it will take just 5 minutes! It really can’t get easier.

Overhead view of Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes

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Ingredients you’ll need for this Whole30 Buffalo Chicken

  • Chicken breast or thighs –  recommend 1 lb. of each
  • Hot pepper sauce – (such as Whole30 compatible Frank’s Red Hot or Sriracha-not Whole30 compatible)
  • Ghee, coconut oil or butter (butter, not Whole30 compatible)
  • Coconut aminos
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne – (optional – adds more heat)
  • Baked sweet potatoes – (about 7 oz. each uncooked)
  • Ranch dressing – Homemade or store-bought

Looking for ease and convenience? This recipe also works great with Tessemae’s Buffalo Sauce or The New Primal Buffalo Sauce both of which are Whole30 Approved.

How to make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

  • Place chicken in a slow cooker set on low.
  • In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, combine the hot sauce, ghee, coconut aminos, garlic powder and optional cayenne. Stir together and heat until ghee is melted.
  • Pour sauce into the slow cooker.
  • Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until chicken is tender.
  • Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and toss with sauce.
  • Turn slow cooker to warm (or remain on low) until ready to serve.
  • Serve chicken in baked sweet potatoes and drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch, if desired.

close up view of Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes

Can Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken be made in the Instant Pot?

Sure can! To make Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken, simply follow the instructions as written through steps 3. Set the Instant Pot for 15 minutes on high pressure. When the time is up, naturally release for 10 minutes before unlocking lid and shredding.

How to serve the Shredded Buffalo Chicken

We like to serve Shredded Buffalo Chicken stuffed in a sweet potato and drizzled with ranch with a side of roasted broccoli. It makes for one satisfying, mouth-watering meal. It can also be served in a regular baked potato or if you’d like something a little lighter, we recommend serving it in a lettuce leaf or on a bed of greens and of course with a drizzle of ranch.

Looking for guidance with meal planning? Check out Real Plans, a highly customizable online meal planning service that includes over 300 of our very own recipes.

How to Freeze Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

This is a great recipe to double and freeze half for a future meal. We’re all about tucking food away in the freezer. It’s a strategy we use to set yourself up for dinner success during a busy weeknight in the future. Simply allow the shredded buffalo chicken cool and then transfer it to a glass airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also portion the Whole30 buffalo chicken out into individual servings so that you can pull out exactly the amount you need when it time to serve.

How to reheat Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken from frozen

Set the container in warm water until it thaws just enough to remove it. Transfer the shredded buffalo chicken block to a pan and heat it over medium heat breaking it apart as it thaws. It’s ready to serve when it’s hot. You can also reheat the buffalo chicken in a slow cooker or instant pot.

To reheat in the instant pot, use the sauté setting and break the chicken apart as it thaws for about 5 minutes. Then place the lid on the Instant Pot and switch the valve to sealing. Select the steam function and set the time for 5 minutes. Once the time is up, release the pressure and check to see if it’s heated through. If not you can either add more time or use the sauté function again to finish heating through.

Overhead view of Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes on a white plate with brocolli

Other healthy buffalo chicken recipes to try

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

A hearty and healthy, whole30-friendly, slow cooker buffalo chicken that’s shredded and stuffed inside of a perfectly baked or grill sweet potato. A recipe for all you buffalo chicken fans.

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Paleo, Dairy-Free
SLOW COOKER BUFFALO CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast or thighs (recommend 1 lb. of each)
  • 1 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Whole30 compatible Frank’s Red Hot or Sriracha-not Whole30 compatible)
  • 1/3 cup ghee, coconut oil or butter (butter, not Whole30 compatible
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional – adds more heat)
  • 8 small baked sweet potatoes (about 7 oz. each uncooked)
  • Ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought)

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker set on low.
  2. In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, combine the hot sauce, ghee, coconut aminos, garlic powder and optional cayenne. Stir together and heat until ghee is melted.
  3. Pour sauce into the slow cooker.
  4. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until chicken is tender.
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and toss with sauce.
  6. Turn slow cooker to warm (or remain on low) until ready to serve.
  7. Serve chicken in baked sweet potatoes and drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch, if desired.

Instant pot directions:

  1. Follow the instructions as written instead in a slow cooker through steps 3.
  2. Set the Instant Pot for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  3. When time is up, naturally release for 10 minutes before unlocking lid and shredding.

Notes

Buffalo Chicken only (no sweet potato or ranch dressing): 221 Calories, 13 g Fat, 435 mg Sodium, 3 g Carbohydrate, 3 g Fiber, 22 g Protein.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe + 1 small sweet potato
  • Calories: 320
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 500 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 24 g

Pin now, make later!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians.

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About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.





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