Instant Pot Chicken Chili (with a Buffalo Kick!)

bowl of chicken chili topped with cornbread and sour cream

Looking for a creative spin on traditional chili? This Instant Pot buffalo chicken chili recipe has you covered! If you love hearty recipes like buffalo chicken dip and tortilla soup, you’ll love this too. With tons of veggies, protein, and a gentle kiss of spice, it’s the perfect bowl of satisfying goodness for game day (or really, any day).

two bowls of chili served with cornbread and sour cream

Why I Love This Recipe

Chili is the perfect food for game day – just toss everything in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and you have a satisfying meal ready with minimal effort. This Instant Pot chicken chili is especially great because it’s reminiscent of other go-to tailgating and super bowl recipes like buffalo wings and buffalo chicken dip – YUM.

Rest assured, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser. It’s just a tiny bit spicy (not at all overwhelming) and you can easily up the spice level for the more adventurous eaters at your table with a dash of buffalo sauce.

bowl of chicken chili with spoon and white napkin

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Chili

Sauté

Start by selecting the ‘sauté mode on your Instant Pot. Then, add the olive oil, spices, onion, celery, and carrots and sauté until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Press ‘cancel.’

Pressure Cook

Next, add the rest of the ingredients (except cornstarch) to the Instant Pot and select ‘Manual,’ ‘high pressure,’ and 12 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure and start the timer. Be patient! After the timer goes off, let the Instant Pot “natural release” (i.e. leave it alone) for 10 minutes. Release the pressure valve by switching it to ‘venting.’

Shred Chicken and Serve

Remove the chicken breasts and shred them with forks or a hand mixer. Add the shredded chicken back to the Instant Pot, then press ‘cancel.’

Select ‘sauté mode one more time. In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by combining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and mixing until no lumps remain. Add the cornstarch slurry to the Instant Pot, give it a stir, and let everything simmer for about 3 minutes. This step makes the chili a bit thicker.

Finally, serve your Instant Pot chicken chili warm with your favorite chili toppings! I’d suggest crumbled cornbread, sour cream, and green onions – so good!

instant pot chicken chili process steps

Recipe Modifications

  • Vegan or vegetarian – Omit the chicken or substitute in shredded jackfruit and swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Make sure you choose a vegan buffalo sauce (some contain butter) and choose toppings like vegan cornbread, vegan sour cream, and green onions.
  • Gluten-free – This recipe is gluten-free as written, but be mindful of toppings! If you’re serving this with cornbread, opt for a gluten-free one.
  • Dairy-free – This recipe is dairy-free as written, but be mindful of toppings! If using sour cream, opt for a non-dairy one.
  • Low-sodium – If you’re watching your salt intake, opt for reduced sodium canned goods (white beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth).
  • Make it spicy – To really up the spice level, double the cayenne pepper and buffalo sauce.
  • Go milder – If you prefer mild chili, you can omit the cayenne pepper and choose a mild buffalo sauce.
  • For creamy chili – To make this more similar to buffalo chicken dip, add 4 oz of cream cheese during step 4 (after cooking)
  • Use a crockpot or slow-cooker – Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  • Make this on the stovetop – After sautéing, simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
topping bowl of chicken chili with cornbread crumbles
bowl of chicken chili topped with cornbread and sour cream
Print Recipe
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Instant Pot Chicken Chili

If you love hearty game day recipes like buffalo chicken dip, you'll dig this super easy buffalo chicken chili.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: comfort food, fall, tailgate, winter
Servings: 6
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Chelsea Jackle, RDN

Equipment

  • pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • tsp cayenne peper
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • tsp allspice
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup carrot diced
  • ¼ cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth low sodium
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 30 oz canned cannellini beans drained and rinsed (1 can = 15 oz)
  • 2 lbs chicken breast fresh or frozen
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) to 'sauté' mode (medium heat). Add olive oil, spices, onion, celery, and carrots and saute until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Press 'cancel.'
  • Add the remaining ingredients (except cornstarch) to the Instant Pot and set to 'Manual,' 'high pressure' for 12 minutes. After the timer goes off, natural release (i.e. leave the Instant Pot alone) for 10 minutes. Release the pressure valve by switching it to 'venting.'
  • Remove the chicken breasts and shred with forks or a hand mixer. Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot. Press 'cancel.'
  • Set the Instant pot to 'saute' mode (low heat). In a small bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix until no lumps remain. Add the cornstarch slurry to the Instant Pot, stir, and let simmer for about 3 minutes to thicken.
  • Serve with your favorite chili toppings! (I'd suggest crumbled cornbread, sour cream, and green onions.)

Notes

  • Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
  • Nutrition facts are for the chili only, no toppings added.
  • Topping ideas: crumbled cornbread, sour cream, green onions (pictured), avocado, bleu cheese crumbles, tortilla strips, extra buffalo sauce)

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 794mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Here you go!

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