Today I am sharing one of my family’s favorite recipes – Buffalo Chicken Chili! I make this recipe in the winter, of course, but I also make it in the spring, fall and even summer – because, well, buffalo chicken! I mean who doesn’t love buffalo chicken?
There are so many things to love about this recipe. First, the flavors! Ground chicken, buffalo sauce and hearty beans make the most amazing combination. Then, the simplicity. This is another crock pot recipe. And you all know how much I love my crock pot! If I had to pick one kitchen tool that keeps my family eating well it would definitely be my crock pot. Now, please don’t ask me to give up my mixer, blender or food processor anytime soon; but, with all of our after school activities it’s almost impossible for me to prepare dinner during weeknight evenings, so crock pot meals are a must to get healthy, hot meals on the table quickly. And when they taste this good, everyone looks forward to crock pot night.
And, lastly, this dinner is healthy. Okay – healthier. It gives you all the flavors of wings or buffalo chicken dip, without any of the fake, mystery ingredients, industrial seed oils or high fat add-ins. Well, except the cheese, but you can use that sparingly. Or not.
I start by browning 2 pounds of ground chicken and one medium chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until lightly browned. Then I drain well and transfer to the crock of a large crock pot. To the crock, I add 1 28-ounce can of organic diced tomatoes, 4 cans of drained beans (I used two cans of navy beans and 2 cans of pinto beans), cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, homemade buffalo sauce (see recipe below) and Greek yogurt cream cheese. Then I set the crock pot on low and allow it to cook for 4-8 hours. I like to start with 1/4 cup buffalo sauce and add additional sauce to individual servings because my family has varying degrees of heat tolerance. But if your family loves all things hot and spicy, then by all means, go ahead and use the full 1/2 cup.
By the way, the recipe I’ve included for buffalo sauce makes way more than 1/2 cup, so you can go ahead and store the leftovers in your fridge for the next time you want some wings. The ingredients will probably separate, so just heat it up in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, shake and pour. It will last for about a month in the fridge. And you’ll never have to buy wing sauce again.
When the chili is finished I garnish it with some blue cheese, because there is no better combination than buffalo chicken and blue cheese. But you can definitely substitute cheddar cheese if you aren’t a fan of blue cheese. That’s what my kids do. I usually serve it with a loaf of crusty bread and a simple salad of greens, carrots and celery.