Yummy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Recipe

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This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is super tasty, and has is perfect for the spice lovers in your home. Use it in buffalo chicken sliders or throw it on some greens for a tasty salad.

You can make shredded buffalo chicken in your crockpot (or Instant Pot with a slow-cook option) for tonight, OR you can prep it all ahead of time and stick it in your freezer for a make-ahead freezer meal.

You’ll find the steps for both options below.

pulled buffalo chicken on greens

Tools in making Buffalo Chicken Slow Cooker

  • Slow Cooker – The slow cooker (aka crock pot) is a big time saver. Likley you’ve already got one (or more than one). If you have an Instant Pot with a slow cook option, that works great too.
  • Two Forks – Use these to shred the chicken when it’s cooked (this is what makes it “pulled”).
  • Large Plate – For serving (optional) – Use your favorite plate to serve your pulled buffalo chicken.

Ingredients in making buffalo chicken crock pot

  • Chicken Thighs – Used because it is fattier cut of meat, which means they’re going to have a more intense, rich flavor than their white meat counterparts.
  • Vinegar (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar) – This creates that tangy sour taste that’s perfect for this buffalo chicken crock pot.
  • Yellow Onion – Creates a nice balance of astringency and sweetness in their flavor, becoming sweeter the longer they cook
  • Ghee, Butter, or Coconut Oil – Balances the spice and acidic tangy sauce.
  • Salt – To taste.
  • Cayenne –  Adds a moderately spicy flavor that’s surprisingly nutritious.
  • Garlic Cloves – Adds additional garlicky flavor.

How to make this Crock Pot Pulled Buffalo Chicken (2 Ways)

Option 1: Easy weeknight crockpot meal…

To enjoy this meal tonight, here’s what you need to do:

  • Put the chicken in the crockpot
  • Chop the onion and add it too
  • Add the ghee/butter/coconut oil, salt, vinegar, cayenne, and garlic to the crockpot

Cook on low in the crock pot for 6 hours and then when it’s cooked, use your two forks to “pull” the chicken apart.

Option 2: Make ahead freezer meal

If you don’t know, a make-ahead freezer meal is one where you prep the work ahead of time, freeze it in a bag for later, and then thaw and cook later (a few days…a few weeks…or a few months later.

To make this recipe ahead of time, you’ll just need a few freezer meal tools. The main thing you’re going to need to make this ahead of time is something to store your uncooked meal in. I use these compostable freezer bags because I don’t love the idea of using single-use plastic bags.


  • Prep your ingredients
  • Put them in your (labeled) freezer bag
  • Freeze for later

To make pulled buffalo chicken in the crockpot (for later), just prep all the ingredients and instead of putting them in the crockpot bowl, put them in a freezer bag instead, and freeze it.

The night before you want to make it, set the bag in the fridge to defrost overnight.


Once you’re ready to cook it, you just need your crockpot (or instant pot with slow-cook setting). Dump all the thawed ingredients inside and cook!

  • Thaw in the fridge overnight, or soak it in cold water the morning you’re ready to cook it. 
  • Cook on low in a crockpot for 5-6 hours. 
  • Pull the big chicken pieces apart using two forks.
  • Serve with lime wedges, cilantro, rolls, wraps, or rice (or as a salad).

To cook the meal, just set the bag in the fridge the night before you’re ready for it.

FAQ & Recipe Tips

What goes well with buffalo chicken?

I like using this buffalo chicken on a salad, or sandwiched between two buns.

Can I put frozen chicken in the crock pot?

I don’t recommend putting frozen chicken straight into the crock pot. Instead, let it thaw overnight (or defrost it in the microwave). If you want to cook chicken straight from frozen, an Instant Pot can do that safely in about 25 minutes.

Can I freeze shredded buffalo chicken?

Yes! Cooked chicken can be frozen and reheated, which is why so many people love meal prepping and make extra to store in the freezer. As much air as possible should be removed from the container or freezer bag before storing it.

Is Buffalo sauce whole 30?

Buffalo sauce (and this buffalo pulled chicken) is safe for Whole30 if you use ghee or coconut oil instead of the butter, since dairy is not allowed on the Whole30 diet.

Related Recipes

Pulled Buffalo Chicken in the Crockpot

Pulled Buffalo Chicken in the Crockpot

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Make this pulled buffalo chicken in the crockpot for a spicy and tasty easy weekend meal tonight! Easy to make dairy free, gluten free, or Paleo.



  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • ½ cup vinegar (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
  • ½ large yellow onion - about ¼ inch dice
  • ¼ cup ghee, butter, or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced (or zested)

Optional Toppings

  • Cilantro
  • Wraps or rolls
  • Rice
  • Lime wedges


If you're making this as a freezer meal, do the "Prep" Instructions on your prep day, then "Cook" when you're ready to cook. If you're making this the day you want to eat it, instead of putting the ingredients into a freezer bag, put them into the crockpot bowl.

Prep Instructions

  1. Add the chicken to the freezer bag. 
  2. Chop the onion and add it to the freezer bag. 
  3. Add the ghee/butter/coconut oil, salt, vinegar, cayenne, and garlic to the freezer  bag. 
  4. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, and lay flat in the freezer. 

Cook Instructions 

  1. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or soak in cold water the morning you’re ready to cook it. 
  2. Cook on low in crockpot for 5-6 hours. 
  3. Pull the big chicken pieces apart using two forks.
  4. Serve with lime wedges, cilantro, rolls, wraps, or rice (or as a salad).


Diet Modifications

For dairy free, use coconut oil instead of butter

For Paleo, use cauliflower rice

For vegan, use a plant based meat substitute

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 781Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 323mgSodium: 1102mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 57g

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Pulled buffalo chicken in the crockpot - on some salad greens

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