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Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken

This Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken recipe is one of the easiest you’ll find and is a perfect meal prep protein source. With 19 grams of protein and only 120 calories per serving, you can pair it with just about anything.

I’ve included recipes for two of my favorite pairings—low calorie buffalo chicken pizza and quesadillas—and linked to a few more ideas like loaded fries and chicken tacos.

Oh, and you can definitely make this buffalo chicken in a crockpot!

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Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Ingredients

Aside from the dry ingredients, you’ll only need 5 ingredients:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Sauce
  • Yellow Onion and Garlic
  • Ranch Dip Mix and Black Pepper
  • Optional: Olive Oil

diced onions and minced garlic on a cutting board and in an Instant Pot mixed with buffalo sauce and chicken breasts

I always like to mention that using chicken thighs instead of chicken breast makes a huge difference in how tender the final product is. Check out my BBQ Instant Pot pulled chicken for an example of boneless skinless chicken thighs in action.

And in case you’re wondering, the onion and garlic are kinda optional. Though I highly recommend leaving them in! Even if you’re not a fan of onion, they cook down and are barely noticeable.

Bonus Tip: How to Easily Dice an Onion

If you’re a pro, carry on. For the novice cook like me, however, this tip may save you a bit of time dicing your onion.

  1. Cut the top off.
  2. Cut directly through the root.
  3. Place one half cut side down.
  4. Place your palm on top of the onion and make 2-3 slices parallel with your palm.
  5. Make small vertical slices, going almost to the root, all the way down the onion.
  6. Hold the root and cut perpendicular to the vertical slices. And voila, perfectly diced onion.

photo process on dicing an onion

Once you have your veggies squared away, simply add everything else in, stir, and cook!

You can shred and let the chicken rest in the juices or use the sauté function to thicken the sauce after cooking.

Additional Notes for Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken

I used the DUO60 6-quart Instant Pot. Different models may require slightly different cook times.

If you wanted to use a crockpot, I’d add everything all the same and cook on low for about 3 hours or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165F.

Yes, you read that correctly—don’t overcook your chicken for 8 hours.

I mentioned above the option of using the sauté function to reduce the sauce while shredding the chicken. This is great if you’re serving right away but if the chicken is going in the refrigerator, I’ve found the sauce thickens without any help.

You could also easily turn this into a dip with some fat free cream cheese and shredded cheddar. Check out my Instant Pot buffalo chicken dip for an example.

Recipes to Make with Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken

Below you’ll find the recipe for buffalo chicken pizza and quesadillas as well as a few links to other recipes with pairing ideas.

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Pizza is never a bad move. I used my low calorie pizza crust recipe to repurpose this buffalo chicken.

  • 1-1 1/4 C (120-150g) all purpose flour
  • 2/3 C (150g) fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp (10g) olive oil

Add the yogurt and flour to a food processor and blend until a ball of dough forms. Roll it out into a large rectangle or circle. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 500F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

While the crust bakes, mix 4 ounces of fat free cream cheese and 1 1/3 C (280g) of the Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken. Add this to the baked crust and top with 1/4-1/2 C shredded mozzarella. Bake for 3-5 additional minutes until the cheese melts.

Nutrition info for Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pizza: 145 Calories, 11g protein, 17g carbs, 3g fat, 3 Smart Points per slice (makes 8)

You could also use my air fryer pizza recipe if you want to avoid turning your oven on.

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

Similar to the buffalo chicken pizza but a bit quicker to make and easy to double or triple for bulk quesadillas. You could even prep these using a similar method to my baked chicken tacos in the oven.

  • 2 6″ Flour Tortillas (or your choice of flatbread/pita/tortilla)
  • 2/3 C (140g) Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken
  • 1/4 C (28g) Shredded Mozzarella

how to make buffalo chicken quesadillas

Divide half the cheese between the two tortillas and top with half the chicken. Place the remaining cheese on top of the chicken and fold the tortillas in half. Place both in a large pan over medium-high heat.

Tortilla Note: I really love the Mission Carb Balance tortillas for quesadillas. That’s what I used for my cheesy black bean and corn quesadillas as well as my bacon ranch ground chicken quesadillas.

Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Nutrition info for Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas: 210 Calories, 16g protein, 20.5g carbs, 9.5g fat, 5 Smart Points each

More Ideas

With your Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken, you could make my Buffalo Chicken Empanadas or Shredded Buffalo Chicken Nachos. You could also make my Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Peppers or Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wraps.

buffalo chicken stuffed peppers and buffalo chicken nachos

And that’s about all ya need to know. You’ll find the printable recipe card below. Be sure to let me know what you think about the recipe!

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A simple recipe for pressure cooker or crockpot chicken with buffalo sauce, onion and garlic, and dry spices that's perfect for meal prep and healthy recipe pairings.


  • 2 1/2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 large (350g) Yellow Onion, diced
  • 5 cloves (35g) Garlic, minced
  • 1 C (240mL) Frank's RedHot Buffalo Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (19g) Ranch Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil


  1. Add all the ingredients except the chicken to the Instant Pot, stirring everything together.
  2. Add the chicken and stir to fully coat.
  3. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on manual for 10 minutes with 10 minutes natural release pressure. (Meaning leave the Instant Pot sealed after it's finished cooking for 10 minutes before venting and opening.)
  4. Remove the chicken to shred (with forks, in a stand mixer with a paddle, with a hand mixer, or meat claws) before adding back to the sauce. The longer you can let the chicken rest in the sauce, the more flavorful the chicken will be.
  5. If you'd like a thicker sauce, use the Instant Pot's sauté function to reduce the sauce a bit while you shred the chicken in a separate bowl. Just be sure to stir occasionally and avoid burning the sauce.
  6. Serve on sandwiches or pizza, in salads or quesadillas, or on its own with veggies. Enjoy!


  • 1 serving (2/3 C or 140g) of the chicken has 1 Smart Point.
  • The condiment on the sandwich in photos is 1 tablespoon fat free Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles (1 Smart Point). 
  • The bun in the photos is an Aunt Hattie's potato bun with 140 calories, 4g protein, 26g carbs, 2g fat, and 4 Smart Points per bun.
  • A buffalo chicken sandwich with one serving of chicken on a potato bun with the blue cheese spread has 6 Smart Points.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Servings Serving Size: 140 g (2/3 C)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 19g

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Saturday 18th of April 2020

I made this recipe in my crockpot since I don't have an instant pot. I felt like it was great! I cooked it for close to 4 hours (probably could've done 3 hours like the recipe says, but I am easily distracted). I ate it on its own with veggies and on a salad, but I plan on trying the buffalo chicken quesadilla idea with it next time! Or honestly, even just nachos. I also believe that I used half of the olive oil and it was still great. I'm not sure if that's just better to use in the instant pot than the crock pot, so I noticed no real difference like I would have needed it.


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

This is by far one of the most flavorful recipes I’ve ever made! I honestly don’t think I could put into words how much I love it! Just do yourself a favor and run away with the pot as soon as it’s made! You won’t want to stop eating it!! It’s so versatile!

My fiancé and I eat it on its own or with our eggs in the morning. The sauce is so good you’ll want to lick your plate clean!

Make this recipe! You won’t regret it! - or you will if you eat the entire thing and feel guilty, but I’d totally support that option too!


Monday 25th of November 2019

The buffalo chicken is SO good. I made this in my crockpot and, thanks to Mason, have modified the length of time I cook the chicken in the Crockpot. I cooked nearly two pounds of chicken on low for 3.5 hours, pulled it out, shredded it, put it back in the buffalo sauce and kept it on warm for 30 mins more. The end result was a perfectly juicy and spicy buffalo chicken. The recipe is incredibly versatile and the chicken can be used on all sorts of other recipes. I used it to make buff chicken pizza; buff chicken pasta; buff chicken tacos. One word of caution - if sodium is an issue for you, this could be brutal. and I don't think that I've ever seen a low-sodium buff sauce.


Sunday 24th of November 2019

I love making this for an easy protein meal prep! I usually make it using frozen chicken in my foodi. If using frozen chicken I’ll add an additional 2-3 minutes to the cook time depending on the breast size and it comes out great!

Heather Cantor

Wednesday 6th of November 2019

I've had this recipe on repeat for several weeks because it's that GOOD! My husband and I both love it and it's BEYOND versatile! I put the Buffalo Chicken on top of my Broccoli Slaw lunch salads and he uses it to make wraps at dinner. Mason has so many delicious and healthy creations that I want to make them all but when you find a "golden ticket" and crowd pleaser like this one, it's hard to break the rotation!!!!! This would also be a HUGE hit at events, gatherings and potlucks!! I've even made this in the crockpot for when I want to throw all the ingredients in and go run errands or hit the gym. I cook it on low 2-3 hours! As always, thank you for another WINNER Mason!!!

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