This quick and easy Instant Pot buffalo chicken is delicious, simple to make, and the perfect weeknight meal!
Football season is almost upon us, and one of the most delicious (and easy) dishes to serve when you’re watching a game is this simple Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken. It’s one of our go-to dishes for casual gatherings with friends or family because it’s always a big crowd pleaser. Plus, we’ve found if we toss some shredded cheddar cheese on top, even our picky 6-year-old is a fan!
Plus, it’s a quick recipe to put together (it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish!), and it’s incredibly versatile.
How to Cook Buffalo Chicken
This Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken could easily be replicated in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, but nothing beats the ease of tossing it all into the Instant Pot and having it ready to go a mere 15 minutes later (just add a few minutes to your time if your thighs are frozen).
If you’re trying this out in a slow cooker, just use all the same ingredients, and let it simmer on low for 6-8 hours. Cooking it in a pan on the stovetop will give you some more crispy pieces on the outside (which is always delicious!), but is the most hands-on (and time-consuming) approach of the three.
Cooking your buffalo chicken in the Instant Pot gives you a ton of control over how spicy your chicken ends up being – once it’s finished cooking, simply spoon as much or as little sauce as you want on top of the chicken and toss to coat.
Oh, and if you like some extra heat, add in a bit of cayenne to the seasoning blend when you’re seasoning your thighs before cooking. It will give them a little extra kick for those who enjoy spicier-than-average buffalo chicken.
How to Serve Buffalo Chicken
When we made our buffalo chicken this time around, we served it on top of baked potatoes (click here for our secret to the perfect baked potato!), but we also love to dish it up over a ton of other meals. Here are a few ideas for how to serve your Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken:
- Serve up over some crispy potato skins, with melted cheddar cheese on top and some ranch dressing for dipping.
- Pile it in-between a couple slices of toasted bread and add some cheese and pickles to make a delicious sandwich!
- You can also serve it up in a tortilla (maybe add some shredded lettuce, cheese, and a bit of extra sauce) for buffalo chicken tacos.
- Toss some into your favorite veggie mix for a big, delicious salad. Serve with ranch dressing, of course!
- Or, just get a big ol’ scoop of the buffalo chicken, pile it on a plate, and eat it plain. It’s that good.
Can you make buffalo chicken ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can make this ahead of time and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days before serving. You can warm it up in a pan on the stovetop, or using the sauté setting on your Instant Pot.
It also freezes really well – simply put the finished, shredded chicken into a large freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight then heat it up using your favorite method (I’d recommend a pan on the stovetop, but even the microwave will work in a pinch).
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12-oz jar of Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 1 stick of butter
- Remove excess fat from thighs.
- Mix salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Spread chicken thighs onto a cutting board or plate and season evenly with the seasoning blend.
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot and turn it onto the Sauté setting. Cook, in batches, until lightly browned on both sides.
- Remove all chicken from the Instant Pot and turn off. Add butter and hot sauce, stir until butter is melted.
- Add chicken thighs to Instant Pot, stir to coat in sauce. Put lid on, turn to high pressure and set timer for 15 minutes.
- Once chicken is finished, remove from Instant Pot and place into a large bowl. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then spoon extra sauce from the Instant Pot over the chicken and toss to coat. Use sauce to taste - you will have extra.