These gluten free Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are made in the slow cooker and full of flavor! They're topped with blue cheese slaw.
This Buffalo Chicken Sandwich has everything that we love about the famous tangy buffalo flavor and is SO easy to make!
I'm usually able to exercise some kind of self-control when it comes to food but that's not the case when it comes to buffalo chicken. If you want to share a basket of buffalo wings chances are there will be very little sharing involved because I'll probably eat the whole thing myself. #sorrynotsorry
There is something magical about the flavor of buffalo sauce. It's spicy, tangy, and downright addicting. You can douse anything from shrimp to pasta to cauliflower in that stuff and it will be lip-smackingly good.
The food most commonly paired with buffalo sauce is chicken. One of my personal favorites is a grilled buffalo chicken sandwich but being that it's January in Minnesota I thought it best to bring things indoors and break out the slow cooker.
The chicken is slow-cooked with a savory blend of spices, shredded, tossed with buffalo sauce, and piled on top of a sandwich with a homemade Blue Cheese Coleslaw. This makes for one seriously tasty sandwich.
- What Kind Of Chicken Should I Use For Crockpot Buffalo Chicken?
- Ingredients For Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches:
- How To Make Crockpot Buffalo Chicken
- Shred The Cooked Chicken
- How To Make Buffalo Sauce
- What To Serve With Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
- How Can I Use Shredded Buffalo Chicken?
- Can Buffalo Chicken Be Frozen?
- Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
What Kind Of Chicken Should I Use For Crockpot Buffalo Chicken?
Slow cooker recipes are generally simple to prepare and this one is no exception. There is nothing complicated about it and you wind up with some awesome flavors.
I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts with this dish. This means less work (no need to remove the bones when it has finished cooking) and slow-cooking chicken without the skin means that it will not become greasy.
Normally, I advocate using bone-in chicken breasts or chicken thighs when cooking because these cuts are more flavorful but when it comes to the slow cooker I'm all for going the boneless, skinless route.
Ingredients For Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches:
- 2.5 - 3 lbs. boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- ¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
- ¼ tsp. Pepper
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- ¾ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- ½ tsp. Honey
- Gluten Free Buns or Bread (regular buns or bread if not GF)
How To Make Crockpot Buffalo Chicken
The first step is to add the chicken and spices to the slow cooker.
- Place 2.5 - 3 lbs. of boness, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Pour 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to over the chicken.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning over the chicken. Add ¼ tsp. each of salt and pepper.
- Place the lid on the crockpot and cook for 3-4 hours on High OR 5-6 hours on Low.
Shred The Cooked Chicken
The next step is to shred the chicken before adding it back to the crockpot with the buffalo sauce. It's best to remove it 30 minutes before the cooking time is up.
The chicken is then shredded and returned to the slow cooker with the sauce.
- 30 minutes BEFORE the cooking time is up remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board.
- Once it has cooled to the touch shred it with two forks.
- Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot with any of the juices that have cooked out of the chicken.
The chicken should be fully cooked by the time it is shredded. It's important that it is cooked so that you're not handling uncooked or under-cooked chicken.
How To Make Buffalo Sauce
The first time I made buffalo sauce at home I thought it was going to be this super complicated process but it turns out that buffalo sauce is basically made up of 3 ingredients: Butter, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, and Honey (or some kind of sweetener). That's it!
I did not understand how something so flavorful could come from those three things. Technically, you can use any type of hot sauce you like but Frank's will give you that quintessential 'buffalo' flavor.
- To make the buffalo sauce simply melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a small glass bowl (the microwave works great for this).
- Once the butter is melted add ¾ cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce and ½ tsp. honey to the bowl. Stir until completely combined.
You can adjust the sauce to your liking. If you'd like to make the sauce less spicy simply add more honey.
If you'd like to make it spicier feel free to add a few dashes of Tabasco or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
- After the chicken is shredded and returned to the slow cooker simply pour the buffalo sauce over the top and stir until combined.
- Return the lid to the crockpot and cook for another 30 minutes before serving. Cooking the chicken in the sauce will help the flavors to develop a bit.
After 30 minutes the Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are done and ready to serve!
What To Serve With Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
The great thing about this dish is that it's super versatile - There's really no 'one way' to eat it.
I personally love buffalo chicken with blue cheese so I served it on top of a sandwich covered with Blue Cheese Coleslaw. A blue cheese sauce or spread like this Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing would also be delicious.
If you prefer ranch this Homemade Ranch Dressing is a great option!
I love sandwiches like this one topped with a heaping pile of coleslaw. This Light and Crunchy Coleslaw, Asian Cabbage Slaw, or Kohlrabi Slaw are all great options!
For some lighter side dish options check out this Marinated Tomato Salad, Minty Pea and Almond Salad, Pickled Beet Salad, and Italian Green Bean Salad.
Decadent side dishes include Mediterranean Potato Salad and Dill Pickle Pasta Salad.
How Can I Use Shredded Buffalo Chicken?
It can be used in so many ways! Here are some of my favorites:
- In a wrap or lettuce wrap
- On a pizza or flatbread
- As a topping for nachos
- On a salad
- Atop baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
- As a filling for tacos or taquitos
- In a quesadilla
- Inside of a grilled cheese sandwich or panini sandwich
- Added to pasta
- Baked into a buffalo chicken dip
The shredded chicken is perfect as a meal or as an appetizer for a game day menu. It's one of those great 'blank canvas' recipes.
If you like slow cooker recipes be sure to check out these:
- Crockpot Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
- Crockpot Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- Crockpot Southwest Beef Chili
- Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
- Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos
- Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Soup
Can Buffalo Chicken Be Frozen?
Yes! Shredded chicken is great to have on hand as a freezer meal. You can whip it out any time you want to add it to your favorite recipes.
How To Freeze:
- Prepare the shredded chicken as directed. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked through before shredding. Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker but DO NOT add the buffalo sauce.
- Allow the chicken to come to room temperature, place in a heavy-duty freezer bag or container labeled with the date, and freeze up to 3 months.
How To Thaw:
- Place the frozen chicken in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw. The chicken can be warmed up on the stove top. It's best to add the buffalo sauce at this time.
- Place the chicken in a pot on the stove top, prepare the buffalo sauce, and add it to the pan. Cook on medium low until completely warmed.
Feel free to serve the shredded buffalo chicken sandwiches any way you like but I will warn you that these sandwiches are messy. That's OK because all the best sandwiches are messy.
If you like easy chicken recipes I think you'll love these:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Potato Soup
- Sheet Pan Italian Chicken
- Pho Ga Vietnamese Chicken Soup
- Instant Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Rice
- Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad
- Easy Chicken Marsala Pasta
Looking For More Buffalo Inspired Recipes? Don't Miss These!
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker
For The Chicken:
- 2.5 - 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
For The Buffalo Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- ¾ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- ½ tsp. honey adjust to taste
- gluten free buns or bread for serving (can use regular buns or bread if not GF) if making sandwiches
- Place 2.5 - 3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Pour 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over the chicken breasts.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and Italian seasoning over the chicken along with ¼ tsp. each of kosher salt and pepper.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 3-4 hours on High OR 4-5 hours on low.
- 30 minutes BEFORE the cooking time is up remove the chicken from the crockpot and place on a cutting board (make sure the chicken is fully cooked at this point so you don't handle under-cooked chicken). Once it is cool to the touch shred the chicken with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot.
For The Buffalo Sauce:
- Place 2 Tbsp. butter in a small glass bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Add ¾ cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce to the butter along with ½ tsp. honey or other sweetener. Stir all of the ingredients until combined.
- Pour the buffalo sauce over the shredded chicken, return the lid to the crockpot, and cook for another 30 minutes.
- To Serve: Place a heaping portion of the shredded chicken on top of a sandwich bun and top it with blue cheese coleslaw or blue cheese dressing.
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