Money Matters: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chowder

My poor slow cooker. It hasn’t seen much use. Such a shame, really.

As for Mr. Prevention, I was sensing an imminent request for buffalo chicken SOMETHING for dinner, so I beat him to the punch and threw this recipe on the menu. The man is easy to please when it comes to buffalo wing sauce – I think he would eat Styrofoam…if it were covered in wing sauce.

That said, I changed a few things about this recipe.

After about 8 hours in the slow cooker, I taste-tested. It wasn’t buffalo saucy enough, so I added more. While this meant a higher sodium content in the final product, I own this decision because a few extra tablespoons really did make all the difference.

I also decided that the recipe was unnecessarily complicated. When the original recipe called for cooking the veggies and chicken before putting them in the crock pot for 10 hours, I was a bit confused. Outside of a quick sear on the stove top, this step seemed to defeat the use of the crock, so I threw it all in there and called it a day. Worked beautifully.

I also omitted the cornstarch and several transfers of liquid to and from the crock — no need. I whisked the flour into the half and half, and that was that. Basically, I cut out most of the busy work and still ended up with what I would call a my man’s dream.

And wouldn’t you know that Mr. Prevention felt there was too many potatoes and not enough chicken in this dish. Of course I disagree (there’s only 2 potatoes!), but hey, we’re all entitled to our own opinions…it’s just that some are correct, and others are not.

I highly recommend serving this with some high-quality blue cheese crumbles and the raw celery. The final touches really send this humble meal over the top!

It’s going to be a long one today. Clinic then class…see ya later!

Be well,


  1. Do you think it would come out the same using lowfat milk + cornstarch/flour/etc? Looks delicious! :)

  2. This looks amazing! I really want to show my roommate your site. However, I’m terrified she would never ever leave it! We’ve become quite obsessed with what a crockpot can do.

  3. What a genius idea! I am all about soups right now even though it is so hot here. Hopefully we get a cold front soon and I can try this soup.

  4. Wow I am very intrigued by this dish. I love buffalo sauce, but I am hoping this soup isn’t too overpowering. Guess I’ll have to try and find out! My slow cooker is barely used as well, poor thing.

  5. This looks delicious!! I love how creative this is :)

  6. This looks delicious :D I love using my slow cooker and I’d like to use it more but I don’t have enough recipes for it. I love those buffalo flavors!

  7. Pretty sure you can be credited for my new love of buffalo sauce. I had never even tasted it before this year, and now I’m putting it on EVERYTHING. :)

  8. Well Nicole, you’ve done it again. I cannot wait to try this!

  9. Do you know I’ve never used my slow cooker? This would be a great dish to break it in with :-)

  10. Whoa, whoa, whoa! This is just mind blowingly delicious-looking. Plus I’ve always kind of wanted to have a big bowl of buffalo sauce and eat it by the spoonful and this is probably as close as I can get to doing that. ;-)

  11. I think I would like this chowder! Esp that blue cheese on top….geez Louise that cheese looks fantastic!

  12. This recipe looks really delicious and I’m sure my hubby would love it, I can’t wait to try it! I have missed your food.

  13. Kay Rykowski says:

    I often sub fat free evaporated milk for half and half – do you think that would compromise the dish too much?

    • Nicole, RD says:

      I think it would work, yep! You may want to try subbing out half of the half and half for the FF evaporated milk, but I think it would work either way…just a personal preference not to take out all the fat that makes it creamy and thick. :)

  14. Hi Nicole – I see that this dish is on the higher side as far as sodium count. I try to watch my intake, and I modify recipes where I can to lower the sodium. However, I’m unsure in this case where the bulk of it is coming from. If you use a low sodium chicken broth, is the rest coming from the bleu cheese? If so, we are not big fans of bleu cheese, so I can easily cut that out. :)

    • Nicole, RD says:

      Tara, it is high in sodium. Sadly, the buffalo wing sauce is what packs in the sodium. Finding a calorie-free, low-sodium version is something I haven’t run across yet :( But nearly all of the sodium is from the wing sauce, so you could try reducing that and omitting or reducing the blue cheese. I always try to balance higher sodium meals with a low-sodium intake at my other meals and snacks to still come below 2,000-2,300 for the day. I hope that helps! :)

  15. Sue Bailie says:

    I was very excited to try this recipe since I love chowder and buffalo chicken! It smelled so good when I came in from work but I found it had separated when I took the cover off. I used fat free half & half – would that make it separate?

    • Nicole, RD says:

      Sue: Sad! Yes, fat-free products generally do not do well in the slow cooker because they either curdle and/or separate. I’m sorry! I normally use fat-free products when I can, but I knew it wasn’t an option in this recipe. I hope it’s salvageable! Maybe try mixing in a bit of cornstarch, if you have some.

      • Sue Bailie says:

        thanks! lesson learned…I just started using more fat free ingredients. I am going to try it again with regular half and half. I can’t wait!!

  16. catherine says:

    I tried to make this yesterday. Unfortunately, not successfully, it curdled. I doubled the recipe and used 2 cups half and half and 2 cups unsweetened almond milk. Is that where I went wrong?

    • Nicole, RD says:

      Hi Catherine, soups with a milk base require a substantial amount of fat to avoid curdling. I have no doubt that the almond milk was not high enough in fat to prevent that. I’m sorry!!


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