Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders or Salad
You should know that my next year of recipes has already been planned out by my sister-in-law because she submitted a list of requests, according to her favorite things I've made her. Since she just moved across the country with my brother and their kids, she can't come eat them at my house anymore, she'll have to make them herself. So I guess I take post requests. If there is something you want to see on my blog, you can email me or leave me a comment!
We have a few nights of the week that are extra busy (instead of regular busy) with sports, and I make dinner in my Instant Pot/slow cooker (because it's both slow cooker and pressure cooker) several days a week. I love Buffalo wings, but have zero patience for making them. This recipe is a quick and easy favorite that give me the Buffalo wings flavor without the work. It's also very adaptable to meet the needs of various dietary restrictions. I struggle with gluten and dairy, so eating this on a salad is a much better option for me. It can also be Whole30, paleo, Trim Healthy Mamas, and all around healthy, clean-eating compliant.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders are also easy to make for a crowd. We have family parties of 50-60 people, and this is something pretty easy and stress-free that I have served. I put out the meat, sliders, toppings and salad, and let people choose how to make theirs. I always have some people who take me up on the salad option. Have you ever been at a party and wrecked your clean-eating goals because you're starving and there is nothing available that you can eat? I have. so. many. times. I don't do hungry. Buffalo Chicken is perfect for taking to a friend who is sick or had a baby, too, because it's easy to work around food allergies, which are rampant these days. People love it and ask for the recipe.
The last thing I just love about this recipe is that it freezes great! If the quantities of this are too much, then portion it and freeze it. I like to double it and freeze it for a an even faster meal another night, or if there are small amounts of leftovers, I will make single portions and freeze them for myself for a quick lunch when the kids are at school. I hate making lunch, and this makes it effortless.
There are variations of this all over Pinterest, but this is my version of it.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders or Salad
2-3 pounds boneless/skinless chicken thighs (not breasts. It will be stringy and gross because that's what lean meat does in the slow cooker).
1 12-ounce bottle Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce, reserve a little for adding on top of the sandwiches when serving
1 package Dry Ranch Mix (I make my own, but packaged is fine)
2 Tbsp butter or 1 tbsp ghee (ghee is butter without milk solids, so most dairy intolerant people can eat it. I can. It's got a really intense buttery flavor, so that's why the amount is different. If you can't tolerate ghee, you can leave it out entirely or use something like Earth Balance, which is a dairy-free butter substitute)
2 tbsp minced garlic or 1 tbsp garlic paste
Bleu cheese dressing regular or dairy-free. Follow Your Heart makes a very tasty one, or you can make your own with this recipe.
Bleu cheese crumbles
Slider rolls (gluten-free, if needed)
For the Salad
Put the chicken, ranch seasoning, butter/ghee, garlic, and Buffalo sauce in the slow cooker/Instant Pot. For the slow cooker, cook on low for 3-4 hours. For the pressure cooker, set to 20 minutes on the manual setting and do a quick release five minutes after it has finished.*
The chicken will easily fall apart with a fork. I like to pull it apart but not completely shred it, but that is personal preference. Serve over salad or on a roll with additional Buffalo Sauce and the bleu cheese dressing. Back when dairy didn't hate me, I loved adding some bleu cheese crumbles.
*Pressure cooker times can vary due to a lot of factors, like elevation. If you find your chicken isn't quite done, just turn on the saute setting to finish cooking. You can also do this to cook down the liquid for a more concentrated flavor, if desired.