Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

4.9 from 7 votes
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Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are an easy and versatile family favorite weeknight dinner. It’s like sloppy joes with a hot sauce kick. Made with lean ground chicken, this is a less greasy, everyday way to enjoy the spicy wing flavor you love so much!

Buffalo chicken sloppy joes sandwich on a bun with crumbled blue cheese.

Originally published on August 11, 2013. Updated on March 15, 2021 with new photos and more useful information.

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

If there is one recipe from my blog that I make for dinner more than any other, it’s a neck-and-neck race between this and my egg roll bowls. Both are part of our regular dinner rotation and definitely staple back pocket meals that help me pull dinner together in a snap.

So, when someone asks me for one of my favorite easy dinner ideas, this is usually one of the first recipes I recommend. In fact, I’ve even shared it with my mom – and we all know moms can sometimes be our most honest critics! And this has become part of her regular dinner rotation, too. She is such a big fan that she even shared the recipe on Facebook. (If your mom has as much of a thing for Facebook as mine , then you know that’s the highest compliment!)

One more thing before we get started. If you can’t get enough when it comes to buffalo chicken recipes, definitely check out these buffalo chicken bites and these buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes as well!

Two Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joe Sandwiches one with blue cheese on top and the other with ranch dressing

Why You’ll Love This Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Buffalo chicken sandwiches are pure comfort food. Here are a few reasons to make them for dinner tonight!

  • Perfectly spicy. These buffalo chicken sandwiches are spicy, but not overwhelmingly so! The hot sauce is mixed with rich tomato sauce and savory Worcestershire sauce to balance out the heat a little bit.
  • Adaptable. This is a flexible family meal. You can serve it in different ways to keep it feeling new and interesting. There are options to meet the different needs and preferences of the entire family as well. (For more info, check out the toppings section below!)
  • Healthy. You only need a bit of oil for this meal to keep everything from sticking, and it’s also made with lean ground chicken. This is already low in calories and fat, but you can make it even leaner by using ground chicken breast since you get plenty of flavor and moisture from the sauce, if you like.
  • Veggie-packed. Now let’s not forget the vegetables! Since you can’t have buffalo chicken wings without carrots and celery, adding them into the chicken mixture here completes the trinity of aromatics (carrots, celery, and onions) to round out the flavors. The subtle sweetness of the carrots and hint of bitterness in the celery helps balance and cool the spiciness. But, it’s also a great way to both stretch out the recipe and add more vitamins and minerals.
Buffalo chicken sloppy joes ground chicken mixture in a bowl with rolls and toppings behind it

Recipe Ingredients

These buffalo chicken sandwiches come together with just a few ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to round up (you can find the exact amounts in the recipe card below):

  • Olive Oil: You can also use avocado oil or another vegetable oil. You just need a bit in the pan.
  • Onion: I usually use a white or yellow onion.
  • Carrots & Celery: I usually opt for half and half, but if you don’t like celery, you can use all carrots. Or, if the amount of carbs in carrots is a concern, then reduce the carrots and use more of the celery.
  • Salt & Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper is the way to go!
  • Ground Chicken: Depending on your preference, you can use lean ground chicken or ground chicken breast. Both work equally well, but the ground chicken usually has a bit of dark meat whereas the ground chicken breast is all white meat so it is lower in fat and calories. In a saucy recipe like this, you don’t have to worry about it getting too dry.
  • Tomato Sauce: Use a plain version if you can!
  • Hot Sauce: I love the classic Frank’s Red Hot, but feel free to use your favorite.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This adds a little depth of flavor, so if it doesn’t fit in with your dietary needs or allergies, you can omit it. In the United States, Lea & Perrins is gluten free, if that is a concern for you. There are also options to make paleo-friendly homemade Worcestershire sauce.
  • Rolls: Grab your favorite dinner rolls for making the sandwiches!
  • Dip/Dressing: I like to use ranch dressing and blue cheese dressing (links below) when I make this for dinner.
Ground chicken on a plate surrounded by bottles of hot sauce and worcestershire sauce, a can of tomato sauce, a teaspoon of oil, salt and pepper, and carrots, celery, and an onion

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Here’s a brief overview of how to make an easy buffalo chicken sandwich. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all of the details.

  • Sauté the vegetables. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat, then sauté onions, carrots, and celery with a pinch of salt and pepper until they start to soften.
  • Cook the chicken. Add the ground chicken and cook it until it’s done, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  • Make the sauce. Stir in the tomato sauce, hot sauce, and Worcestershire, and simmer for several minutes, until everything is heated through.
  • Assemble and serve. Finally, spoon the buffalo chicken mixture onto your dinner rolls, add the toppings of your choice, and enjoy!
Putting the top of the bun on top of a buffalo chicken sloppy joe sandwich drizzled with Ranch dressing

Tips for Success

These tips and tricks will help you get the best possible results with your buffalo chicken sandwiches!

  • Adjust the spice. If you are worried about all that spice for kids (or adults) who may not be able to handle the heat, you can adjust it as needed. Unlike wings which are covered in straight up hot sauce, here the buffalo chicken mix also contains tomato sauce, so it’s not as intense. And, you can always use more or less of the hot sauce.
  • Use shredded chicken. If you’ve got leftover chicken in the fridge, or a rotisserie chicken, feel free to shred it up and use it in this recipe instead of the ground chicken.
  • Make the chicken mixture ahead of time. Cooking the buffalo chicken mixture a day or two ahead and storing it in the fridge makes for a super easy dinner later in the week!

Topping Ideas

Not sure what to top your sandwich with? Here are a few ideas!

  • Ranch Dressing: Use your favorite bottled dressing or a recipe that you love. For a healthier option, I prefer to make Greek yogurt ranch dressing.
  • Blue Cheese Dressing: Just as with the ranch, you can buy or make your own, or try this Greek yogurt blue cheese dressing.
  • Cheese: In addition to or instead of the dressing, you can add some crumbled blue cheese on top. Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack are also tasty options.
Buffalo chicken sloppy joes ground chicken mixture in a bowl with rolls nearby on plates and blue cheese and ranch dressing in bowls

Serving Suggestions

The following options will give you some inspiration for how to serve your buffalo chicken, and what to serve with it:

  • Sandwiches: Serve your chicken like a sloppy joe on your favorite rolls, such as a basic burger bun or brioche rolls. You can also use gluten free buns.
  • Wraps: Roll everything up in a tortilla, or make it keto-friendly by enjoying it in lettuce wraps.
  • Stuffed Potatoes: Whether you use the oven, microwave, air fryer, slow cooker, or Instant Pot, make yourself some baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes and spoon some of the mixture inside.
  • Loaded Fries: The sweet and spicy combo of buffalo chicken loaded sweet potato fries is amazing, but you can also pile it on some frozen French fries that you popped in the oven.
  • Salads: Yes, you can totally just add your chicken to a big bowl of salad greens, maybe with some chopped cucumbers, carrots, celery, or red onion. This is a great way to use up leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Rice Bowls: Move over burrito bowls, topping your white rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice with buffalo chicken is a fun new twist.
  • Easy Sides for Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches: Try these bacon green beans, these potato zucchini tots, this cheesy quinoa, or this healthy broccoli salad. If you are short on time, you can make air fryer tater tots in a flash!
Buffalo chicken sandwich on a plate with blue cheese.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

If you have buffalo chicken leftovers, go ahead and save them for an easy lunch or dinner later on!

  • To Store: The buffalo chicken mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat: Place a pan on the stovetop over medium heat and warm the chicken and veggies to the desired temperature. (Or just use the microwave.) Then, toast a new bun and enjoy!

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

Yes! Make sure that the buffalo chicken mixture has cooled completely, then store it in an airtight container and pop it in the freezer for 1-2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating!

Buffalo chicken on a roll with tater tots on the side.

More Buffalo Chicken Recipes

Want to check out some more buffalo chicken inspired recipes? Try these ones!

Buffalo chicken sandwich on a plate with blue cheese.
4.9 from 7 votes

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

These buffalo chicken sandwiches are made with juicy ground chicken, tender veggies, spicy hot sauce, and more. Add the topping of your choice for a fun, filling dinner!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken
  • 8 ounces can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot. Use more or less, depending on how spicy you like it.)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing or your favorite blue cheese dressing, or crumbled blue cheese
  • Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip or your favorite Ranch dressing
  • 4 Rolls for serving (see Note for other serving suggestions)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until onions are becoming translucent and vegetables are softening.
  • Add the ground chicken, and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through with no pink remaining, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, hot sauce, and Worcestershire, and simmer for several minutes, until heated through.
  • Spoon onto rolls or any of the other ideas for serving and top with blue cheese dressing or Ranch dressing or crumbled blue cheese for serving.

Notes

  • You can also serve this on gluten free buns, in lettuce wraps, or in baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, on top of a salad, in rice or cauliflower rice bowls, etc
  • To Store: The buffalo chicken mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat: Place a pan on the stovetop over medium heat and warm the chicken and veggies to the desired temperature. (Or just use the microwave.) Then, toast a new bun and enjoy!
  • To Freeze: Make sure that the buffalo chicken mixture has cooled completely, then store it in an airtight container and pop it in the freezer for 1-2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating!
Nutrition Facts
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 381 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 97mg32%
Sodium 1118mg47%
Potassium 957mg27%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 5615IU112%
Vitamin C 18.6mg23%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 12.5mg69%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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41 Comments
  1. Sarah

    5 stars
    Wondering if I can add an egg and make these as a solid burger?? What do you think? I’ve has them as sloppy Joe’s and they are amazing!!!!! Just kind of wanted to be able to put them on the grill

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Sarah, I’m not confident that this ratio of ingredients will work for burgers. I cook the ground chicken before I add the sauce for the sloppy joes. I think if you try to do that with uncooked chicken, there will be too much moisture to hold the burgers together. If you find a way to make it work, please let me know!

  2. Made this … my family loved it! I had mine on lettuce leaves and was super tasty. Thank you for this healthier version. No guilt whatsoever.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed the sloppy joes, Jill. I love your idea of serving it as lettuce wraps!

  3. Buffalo chicken + healthy??? I never thought I would see the day. I love this idea. Lately I’ve been throwing all sorts of our leftovers on salad greens for lunch the next day, so I can totally see this being a great salad too. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite

    What a great idea, I can’t wait to see if Morgan will give this recipe a try. Life with a 2 year old is a bit hit and miss in the food department but I know her dad and I would love it so hopefully it will be a family winner. 🙂

  5. My mom is not on facebook but she reads my posts because she subscribes to my blog email. I don’t think she has actually visited my blog more than once. She will call me and want to come over to have the cake or whatever and I have to keep explaining that by the time it is on my blog it is gone.

  6. The day my mom is on my Facebook, the apocalypse is coming. She can’t even turn on the computer. We taught her, she took classes, but she just doesn’t get it. Now my dad on the other hand. He graduated to texting me sentences and knows how to like a page for a contest. Still deciding on if he reads my blog regularly.

    Anyway, when I heard the title, I need I would absolutely love these. Then I’m wondering duh why didn’t I think of this 😉 Pinned!

    1. Oh, I am glad! I love the buffalo cauliflower, though I originally saw another recipe with gluten free flour. But I was happy to share yours!! And I only use ground chicken in something line this with a ton of added flavor and moisture. Kinda bland otherwise.

  7. Spectacular supper for Sunday or any night of the week, Brianne. Love the Blue Cheese Greek Yogurt dressing, idea, too.

    P.s. Thank you for sharing about your mother <3 It is nice that you are so close and that she's FB savvy.

  8. 5 stars
    People have given up on facebook ages ago, so I don’t have to worry if my mum reads my fb posts. =D
    A healthier version of buffalo chicken, no way! I could need this now. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

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