A Crowd-Pleasing Game Day Snack
For as long as I can remember, game day has always been a pretty big deal at my house. No game day is complete unless there’s a massive spread of game day snacks involved. & when it comes to game day snacks, nothing beats buffalo chicken.
These buffalo chicken sliders came to be shortly after Chris & I moved in together & began hosting our own game day parties. Craving the classic game day flavors of buffalo chicken but feeling underwhelmed by all the traditional options (our favorite wing spot in Milwaukee always has hella long wait times, frying wings at home always creates too much mess, baked wings are honestly always pretty meh, & so on…), buffalo sliders were the perfect solution: easy to make, perfect for feeding a game day crowd, & absolutely crave-worthy buffalo flavor.
Rather than going the fried chicken route, these buffalo chicken sliders use my go-to shredded buffalo chicken breast. We season the chicken with a retro-yet-delicious ranch packet & then toss it in the simplest homemade buffalo sauce then stuff with a healthy amount of cheese into super soft & fluffy Hawaiian sweet rolls. The cheese melts to ooey-gooey perfection, while the chicken is tangy & spicy & the rolls are subtly sweet – a trifecta of crave-worthy game day flavor.
To this day, buffalo chicken sliders are one of our all-time favorite snacks. In fact, it was one of the first recipes ever published here on PWWB way back in 2017! We’re revisiting it today, but updating it with a more flavorful ingredients list, better instructions, & improved photography. (Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for an epic throwback!). It’s one of those recipes we can’t get enough of – it’s seriously the best.
Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sliders Recipe Highlights
You will love these buffalo sliders just as much as we do because they’re…
- EASY TO MAKE. You can make them using just 6 simple ingredients in 45 minutes or less (most of which is completely hands-off!).
- SERIOUSLY FLAVORFUL. These sliders have the perfect balance of flavor. They get rich buffalo flavor from the classic combination of Frank’s RedHot & butter, but the addition of a good ol’ packet of ranch seasoning adds irresistible tanginess while a generous amount of cheese adds creaminess. They are so good.
- A TOTAL CROWD-PLEASER! Baked as pull-apart sandwiches, these buffalo sliders are perfect for feeding a crowd of 4-6, the perfect game day snack!
& if you ask me, game day does not get better than that! (Unless, of course, a big ol’ Packers win is involved! #gopackgo 💚💛) ♡ Read on to learn more about these Buffalo Chicken Sliders, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Buffalo Chicken Sliders Key Ingredients
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
The fun thing these buffalo sliders is that though they pack a big punch of bold flavor, they’re made with just 6 simple ingredients. You need…
- Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs both work great here – use whatever you love most. Seasoning the chicken & cooking it fresh results in more flavorful buffalo chicken, but if you have leftover shredded chicken (like from a rotisserie chicken), you can also use that instead.
- Ranch seasoning – Oh yes, straight outta the packet ranch seasoning is one of the secret ingredients at play here! It plays double duty in this buffalo chicken sliders recipe, seasoning both the chicken & the slider rolls with great tangy, garlicky flavor.
- Hot sauce – Use your favorite! For me, for all things buffalo, it’s always Frank’s RedHot.
- Cheese – Use whatever melty cheese you love! I like making buffalo chicken sliders with colby jack, though pepper jack, cheddar, & havarti are great, too. If you like it, fold in some crumbled bleu cheese for quintessential buffalo chicken vibes.
- Rolls – Hawaiian sweet rolls work beautifully for buffalo chicken sliders – the combination of spicy-sweet flavor is so good! ALDI also sells beautiful brioche rolls (pictured), which are buttery, airy, & great for this recipe.
- Butter – For a simple homemade buffalo sauce & to brush over the rolls for a golden brown finish.
While you can use any hot sauce you love to make these buffalo sliders, in my opinion, it’s not buffalo chicken without Frank’s RedHot. A tangy-spicy hot sauce made from aged cayenne peppers, garlic, & vinegar, Frank’s RedHot is the hot sauce used in the original buffalo chicken wings recipe. As legend has it, way back in 1964, the cooks at Anchor Bar & Grill (located in Buffalo, NY) created a wing sauce on the fly by combining melted butter & paprika with Frank’s RedHot. The infamous buffalo sauce was born.
You can find Frank’s RedHot very readily; it’s in the condiments aisle at most conventional grocery stores & it’s also available online. (Note: Frank’s also sells prepared buffalo sauce. For this buffalo chicken sliders recipe, I suggest using the hot sauce labelled ‘Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce’.)
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prep the shredded chicken. My go-to easy method to cook & shred chicken is to brown it off with a hard sear in a cast-iron skillet & then roast it in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Once it’s cooked through, simply shred it up. Quick & easy shortcut for shredding chicken! ⇢ My favorite kitchen hack is using a trusty stand mixer to shred chicken. The paddle attachment does all the work, creating the perfectly pulled chicken for these buffalo sliders.
Mix the shredded buffalo chicken. Once the ranch seasoned chicken is cooked & shredded, it’s time to buffalo-ify it. Add it back to the skillet (we want all of the browned bits in the pan that formed as the chicken cooked – they’re mega flavorful!) & toss it with Frank’s RedHot & a little butter.
Assemble the buffalo chicken sliders. Here’s where the fun begins! Use a large bread knife to slice the dinner rolls or Hawaiian rolls in half horizontally, creating 2 large slabs of roll tops & bottoms. Resist the urge to tear them into individual rolls – these slabs are the secret to pull-apart sliders! Lightly brush the cut sides with melted butter, sprinkle some ranch seasoning over top for extra flavor, then pile on shredded cheese & shredded buffalo chicken. Tip! ⇢ For an extra-flavorful golden finish, brush the tops of the rolls with a little melted butter & sprinkle any remaining ranch seasoning over top – so delicious!
Bake the buffalo chicken sliders. Pop the prepared sliders in the oven & bake until the rolls are toasty, the cheese is melted, & the sliders are warmed through.
Easy Recipe Variations
While my favorite way to prep these buffalo sliders is what’s presented in the Recipe Card, it’s seriously easy to customize them so they suit both your tastes & schedule. Some easy variations to consider:
- Swap the rolls! ⇢ I love making sliders with brioche dinner rolls (pictured, available at ALDI), which have the best light & fluffy texture with incredible rich, buttery flavor. Hawaiian rolls also work beautifully for buffalo chicken sliders since the natural sweetness of the bread plays off the spicy, tangy flavor of the buffalo chicken nicely.
- Swap the cheese! ⇢ Use whatever melty cheese you love or have on hand – colby jack, pepper jack, sharp cheddar, muenster, or havarti are all great options. If you love bleu cheese, feel free to add it! Crumble it & stir it into the shredded buffalo chicken before you assemble the sliders. For an extra-creamy buffalo chicken filling, add a little cream cheese to the mix!
- Other easy add-ins:
- For extra sweetness, layer some thinly sliced roasted red pepper over the pulled buffalo chicken.
- For extra tang, finish the sliders with some bread & butter pickles (add them after the sliders have baked).
- For a little texture, finish the buffalo chicken sliders with coleslaw or broccoli slaw (layer it on after the sliders have baked) or a simple salad made with romaine, celery leaves, shredded carrots & ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
- Alternate cooking methods: This buffalo chicken recipe is written with my preferred method – a quick stove-to-oven cook is easy & yields perfect shredded chicken. Based on the amount of time you have, you can easily adapt it to use your slow cooker, Crockpot or Instant Pot instead.
Slow Cooker or Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Slow cooker or Crockpot buffalo chicken instructions:
- Add the chicken breasts, ranch seasoning, hot sauce, & butter to your slow cooker.
- Slow cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Shred the chicken & assemble the buffalo chicken sliders per Recipe Directions, below.
Bonus Tip ! ⇢ If your slow cooker has a browning/searing feature, be sure to sear the chicken breasts before slow cooking for extra flavor!
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Instant Pot buffalo chicken instructions:
- Use the Instant Pot’s browning/searing feature to sear the ranch-seasoned chicken in the Instant Pot for 2-3 minutes per side. Add the hot sauce, butter, & 2/3 cup chicken stock or beer to the Instant Pot.
- Cover & cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then carefully quick release any remaining pressure in the pot by flicking the valve to its venting position.
- Remove the lid & shred the chicken & assemble the buffalo chicken sliders per Recipe Directions, below.
Bonus Tip! ⇢ If the buffalo sauce is a little too runny for your liking, thicken it by adding a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch whisked into ¼ cup water). Use the Instant Pot’s browning/searing feature to simmer the sauce a few minutes, until your desired consistency is reached.
What to serve with Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Once they’re perfectly golden brown with ooey-gooey cheese, the buffalo chicken sliders are ready to serve.
Serving suggestions. ⇢ I suggest carefully transferring the buffalo chicken sliders from the baking sheet to a large serving platter. Do your best to keep them intact so your family & friends can dive right in, pull-apart style. Serve alongside extra Frank’s RedHot & ranch or bleu cheese dressing (whatever you love most!) for dipping.
Inspiration for other Sides & Snacks. ⇢ If you want to prep a simple side to pair with your sliders, you simply can’t go wrong with carrot sticks or celery sticks. They’re the most obvious choice for any game day spread that centers around buffalo chicken. I also like serving these buffalo chicken sliders with a simple salad or slaw. (If I’m feeling ambitious, I prep my favorite Everyday Slaw recipe, though good ol’ bagged broccoli slaw always does the trick in a pinch!)
I can’t wait for you to try these Buffalo Chicken Sliders! They’re easy, satisfying, & always such a crowd-pleaser. If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
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Crowd-Pleasing Game Day Appetizers
Spicy, tangy, & perfectly handheld, these Easy Buffalo Chicken Sliders are the perfect game day snack! Shredded ranch seasoned chicken is tossed in homemade buffalo sauce, layered on slider rolls with cheese, & baked into gooey-melty-golden browned goodness. Best served with blue cheese or ranch dressing & perfect for feeding a crowd!
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see Recipe Notes, below)
- 1 (one) 1-ounce envelope ranch seasoning, divided
- 1/3 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
- optional: 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 12 dinner rolls (Hawaiian sweet rolls or dinner rolls of choice)
- 8 ounces colby jack or melty cheese of choice (pepper jack, cheddar, havarti, etc.), shredded
- for serving, as desired: ranch dressing or bleu cheese dressing, for dipping
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, ensuring a rack is in the center position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up as desired. Gather & prep all ingredients according to Ingredients List, above.
- Sear the chicken: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. As the butter melts, season the chicken breasts. Measure out 1 heaping tablespoon of the ranch seasoning & set aside to reserve for buffalo slider assembly. Sprinkle the remaining ranch seasoning over the chicken breasts, seasoning generously. Once the butter in the skillet is melted, add the chicken to the skillet. Cook, browning the chicken, 2-3 minutes per side.
- Bake & shred the chicken: Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 12-15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, carefully shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces – you can do so using 2 forks, or my favorite trick: pop the chicken breasts directly into a stand mixer & let the paddle attachment do the work for you (I swear this works!).
- Mix the buffalo chicken: Add the shredded chicken back into the warm skillet with the hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of butter, & blue cheese crumbles (if using). Stir to combine, tossing the chicken to coat it evenly in the sauce & pan drippings. Set aside for slider assembly.
- Buffalo chicken slider assembly: Place the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl. Microwave 30 seconds to melt. Set aside. Using a large serrated knife, cut the dinner rolls in half horizontally, creating 2 large slabs of roll tops & bottoms. Don’t pull them apart into individual rolls – we want these 2 large slabs of connected tops & bottoms for easy assembly. Lightly brush the cut sides of the slabs with butter, sprinkling some of the reserved ranch seasoning over top. Place the slab of roll bottoms on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the roll bottoms, then pile the shredded buffalo chicken on top. Top with the remaining shredded cheese, then place the slab of roll tops over top. Lightly brush the top of the rolls with butter, sprinkling any remaining ranch seasoning over top.
- Bake the buffalo chicken sliders: Loosely cover the assembled sliders with foil. Transfer to the oven & bake 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted. In the last two minutes, remove the foil to allow the tops of the rolls to brown slightly.
- Serve immediately, with ranch or bleu cheese dressing for dipping as desired. Enjoy!
- Alternate cooking methods:
- Can I make these buffalo chicken sliders with shredded rotisserie chicken? While cooking the chicken fresh is quick, easy, & creates a ton of flavor, these buffalo chicken sliders are also a great way to use up any leftover chicken that may be hanging out in your refrigerator. Rotisserie chicken is also a great store-bought shortcut. If you’re using already cooked chicken, skip Step 2-3 of Recipe Directions, above.
- Slow Cooker or Crockpot Buffalo Chicken: If your slow cooker has a browning/searing feature, season & sear the chicken in the slow cooker according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above. If not, simply add the chicken breasts, ranch seasoning, Frank’s RedHot, & butter to your slow cooker. Slow cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Shred & serve according to Steps 5-6 of Recipe Directions, above.
- Electric Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken: Use the Instant Pot’s browning/searing feature to sear the ranch-seasoned chicken breasts in the Instant Pot according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above. Once seared, add the butter, Frank’s RedHot & 2/3 cup chicken stock or beer to ensure the Instant Pot seals properly. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, ensuring the sure valve is in its sealed position! Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then carefully quick release any remaining pressure in the pot by flicking the valve to its venting position. Remove the lid. Shred & serve according to Steps 5-6 of Recipe Directions, above.
- Note: This recipe has been updated since its original publish in March 2017. If you are looking for the original recipe, which included feta cheese & roasted red peppers, click here to download a printable version!
Keywords: buffalo chicken sliders, buffalo sliders, hawaiian roll chicken sliders, shredded buffalo chicken sliders, ranch, easy, game day, pull-apart, spicy, appetizer, snack, for a crowd
Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.