Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Updated: Mar 7
Creamy, spicy, hearty meal-in-a-bowl goodness. And it's Whole30-friendly!
For the printable recipe PDF click here.
My Monsters love them some soup. Whole30 buffalo chicken chowder is one of our longtime family favorites.
The idea for this delicious chowder came from a cream-filled version I had at a friend's many years ago. At the time I was deep in a buffalo-chicken-everything obsession and thought the idea for a soup version was beyond genius.
Soon after our introduction to the buffalo-chicken-chowder concept, however, my family embarked on our first Whole30.
Heavy cream would be out for sure, but could coconut cream stand in?
I would always crave buffalo wings when pregnant, and this satisfying soup has been a great way to scratch that itch while ensuring that growing fetus is getting healthful fuel from clean, simple ingredients. It's especially welcome during soup season when the leaves start falling from the trees, but my family likes to keep it in the rotation year round. In fact, it's one of the few recipes my whole family is always excited about.
I like to make this creamy soup in a slow cooker for ease. If you're looking for other easy-buttons, try keeping Mirepiox Pestata Pucks on hand to eliminate the need for day-of chopping.
We basically poach cubed potatoes and whole, boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a mixture of stock, herbs, mirepoix, and hot sauce; remove the chicken once cooked through; once potatoes are soft, puree some or all of the cooking liquid (depending on preference); stir in coconut cream; chop cooled chicken and add back in; and serve with extra hot sauce and finely chopped celery leaves.
Of course, you could top the soup with chives or thinly sliced green onions, but if your celery came with leaves, you might as well use 'em!
If you wanted to take things to the next level, you could put some paleo ranch dressing in a squeezy bottle (available online or from restaurant supply stores) and drizzle artfully over the tops of bowls of chowder before serving.
We keep the spice level at a mild-medium for the monsters, but definitely feel free to increase the amount of hot sauce if you'll be serving to true buffalo heat-seekers.
If you like the sound of this delicious soup, you might also love these other great recipes for hearty soups:
Five Monsters Zuppa Toscana
Monster Favorite Easy Valeo Chili
One final thought:
We usually don't use bacon in this healthy buffalo chicken soup recipe because we think it's great without it, but if you want to make it extra "chowdery," go for it! When we do include bacon, we make the chowder the "hard" way, in a large Dutch oven on the stovetop, so we can brown the bacon, cook the mirepoix in the grease, etc. A happy compromise would be to crisp up some bacon and crumble over the tops of filled chowder bowls just as a garnish.
OR keep things kosher by buying skin-on chicken thighs and crisping up the skins separately in the oven or on the stovetop. Give those crispy skins a generous sprinkling of sea salt, and crumble over the tops of bowls of chowder right before serving!
Here's what you'll need:
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, washed and chopped into 1-inch (or smaller) pieces
2 ½ quarts chicken stock (homemade is the best, but store-bought stock or chicken broth will be OK)
3 mirepoix pucks, see note
¼ cup hot sauce (I prefer Frank’s Red Hot), plus more for serving
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T salt
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can use chicken breasts if desired, but thighs are cheaper and so good)
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut cream (you can use coconut milk if desired, but it will be just a little less rich and creamy)
Here's what you'll do:
Place all ingredients except coconut cream in a slow cooker set to high. Stir just to combine.
After about three hours, check a chicken thigh for doneness. Once cooked through, transfer chicken thighs to a plate to cool.
Poke the potatoes with a fork. Once they are fork tender, puree some-to-all of the soup, depending on desired texture. Either use an immersion/stick blender, or ladle portions of soup into a stand blender or food processor. If you desire more of a bisque with no chunks of chicken, you can add the chicken back in before blending and then puree completely.
Stir blended soup back into the slow cooker along with the coconut cream.
If you have not already added the chicken back in, chop the chicken now and stir it into the chowder. Taste for seasoning and add extra salt if needed.
Serve with extra hot sauce or Whole30-friendly buffalo sauce and garnish with finely minced celery leaves. Freezes well in a freezer-safe airtight container.
For the printable recipe PDF click here.