Slow-Cooker Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 25 mins

Add kick to juicy chicken thighs by simmering them in a tangy sauce until they're tender enough to shred, then serve on buns for flavorful sandwiches for lunch. You can also use the chicken filling in tacos or in a salad with blue cheese dressing. This chicken recipe appears in our cookbook "Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker" (Clarkson Potter).


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes

  • ¼ cup hot-pepper sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses

  • 8 hamburger buns, for serving

  • Pickled vegetables, for serving


  1. Preheat a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add half the chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring once, until meat is golden brown, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to the slow cooker, leaving as much oil behind as possible. Repeat with remaining chicken.

  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and 1/4 cup water to skillet. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom with a spoon, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the slow cooker and toss with chicken.

  4. Add crushed tomatoes, hot-pepper sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, and molasses to slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover and cook on high until chicken is very tender, 4 hours (or on low for 8 hours).

  5. Transfer chicken to a large plate. Using two forks, shred chicken; return to sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on buns, with pickled vegetables on the side.

    spicy buffalo chicken sandwich
    Stephen Kent Johnson

Cook's Notes

You can also use a potato masher to shred the cooked chicken in the slow cooker. Refrigerate the finished dish in an airtight container, up to 5 days, or freeze, up to 3 months.


For a leaner version, swap out half the chicken thighs for 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Related Articles