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Simply put, Buffalo Chicken Soup is one of my all-time favorite dinners, and this recipe is the best ever version. You’ll love how fast and easy it is to add the ingredients to your Instant Pot. You’ll love the rich, high fat base that’s ever-so-flavorful! And you’ll love the happy family and friends that gratefully eat such a satisfying meal. Buffalo Chicken Soup is Keto, Primal and Low Carb, definitely gluten-free, and folks from every dietary background will enjoy this special comfort food.
I didn’t grow up eating buffalo anything, certainly not chicken wings. But my imagination and curiosity were provoked with the thought of combining a beautifully made organic hot sauce with heavy cream and cheddar. “Wowza” on the comfort food scale.
I was further intrigued at the thought of cooking all of this goodness in the Instant Pot, because I LOVE meals I can make for my family that they love yet that are easy for me to assemble during our busy days.
In creating this recipe, I made the soup three times to get the base nice and thick. You’ll notice in the recipe that a whole head of cauliflower is puréed into the base. This gives the soup a thick, satisfying texture, but you’d never know it was there: All that good fiber and veggie-nutrition is just an added, hidden bonus.
How to serve this soup?
Couple of options when you serve this soup:
- You can just ladle and serve with the optional condiments.
- You can roast additional cauliflower to stir in or ladle the soup over. This is delicious and nice, if you’re so inclined. I give directions below on how to quickly and easily roast a head of cauliflower. Cauliflower is one of the yummiest roasted veggies.
- You can also serve this soup over cauliflower rice or regular white rice (for gluten-free/no eating restrictions).
I recommend you choose one of these three options.
Most buffalo chicken recipes shred the chicken, which I think is great when the chicken goes on a sandwich.
But it’s not so great in soup. You just don’t want a lot of stringy pieces of meat getting all tangled with melted cheese and hanging out of your lips while you’re trying to eat. No.
So we cut our chicken into nice chunks, and all happy order is restored.
Yes, I’m still working on my soup cookbook, friends!! 🙂 That’s why I don’t publish that many soups on Eat Beautiful, because they’re all going into my soup cookbook.
But this Buffalo Chicken Soup had to be shared, because it’s wooing me this fall and winter, and it’s wonderful comfort food for now. Enjoy and thanks for your patience while the magnum opus is in its creation stage! 😉 (Update: Cookbook due out this November, 2019!! 🙂 )
Regarding soup bases, two main soup bases are the backbone to wellness soups.
One is bone broth, about which we’ve all heard a lot.
The other is less well known, and it’s meat stock. Meat stock is my bone broth of choice because it’s easier to digest than bone broth, more flavorful, very high in gelatin, faster to make, and meat stock is lower in histamines for those who are sensitive.
The cool thing about this soup is that the meat stock is formed while the soup cooks in the Instant Pot.
By placing together water, chicken and sea salt, and then cooking, we actually make meat stock. So you don’t need bone broth to start this recipe; the making of it is built in.
Handy and healthy! Enjoy the flavorful base of this soup, made largely in part from the meat stock.
Keto, Primal and Low Carb
What do these words mean?
Similarly, Primal means grain-free, thumbs up to well-sourced dairy, and nightshades (like the hot sauce in this recipe) are okay if they work for your body.
Keto and Primal emphasize a lifestyle of wellness through diet, free of processed foods, made with real food only. Contrary to the dietary advice many of us received a few decades ago, Keto and Primal diets emphasize lots of healthy fat to lose weight and to find relief from a variety of diseases.
Here’s a great article on Primal living.
I feel very blessed that amidst a restricted diet (in other ways), I can bask in lots of fat, dairy, meat stock and comfort foods like this soup!
This recipe is pretty high in protein for a Keto recipe, so if you want/need less protein, simply add in that extra head of cauliflower (or serve over cauli rice), so there’s less protein in each serving. See the Nutrition Facts below; I just got this feature added!, as several of you have requested it. Yay!!! 🙂
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup (Keto, Primal, Low Carb)
- Instant Pot
- 3-3-1/2 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 7 ounces cheddar cheese (aboout 2 cups grated)
- 2 cups water
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream preferably raw or not ultra-pasteurized
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 Tablespoons hot sauce (organic, I really like Organic Harvest Foods' red Jalapeño Pepper Sauce; see link below.)
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried or dried parsley
- green onions fresh, optional, chopped
- cilantro fresh, optional, chopped
- Layer the following ingredients into your Instant Pot insert in this order: water, chicken thighs, sea salt, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano. Then place the head of cauliflower on top of all.
- Seal lid, making sure rubber ring is in place. Close steam vent. Press "Chicken" button and "-" button to reduce cooking time to 10 minutes.
- When cooking time has elapsed, do a quick pressure release by first pressing the "Cancel" button. Then place a dish towel over the steam vent and open it. Take off lid.
- Remove cauliflower and chicken thighs with slotted spoons. Set them on two large plates to cool slightly. Also remove 2 cups meat stock (the water that's now flavorful and nutrient-dense) to cool slightly.
- Cut cheese into about 1-inch cubes. Add cheese and cream to blender. Add cauliflower. Top with slightly cooled broth. Purée 15 seconds on low speed and 15 seconds on medium speed.
- Meanwhile chop cooling chicken into bite-size pieces, about six pieces per thigh. (Do not shred chicken.)
- Return chicken and purée from blender to Instant Pot insert. Press "Sauté" button and "Adjust" the temperature to "Low" (see Recipe Notes below for more on how to adjust, if needed). Stir until soup comes back to temperature. Do not allow to simmer. Serve soup topped with optional green onions and cilantro.
- Serving variations: If you want your soup chunkier, roast another head of cauliflower to add to the soup at the end. (Simply chop cauliflower into bite-size pieces, toss with 3 Tablespoons fat and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in baking dish, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.) Stir into soup or ladle soup over roasted cauliflower in each dish. Other options: Serve soup over rice or cauliflower rice.
Want more spicy Keto, Primal comfort foods?! Try:
- Keto Chile Relleno Casserole
- Verde Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
- Chorizo-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- and the not spicy Cauliflower-Chicken Au Gratin Casserole