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Weeknight-style Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño Ranch. Chicken slow cooked in homemade buffalo sauce, then mixed with cheese, stuffed into tortillas, and oven-baked. Each buffalo taco is crunchy on the outside, and spicy, saucy, and cheesy inside. Serve with a creamy, tangy jalapeño ranch and an avocado on top. These come together easily and are so delicious. The perfect crispy taco that everyone loves!

Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch | halfbakedharvest.com

The very first full week of September and I’m already back with the buffalo chicken recipes. The second football season starts back up all I can think about is fun game night appetizers and dinners. That’s the month of September for me. Then, when October hits I move on to Halloween 24/7.

But for now, it’s fun game day style recipes. And while I know these aren’t traditional tacos, they really are so delicious!

Here are the details

These are easy you guys. I want to start out by saying you can make these in either the crockpot, instant pot, or on the stove. Either option works, so use whichever method suits you best! They will all give you the same outcome.

For the crockpot, simply add all the ingredients right into the crockpot. For the hot sauce, I like to use Frank’s Red Hot. Next, add the butter, seasoned salt, and pepper. Let it all slow cook, then shred the meat right into the buffalo sauce.

The very same with the instant pot, except the cooking time is much, much shorter (just 8 minutes).

And for the stove-top, it is slightly more involved, but it’s still easy. Just cook the chicken in a skillet until seared, pour in the sauce, butter, and seasoned salt. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Then shred the chicken right into the sauce.

For the crispy shells

Instead of using store-bought taco shells, I like to take corn tortillas and stuff them with the buffalo chicken and cheese. Then I throw them into the oven to bake until the tortillas are crispy.

This method is my favorite and I use it every time I make tacos for my family. We love the crispy oven “fried” shells and melty cheese. It’s the best when some of the cheese melts out onto the pan and gets crispy too. Delicious.

Of course, feel free to use store-bought shells when in a time crunch! The directions I gave in the recipe calls for store-bought, but I provided my homemade recipe too!

The creamy jalapeño ranch

I know that making homemade ranch is just another step, but it really is worth it. And it’s easier than running to the market to pick up a bottle.

I keep mine pretty simple and straightforward. Sour cream or yogurt, mayo, buttermilk, parsley, dill, onion, garlic, and of course, the jalapeños. Instead of fresh jalapeños, I like to use pickled. Using pickled jalapeños adds a subtle, tangy kick that I find especially delicious.

Finish these up with avocado on top, fresh cilantro, and extra buffalo sauce.

Simple to make, but so yummy and fun for fall nights. My family loved these crunchy, crispy tacos!

Looking for more simple game day recipes? Here are a few favorites:

Crispy Jalapeño Cream Cheese Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Sheet Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup with Salty Lime Chips

Healthier Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Lastly, if you make these Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 762 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Creamy Jalapeño Ranch

Instructions

Crockpot

  • 1. In the bowl of your crockpot, combine the chicken, hot sauce, chipotle, butter, seasoned salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.
    2. When finished cooking, shred the meat and toss with the sauce, then remove the chicken from the sauce, saving the extra sauce for serving. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    3. Line the taco shells up in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Transfer to the oven and bake 5 minutes. Stuff the chicken in each taco shell and top with cheese. Bake 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp.
    4. Meanwhile, make the Creamy Jalapeño Ranch. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until creamy. Season with salt.
    5. Serve the tacos topped with cilantro, green onions, avocado, additional buffalo sauce and Creamy Jalapeño Ranch.

Instant Pot

  • 1. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the chicken, hot sauce, chipotle, butter, seasoned salt, and pepper. Seal the and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Release the steam.
    2. When finished cooking, shred the meat and toss with the sauce, then remove the chicken from the sauce, saving the extra sauce for serving. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    3. Continue on with the recipe as directed in steps 3-5 above.

Notes

For Easy Homemade Hard Shells: Warm 8-12 corn tortillas for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave, until pliable. On a baking sheet, rub the tortillas with olive oil. Lay each flat and then layer evenly with cheese and chicken. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, gently pushing to adhere (see above photo). Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp. 
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night for football and they were fantastic. I thought that stuffing the tortillas and baking them was genius. They turned out so good and it was much easier than pan frying individually. It was a little hard to keep them closed but if you just bake for a minute or two and then coax them or flip them they will close. I made mine like the picture and topped them with all the toppings and ate them with a fork but my friends just stuffed all the toppings inside and ate them regular and that worked great. Even after baking they were still pliable enough to stuff with the toppings. I left out the chipotle peppers because I was afraid they would make them too spicy for my crowd. I used the instant pot and the chicken turned out perfect and was easy to shred. I almost skipped the sauce because I thought it would take too much time but it comes together in a flash. I doubled the recipe, but honestly didn’t need to double the ranch. So delicious!

    1. Hi Bobbi,
      Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing what worked well for you! I love to hear that it was enjoyed:) xx

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Thanks for trying the recipe!! Did you use 2 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons of seasoned salt? Was your buffalo sauce salty? xx

    1. Hi Kristina,
      I like to use the chipotle peppers in adobo! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  2. 4 stars
    Flavors: 10/10– especially the ranch.

    Tortillas: 3/10 I tried to do the homemade corn tortilla shells and it simply didn’t work for me. They fell apart. (Maybe from the juicy chicken from cooking in the instant pot?) Next time, I’ll do the same thing but pan fry them to get that crispy effect.

    Instant pot chicken and sauce: 6/10 simple to shred the chicken. The sauce didn’t work. It was too watery. It didn’t even make sense to try and simmer it down. I ended up pivoting and making more buffalo sauce to dip. It was definitely the instant pot. So, if that’s the way you’re going— plan to make more sauce on the stovetop.

    Overall, will make again with some tweaks.

    1. Hi Kristin,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear some of the parts didn’t work well for you! Let me know if you give the recipe another try! xx

      1. 5 stars
        These were really good! I will definitely make them again. I will try to drain the chicken better the next time as my corn tortillas didn’t get crispy so we ate them with a fork.

        1. Hi Michele,
          Happy Wednesday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a bunch for making it! xT

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe! Try using a toothpick to keep them closed, that should help! xx

    1. Hey Sarah,
      I would probably do a Pacifico or Modelo beer:) But if you want one maybe a Sauvignon Blanc! I hope you love the recipe! xx

  3. 3 stars
    I’m currently in the process of making this and it’s not that I don’t think it’s going to taste good, however I think the instructions are a bit off. I baked my taco shells at 425F for five minutes and they’re already well done. And the shells are now basically closed, so it’s impossible to stuff them with the chicken. I had to transform it into tortilla chips and buffalo chicken dip (which is still good but not what I was trying to do). Maybe I’m the only one who experienced this issue but I wish I had just stuffed the taco shells and then baked for five minutes!

    1. Oh honey god bless you.
      You were supposed to stuff them before putting them into the oven.

      Positive with this slight adjustment they’ll turn out fabulous. (:

    2. Hi Abigail,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear you are having issues with the shells. For the homemade shells, are you using soft corn tortillas? Let me know how I can help! xx

    1. Hi Jessie,
      Happy Friday🍁 I appreciate you making this recipe and love to hear that it turned out well for you! Sure, you can use any tortillas that you like it just might not be as crispy! xT

  4. 5 stars
    Made this last night, blew our minds! That sauce ? We inhaled the leftovers tonight and my husband is already asking if we can have it again next week, thank you for making such yummy meals!!!

    1. Hey Megan,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! xT

  5. Is this really spicy hot? I have 4 kids under 10, they like spicy but was wondering if I could use something other than the hot sauce in the crockpot to make it a little milder?

    1. Hey Emily,
      You could use a mild buffalo sauce:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  6. 5 stars
    Wow. Just wow. Made these for friends and everyone RAVED over them. They were amazing! They even talked about them the next day. SO GOOD!

    1. Hey Christelle,
      Happy Monday!! I truly appreciate you trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed! xx

  7. 5 stars
    Amazing!!!!!! I left out the jalepenos in the sauce only because my family isn’t really into spicy foods but this recipe brought out the sound effects after the first bite haha will be making this regularly. Thank you Tieghan for yet again another amazing recipe.

    1. Hey Amber,
      Awesome!! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks for making it! Hope you’re off to a great weekend! xT

  8. Can I sub the buttermilk for something else? I don’t have any other use for that ingredient so it would go to waste after using just such a small portion of it 🙁

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I would recommend thawing your chicken first. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx