Buffalo Chicken Chowder w/ Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option}

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Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Perfect for gameday and tailgating! #football #superbowl #party #glutenfree #recipeA New Tailgating Favorite:
Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon
{with Gluten Free Option}

In January 2012, in celebration of the Super Bowl coming to Indianapolis, I felt compelled to create this especially wicked Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I threw my hat into the proverbial ring when it was announced at The Big Lug’s office that the team had decided to hold yet another cook off contest. We had all participated in a chili cook off prior. I actually lost that contest with an adaptation of Guy Fieri’s Dragon’s Breath Chili recipe. Of course, I had tamed down the heat just a tad. But, believe me, it was still a “Five Alarm” chili!

James was in charge of counting all the votes. The Big Lug had missed voting due to being in an important client meeting. And, as it happened, James won the contest with his white chicken chili recipe. (I think there could have been some shady business going on behind the wood pile there. But, I am not naming names. Ha!) As for me? Well, actually “me and Guy”, we landed in third place. The feedback was that my entry was a tad bit too hot. (LOL! I know, right? I mean, Guy’s recipe is rated 5 stars by over 350 reviewers at the FoodNetwork site. Alas, to each his own. Right?) So, I was quite up to the task with yet another entry with one strict caveat…that The Big Lug actually vote this time around for his wife’s entry!

Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Perfect for gameday and tailgating! #football #superbowl #party #glutenfree #recipe

There. It was decided. At the staff Christmas party, where I congratulated James on his win, and told him he whooped my behind (he literally did, too, and gave me a smack in the rear) in the staff chili contest, I had suggested a soup or stew cook off for the next go ‘round. Everyone in attendance at the staff Christmas party thought it was a swell idea and suddenly it was “game on”. Mwa-hahahahaha! In my dastardly evil competitive mind, I thought, “The boys won’t know what hit ‘em!” Yes, it was official. Game on indeed. In my evil mastermind, I kept singing along (in complete earworm fashion when I am never, ever tone deaf) with the lyrics from the 1980s song, “I Know What Boys Like” by the Waitresses:

I know what boys like
I know what guys want
I know what boys like
I’ve got what boys like
Na, na, nya, nya, nya…

Below is the vid for the uninitiated.

Then, I got to work in the kitchen developing this wicked brew stew of mine. Right away, I thought of doing a total collision of my best chicken homemade soup with kluski noodles (recipe forthcoming at some point), a truly outstanding creamy Cheddar cheese soup with bacon or ham and corn chowder. I thought to myself, “Of course. With the help of Frank’s® RedHot® Hot Sauce, this will become one badass Buffalo Chicken Chowder!”

For smoky flavor, there was just no doubt about it. I was not only going to add chopped fried bacon, but I was also going to call for some rendered bacon fat, along with butter, to sauté the vegetables. Check. Then, I just knew I had to replace the pasta from the kluski noodles in my chicken soup recipe. Aha! A light bulb went on.

Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Perfect for gameday and tailgating! #football #superbowl #party #glutenfree #recipe

The Big Lug just adores cheese tortellini. (He loves any kind of dumpling, too—especially my authentic Hungarian dumplings of which even Chef Wolfgang Puck would like the recipe!) So what if adding cheese tortellini meant more cheese upon all the cheese (read: blue cheese crumbles in addition to Cheddar) and the cream I had already planned to add to this wicked concoction, right? After all, it was in honor of the Super Bowl coming to Indy in 2012 and it was for a hungry crew of men and I just happened to be competing in their cool contest. Right? Check, check.

Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Perfect for gameday and tailgating! #football #superbowl #party #glutenfree #recipe

There would be plenty of color, too. I mean, otherwise, it would be a bit, well, too orange on the eyes. So into the recipe went finely chopped red, orange and yellow bell peppers for a festive “confetti” effect. And, there would be plenty (plenty!) of Frank’s® RedHot® Hot Sauce for that authentic Buffalo Chicken flavor and heat. I mean, munch on a carrot stick if it gets too hot, right? Just like with Buffalo Chicken Hot Wings. Check, check and check.

As it turned out, my huge crock pot full of Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon won over the hearts of all the boys. Even one of them, Ryan, offered to pay for the recipe! They loved the flavor profile, that it was hearty and they appreciated the fact that my soup/stew entry was “Buffalo Chicken-Style” and gave me high scores for creativity. Hey, I even won first place! (LOL.) Plus, this chowder, soup or stew (stoup?) is a favorite of The Big Lug’s. Well, I do know this for sure, at least when it comes to food… “I know what boys like, I know what guys want. Na, na, nya, nya, nya!” ;)

Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option} by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Perfect for gameday and tailgating! #football #superbowl #party #glutenfree #recipe

To make Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon gluten free, I like to use tapioca starch in place of all-purpose wheat flour. Tapioca works better than arrowroot starch with dairy, thus the reason why I am calling for it here in the gluten free version. (Arrowroot starch can make gravies and soups too glossy and slick.) To make a gluten free version, also substitute cheese tortellini with gluten free cheese tortellini (such as DePuma’s™) or homemade gluten free cheese tortellini.

What makes our original recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon wicked good? It’s Buffalo Chicken. It’s chicken soup. It’s creamy cheese soup. It’s corn chowder. It’s rich, delicious and hearty (truly sticks to the ribs) with just the right amount of heat to resemble the same taste sensation as Buffalo Chicken Hot Wings…just the way you want it for that next gameday or the Super Bowl. It’s especially satisfying. Men love it. Throw in Super Bowl festivities, friends and family, and you have one wicked Super Soup Bowl!

Bon appétit!

xo,

spatsign

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Note: This is a repeat performance from Wicked Good Kitchen during my “educational leave” to share for the new NFL football season. The original post was published on January 30, 2013 here in celebration of the Super Bowl. For this post, the images were reworked for better representation of the dish as well as coded properly for pinning at Pinterest. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Chowder w/ Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes about 10 servings.

Buffalo Chicken Chowder w/ Cheese Tortellini & Bacon {gluten free option}

What makes our original recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Cheese Tortellini & Bacon wicked good? It’s Buffalo Chicken. It’s chicken soup. It’s creamy cheese soup. It’s corn chowder. It’s rich, delicious and hearty (truly sticks to the ribs) with just the right amount of heat to resemble the same taste sensation as Buffalo Chicken Hot Wings…just the way you want it for that next gameday or the Super Bowl. It’s especially satisfying. Men love it. Throw in Super Bowl festivities, friends and family, and you have one wicked Super Soup Bowl!

Ingredients

  • For the Chowder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Coarse kosher salt, to taste
  • Coarse ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or 4½ tablespoons tapioca starch for Gluten Free Option
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 4 cups cooked chicken breast, coarsely chopped & shredded (about 1 lb. chicken breast)
  • 3 cups half & half cream
  • 1¾ cup whole milk
  • 1½ cups Frank’s® RedHot® Hot Sauce, or to taste
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2 tablespoons canned green chilies, drained
  • 6 tablespoons (about 3 slices) chopped fried Applewood smoked bacon
  • 3½ cups (14 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 (9-ounce) packages cheese-filled tortellini, such as Buitoni®, cooked (undercook to only 5 minutes from package directions for al denté pasta) and drained
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • For the Suggested Garnishes & Accompaniments
  • Dairy sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro, snipped
  • Fresh scallions, chopped
  • Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • Monterey Jack or Pepper-Jack cheese, grated
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

Over medium-high heat, melt butter and rendered bacon fat in a large stockpot. Add onion and celery; sauté until almost tender. Add carrots, garlic and seasonings, sauté until vegetables are soft.

Sprinkle flour over vegetables and mix to evenly coat; stir for 2 minutes to lightly brown the flour to create the roux.

For Gluten Free Option: If using tapioca starch, in a small bowl whisk together tapioca starch and ½ cup of the chicken stock. Add tapioca starch slurry, stirring well until smooth and thick, after first pouring remaining chicken stock into stockpot over vegetables.

Add chicken stock; stir occasionally until heated through and mixture becomes smooth and thick, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add shredded chicken, cream and milk; stir frequently until a soft boil is reached.

Stir in Frank’s® RedHot® Hot Sauce, corn, green chilies, bacon and Cheddar cheese. Stir well until chowder is smooth and cheese is completely melted. Stir in tortellini and chopped bell peppers. Lower heat and simmer until heated through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls or crocks and garnish with sour cream, cilantro, scallions, Blue Cheese or Monterey Jack cheese. Serve with carrot and celery sticks as well as tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

For Gluten Free Option:

To make Buffalo Chicken Chowder with Bacon & Cheese Tortellini gluten free, use tapioca starch in place of all-purpose wheat flour as a thickener. Tapioca works better than arrowroot starch with dairy, thus the reason why I am calling for it here in the gluten free version. (Arrowroot starch can make gravies and soups too glossy and slick.) To make a gluten free version, also substitute cheese tortellini with gluten free cheese tortellini (such as DePuma’s™) or homemade gluten free cheese tortellini.

Once again, if using tapioca starch, in a small bowl whisk together tapioca starch and ½ cup of the chicken stock. Add tapioca starch slurry, stirring well until smooth and thick, after first pouring remaining chicken stock into stockpot over vegetables.

Tip: Don't forget to skip the Blue Cheese if going gluten free as gluten lurks in blue cheeses.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/buffalo-chicken-chowder-w-cheese-tortellini-bacon-gluten-free-option/

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.

Comments

  1. I’m not sure I can wait til gameday for this. Holy cow, Stacy, where do you come up with such incredibly good looking and delicous sounding creations? Your pics are overthetop, once again, just the way we like ’em. Thanks for this great idea!!
    Dan from Platter Talk recently posted…Pretzel Muffins with Chocolate ChipsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Dan! You truly are a sweetheart and I appreciate all of your positive feedback. It means so much coming from a fellow food lover and great cook! To answer your question…my husband inspired me to create this dish. And, yes…the Super Bowl coming to Indy in 2012. I combined The Big Lug’s favorites and there it was! You simply must try this recipe. It will surely become a favorite and everyone will want seconds. I promise! xo

  2. My husband is a big fan of Buffalo Chicken and I love Cheese Tortellini and Bacon, so it’s like all the best worlds colliding into magic! This is definitely being added to my must make list Stacy!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Easy Kale PestoMy Profile

  3. I love buffalo flavor in soup, it’s just so satisfying, but with tortellini…OMG you’ve hit the spot here!
    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig recently posted…Cheesy Hot Salmon DipMy Profile

  4. I was just telling Zack last night how I’m craving soup, specifically a cheesy chowder type of soup! How funny you posted this today, now you have me craving it even more!
    Jaclyn recently posted…Falafel With Avocado Tahini SauceMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jaclyn! I hope you and Zack enjoy this chowder when the weather gets chilly. It’ll definitely keep you warm. It’s so satisfying and addicting!

  5. Oh my gosh, no doubt we’ll be trying this once the heat chills out (it’s 94 here today – bleh)! And I love you added baaaaaaacon 😉 xo

    • Thank you, Ashley! Girl, I know your palate. You will think you’ve died and gone to Heaven when you first try this chowder. I hope you’ll whip this up to enjoy with your friends and family this fall! xo

  6. Now this sounds delicious!
    Julie @ Table for Two recently posted…Apple Cider CaramelsMy Profile

  7. Seriously. how do you come up with these great ideas?? I need to pick your brain some time!! This is just cheesy goodness and I am not waiting for gameday! Love everything about this 🙂
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker recently posted…Coconut Almond Cream CakeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Zainab! You and your sweet hubby will enjoy this chowder. It will surely become a favorite. Thanks for stopping by, girl!

  8. I am SOFREAKINGEXCITED that it’s soup season! I loveeeee soup anytime of year and I especially love out-of-the-box (can?) soups, and this is one of them! Love the fact that it tastes like hot wings!
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted…Caramel Apple Cinnamon RollsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Hayley! I love your enthusiasm. If you love hot wings, you’ll definitely love this chowder. Thanks for dropping by, my friend!

  9. Your images are beautiful. Congrats!! Very deserving, if this dish didn’t win, I don’t know what would.
    Amazing looking, girl I can’t wait to make this. I can almost taste it in the last picture. The colors and everything works so perfect, you are an awesome cook my dear.

  10. I made something similar just this week!
    cquek recently posted…Minato Mirai 21 – YokohamaMy Profile

  11. This sounds like the ultimate gameday chowder Stacy! I can see why everyone loved it!
    Jeanette recently posted…Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken Sliders with Asian Slaw and Kimchi Sauce RecipeMy Profile

  12. Ah I looove buffalo chicken! Never had it in a chowder, but my biggest pet peeve with buffalo is getting it on my fingers 😉 So, this is perfect!
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) recently posted…First Apples of the Season — Drunken Baked ApplesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Ashley Bee! I hope you will make this chowder. Not only is eating it less messy than hot wings, it’s more of a comfort food. Bonus! Plus, the recipe makes a large batch so you can freeze some for later. 🙂

  13. Stacy. This soup looks TO DIE FOR! I could just imagine curling up on my couch with a big bowl and my favorite trashy show, haha. Pure comfort food in a bowl! I love it. Saving to try soon!

  14. Oh my! This looks so hearty and delicious! I love the blue cheese crumble topping here. Outstanding Stacy. Happy Friday! 🙂
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted…Banana Chocolate Cinnamon Snack CakeMy Profile

  15. Oh wow, this looks delicious! I gotta make this. Pinning!
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg recently posted…Wilted Spinach Quinoa Salad with Blue CheeseMy Profile

  16. Kumar's Kitchen says:

    Such an elegant bowl of chowder….sunny burst of colors and lip smacking flavors….no doubt this is going to be a terrific hit at home….you are so creative Stacy….whenever we visit your lovely blog, we see your culinary creativity even more expansive…keep it up our friend…HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! 🙂

    • Thank you, Kumar! You are such an inspiration. I truly appreciate your kind words–especially on such a hectic day. You bring sunshine wherever you go, my friend! Meanwhile, make this chowder. It will become a favorite, I promise! Thanks again for stopping by and have a fabulous weekend! 🙂

  17. What an amazing looking chowder! Love everything about it: use of tortellini, bacon, a dollop of sour cream on top looks especially enticing! And don’t even get me started on that floating crumbled blue cheese. Pinned!
    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com recently posted…Pad Thai noodles with shrimpMy Profile

    • Thank you for the pin, my friend! I hope you’ll try this special chowder soon. It is incredibly tasty and comforting…especially in the fall and winter months making them more cozy. Thanks again for stopping by!

  18. This looks like the most delicious comfort food! So yummy.
    Rachel @ Bakerita recently posted…Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (GF, Vegan)My Profile

  19. I know I’ll be dreaming for cooler temps for a long time, but this is something I would love a bowl of even on a hot fall day here;) Those photos are so tempting. The flavor just pops. Love this, Stacy.
    Lora @cakeduchess recently posted…an Italian cake and griefMy Profile

    • Thank you, Lora! Such a compliment coming from you, m’lady, being Italian and all. You’re such a talented baker and I adore your blog. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  20. Buffalo chicken, cheese, tortellini … what more could one ever need in a recipe (or in life). This sounds fantastic!
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste recently posted…Apple Pie PaniniMy Profile

  21. What a killer Combo!! I mean this is like my dreams in a bowl!
    Megan { Country Cleaver} recently posted…Pumpkin Pie Spice – Make Your Own Custom BlendMy Profile

  22. Just printed this one!
    It’s time to start collecting soup recipes, as winter is coming!
    vanillasugarblog recently posted…peanut butter-banana oat snack cakeMy Profile

  23. This soup is chock full of EVERYTHING I love! I think this was tailor made for me 😉 I really can’t wait to make this!!
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted…Top 10 Must See New Fall Shows 2013My Profile

    • Thank you, Jennifer! You will LOVE this chowder. Hubby, too. It borders on life changing AND will help get you through football season, LOL! Thanks for dropping by, my friend! xo

  24. Gawsh – chicken chowder…cheese tortellini…bacon….am just…just…drool…slurp….drooooool …speechless!

  25. You have no idea how hungry this is making me right now! It’s almost 3am and I’m looking at a recipe for buffalo chicken chowder with cheese tortellini and bacon… this is what we call masochism. All joking aside, this is so innovative! Can’t wait to whip this out of my soup arsenal when the weather gets colder.
    Irina @ wandercrush recently posted…Whole Wheat Blackberry ChallahMy Profile

  26. DELICIOUS!!! I don’t know how I would stop eating it! And there’s bacon in there?! OH LAWWWWD! Stacy, this is all kinds of awesomeness!
    Kate@Diethood recently posted…NEW GODIVA Truffle Flights™ #TruffleTakeOff TourMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kate! You and hubby will love this chowdah! It’s truly irresistible. Thank you for stopping by, girlfriend! xo

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