Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe is a delicious dish that combines the zesty flavors of buffalo chicken with the comforting elements of pasta. This easy-to-make dish combines the perfect blend of spice and creaminess, making it a the perfect dinner recipe for buffalo chicken lovers.
Why This Recipe Works
- Creamy buffalo sauce. This buffalo chicken pasta recipe has a creamy buffalo sauce made from ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, cream cheese, and two different cheeses.
- Easy dinner recipe. You can get this creamy buffalo chicken pasta on the dinner table in just 30 minutes!
- Customizable heat. There are so many different ways to adjust the heat in the buffalo pasta recipe to your liking. Use spicy buffalo sauce or mild buffalo sauce. Use less mild buffalo sauce and add some BBQ sauce.
- Rotisserie Chicken: You can use rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken breasts cut into chunks or canned shredded chicken.
- Ranch Dressing: Feel free to use your favorite type of ranch dressing.
- Onion & Celery: Dice the veggies.
- Diced Tomatoes: Don’t drain the can of diced tomatoes.
- Chicken Broth: We use a lot of chicken broth because we need enough liquid to cook the noodles.
- Pasta: Feel free to use whatever pasta you prefer! Penne pasta, bowtie, rotini, etc.
- Buffalo Sauce: Can’t have that classic buffalo flavor without buffalo sauce!If you are worried about the spicy flavor of the hot sauce buffalo wing sauce, I would use a mild buffalo sauce.
- Cream Cheese: The cream cheese will help to mellow out some of the spice in the buffalo sauce.
- Cheese: For this cheesy pasta,I use a combination of cheddar cheese and fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Combine chicken and ranch. Add 2 cups rotisserie chicken and 1/2 cup ranch dressing to a medium bowl. Mix to combine. Set aside.
- Make the buffalo chicken pasta sauce. To a large pot add 2 tablespoons butter. Once melted, add the diced onion and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the undrained can of diced tomatoes and 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
- Cook pasta. Once the water boils, add 14 oz pasta to the pot and cook until al dente (according to the package directions), stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Once cooked, turn heat to low.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add 1/2 cup buffalo sauce, 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 4 oz fresh mozzarella. Stir until combined and the cheese is melted. The sauce will thicken as it sits and cool.
- Add the chopped chicken. Add the shredded chicken and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir to combined. Serve!
You don’t have to use fresh mozzarella, shredded will be just fine! (I LOVE fresh mozzarella so I always have it on hand).
If you aren’t a big buffalo sauce fan, try using a mild buffalo sauce, it gives you the flavor but reduces the spice level.
You can also mellow out the heat by reducing the amount of buffalo sauce and adding regular barbecue sauce or by adding a bit of sour cream when serving.
If you want to amp up the heat, add 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes instead of just a pinch.
For the chicken, you can use canned shredded chicken, rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken cut in strips, etc. This is a great recipe to use up your leftover chicken.
Feel free to add additional veggies to the mix. Add them when you are cooking the onion and celery. Diced green peppers would go great with this buffalo chicken pasta.
You can top the pasta with fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, green onions, blue cheese crumbles, a drizzle of blue cheese dressing, or an additional drizzle of ranch dressing.
Cooking time for the pasta will vary based on the choice of pasta.
To make a buffalo chicken pasta bake, make the buffalo chicken pasta as directed and then transfer it to a baking dish and top with additional cheese and breadcrumbs bake at 350ºF until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
You want to enjoy this buffalo chicken pasta fresh, but you can cut the onion and celery ahead of time to make things easier.
Store leftover buffalo chicken pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
I don’t recommend freezing pasta dishes, especially ones with lots of dairy in them.
You can use whatever type of pasta!
The spiciness depends on the buffalo sauce you use and the amount you add. If you’re concerned about the heat level, start with a mild buffalo sauce. You can add a smaller amount and taste as you go. Add some barbecue sauce to mellow out the flavor, too.
I wouldn’t! Noodles can go mushy when they are cooked, frozen then thawed. This recipe also has a lot of dairy in it which can separate when frozen and thawed.
More Creamy Pasta Recipes
Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken - cut into bite size pieces, or cooked shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup yellow onion - diced
- 1 stick celery - diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes - undrained
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 14 oz pasta
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- 8 oz cream cheese - very soft, and cubed
- 1 cup sharp cheddar - shredded
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella - cubed
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Add the chicken to a medium bowl. Mix the ranch into the chicken and set aside while you make the pasta.
- In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Pour in the diced tomatoes (undrained) and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add the pasta and cook until al dente (times will vary based on the pasta type you selected, refer to the back of the pasta box for time suggestions). Stir occasionally so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once al dente, turn the heat to low. Add the buffalo sauce, cream cheese, sharp cheddar and fresh mozzarella. Stir until combined and the cream cheese is melted. The sauce may seem a bit thin, but it will thicken as it sits and cools some.
- Add the shredded chicken and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.