I can’t wait for you to try this amazingly easy Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe! It’s packed with the Buffalo flavor you love, in a creamy hot sauce-infused sauce, covering tender pasta and hearty chicken.
The best part? It’s cooked all in one pan! You are going to love this quick and easy dinner recipe so much.
Everyone loves Buffalo Chicken, and they’re going to love it when you make this Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe too!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A True One Pan Meal– I promise! You don’t have to cook the pasta separately, it will simmer and cook through right in the skillet with the rest of the ingredients. If you love this concept, check out my one-pot pasta with a simple tomato sauce, and creamy chicken orzo too.
- Spicy Buffalo Flavor – The sauce for this buffalo chicken pasta recipe has just the right amount of spice. It’s not too hot, but the flavor of hot pepper sauce shines through. Top your pasta with creamy ranch or blue cheese dressing and crumbled blue cheese for the full Buffalo chicken effect.
- Versatile Recipe – Enjoy this buffalo pasta as is, or top it with extra cheese and bake it for a bubbly, melty casserole version.
Ingredients In Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Here’s what you need to make this easy shredded chicken pasta recipe:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Cooked Chicken: Start with a pound of chicken that you’ve already cooked or about 3 cups of shredded or diced chicken from leftovers or a rotisserie chicken. You can boil chicken breasts for this recipe, or use my crockpot shredded chicken recipe.
- Garlic, Onion, and Celery: sauteed with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper, these aromatic veggies create a savory first layer of flavor for our dish.
- Chicken Broth and Diced Tomatoes: Choose low-sodium chicken broth for this recipe, or the finished pasta could be overly salty. The broth and juice from the tomatoes give us enough liquid to cook dry pasta right in the skillet.
- Pasta: I like bowties (a.k.a farfalle) in this dish, but it will truly work with any pasta shape you enjoy. Try it with penne, rotini, or even long pasta like spaghetti.
- Hot Sauce: Pick up a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, or a similar Buffalo-style hot sauce.
- Cream Cheese: Cut a block of full-fat cream cheese into cubes, and let it sit out and room temperature to soften. You can make this recipe with low-fat cream cheese, but it won’t be as creamy.
- Shredded Cheese: Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese are both mixed into the sauce to make it amazingly cheesy! You can of course use your favorite types of cheese instead though. Try provolone, monteray jack, or swiss. Let the shredded cheese sit at room temperature too, so that it melts quickly.
- Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing: In Buffalo, they serve blue cheese dressing with chicken wings, but you may prefer ranch dressing instead.
- Crumbled Blue Cheese: Again, this is the best choice, but you can use crumbled feta as a substitution. Both are delicious!
How To Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Saute Vegetables: Heat olive oil in a large skillet (I’m using a 10-inch cast-iron skillet) over medium heat. Cook onion and celery in the skillet until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking for just 30 seconds.
- Add Liquids: Pour in the chicken broth and the canned tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil.
- Cook Pasta: Add dried pasta to the boiling mixture. Stir, and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-13 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
- Make it Cheesy: Reduce the heat to low and add Buffalo sauce, softened cream cheese, and shredded cheese to the pasta. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
- Add the Chicken: Stir in the shredded chicken, being sure to coat all of it in the sauce.
- Garnish and Serve: Serve warm topped with a drizzle of blue cheese dressing or ranch, crumbled blue cheese or feta, and some chopped green onion if you like.
It’s important to start with softened cream cheese! If it’s too cold, it will be difficult to incorporate it fully into this creamy, delicious buffalo pasta sauce.
- Make sure you have a lid that fits on your skillet well enough to keep the heat in while the pasta is simmering.
- Cook time may vary slightly depending on the shape of the pasta that you are using and how soft you’d like it when it’s finished. Start checking on the pasta at the 10-minute mark, and add additional time if needed.
- If you choose long pasta, you may need to break it in half so that it fits in the pan.
- Add the cheese over low heat. If you try to use high heat to melt the cream cheese there is a possibility that the milk proteins can separate. Go low and slow!
- It’s ok if your sauce seems a bit thin! It will thicken in a minute or two as it cools.
- Shred your own cheese: For the best flavor and melty texture, you should consider buying cheese in blocks and shredding it yourself. You’ll also save money doing it this way! Shred the cheese while it’s cold, and then let the shredded cheese come to room temperature before adding it to the pasta.
- The same goes for crumbled cheese – it’s better to buy a block and crumble it yourself rather than buying containers of “crumbles”.
- Instead of chicken, use leftover holiday turkey to make this tasty meal!
Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Turn this skillet meal into a cheesy casserole with just a few extra steps and some extra shredded cheese.
Once the dish is finished, but before you garnish it, transfer it to a casserole dish (if you’re cooking in an oven-safe skillet, you can just leave everything right there!). Sprinkle an additional half cup of cheddar and a half cup of mozzarella on top, and bake at 350°F/180°C for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pasta is bubbly.
Garnish with creamy dressing and crumbly cheese before serving.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and enjoy within 3 days or so. This dish is best when it is fresh, so I don’t recommend making it ahead of time on purpose.
I’d avoid freezing this meal, as the pasta will likely become too soft.
To Reheat leftovers: Add a splash of water and stir to loosen up the sauce while reheating gently in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.
What To Serve With Buffalo Pasta
I’ve only tested this recipe with traditional dried pasta, so I can’t say for sure that it will work with non-traditional types. If your pasta has similar cooking instructions and timing as regular pasta, it will probably work, but you may need to experiment with the total cooking time to perfect the recipe.
This pasta is a little bit spicy, but not too much. You can adjust the heat by reducing or increasing the amount of hot sauce you add.
The city of Buffalo, New York is the birthplace of hot wings, also known as chicken wings, or Buffalo wings, and so anything that has that spicy flavor can be described as “buffalo”. The flavor comes from spicy and tangy hot pepper sauce, and it’s generally paired with a creamy element such as blue cheese or ranch dressing.
It’s everything you love about chicken wings but in a creamy, cheesy, one-pot pasta dish! Be sure to Pin this recipe – it’s perfect for making with leftovers or a rotisserie chicken and makes a simple meal for a busy weeknight.
- 1 pound (450g/3 cups shredded or diced) cooked chicken leftovers or rotisserie chicken work great!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups (1 litre) low sodium chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces/400g) diced tomatoes
- 1 pound (450g) pasta of choice
- ½ cup (135g) Buffalo hot sauce
- 8 ounces (225g) cream cheese cubed and softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (9 ounces/255g) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (6 ounces/170g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing for serving
- Crumbled blue cheese or feta for serving
- Shred or dice cooked chicken into small pieces. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and celery until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, salt, and black pepper, and cook another 30 seconds.
- Pour in chicken broth and canned tomatoes with all their juices. Bring to a boil.
- Then add pasta. Stir to fully coat the pasta in the liquid. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 to 13 minutes, stirring intermittently, until pasta is al dente.
- Reduce heat to low and add buffalo sauce, cubed cream cheese, and shredded cheeses. Stir until cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
- Stir in shredded chicken.
- Serve warm topped with a drizzle of ranch or blue cheese dressing, as well as crumbled blue cheese or feta over top. The pasta sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Use bottled dressing, or see my recipes for homemade ranch and homemade blue cheese dressing.
- Be sure to soften the cream cheese ahead of time. If it’s too cold, it will be difficult to incorporate it fully into the sauce. It’s also important to reduce the heat to low before adding the cheese so that it won’t separate.
- Any kind of pasta can be used. The total cooking time will depend on the size of the pasta and how soft you’d like it to be. Use gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free dish!
- Feel free to use other types of cheese in this recipe. Cheddar jack, provolone, or your favorites will all work well.
- Baked Version: This version uses an extra cup of cheese. Once the dish is finished, but before you garnish it, transfer it to a casserole dish. Sprinkle an additional half cup of cheddar and a half cup of mozzarella on top, and bake at 350°F/180°C for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pasta is bubbly. Garnish with creamy dressing and crumbly cheese before serving.
- To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and enjoy within 3 days.
- To Reheat: Add a splash of water and stir before reheating in the microwave.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen