Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe made with juicy chunks of chicken, diced onion, cream cheese, hot sauce, and loads of shredded cheese. Ready in just 30 minutes and just as delicious as your favorite buffalo chicken dip.
The Cheesiest Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe
It’s no secret that I love all things buffalo sauce and buffalo chicken. I also love pasta and gooey melted cheese, so the other day I decided to put them all together to make one of the most magically cheesy and delicious comfort foods to ever grace my kitchen table. It’s basically the perfect excuse to enjoy buffalo chicken dip for lunch and dinner, and maybe even breakfast? Who knows, why not? The leftovers are amazing.
Worth every single delicious bite, you guys are really going to love this flavor-packed buffalo chicken pasta.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake Ingredients
- Olive oil
- Cream cheese
- Chicken broth
- Hot sauce
- Ranch dressing
- Cheese – cheddar and mozzarella
- Ricotta cheese
- Green onions
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is my favorite hot sauce to use in not just this recipe but for all my buffalo chicken needs. If you have a favorite hot sauce that you prefer, go for it. Use caution, however, as some hot sauces are better left for use in Mexican dishes.
Use your fav pasta shape. I used cellentani pasta, but penne pasta or bowtie pasta is also great.
What’s better – chicken breast or chicken thighs? Given the heavy nature of this pasta casserole, I prefer to add boneless skinless chicken breast. It’s less fattening and perfect for chopping or shredding. Leftover rotisserie chicken is another great alternative.
RELATED: Easy Baked Buffalo Chicken Recipe
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta
1. Preheat oven and prepare a large baking dish. Technically you don’t have to bake this pasta dish after it’s been mixed together. However, for presentation purposes, I always think it looks nice to transfer the pasta and chicken to a large baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake until melted.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. For best results, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1-2 cups of the salted pasta water and then drain well.
3. Add the onions and a tablespoon of olive oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook until soft and translucent then add the garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
4. Add the butter, softened (room temperature) cream cheese (full fat is best), chicken broth, hot sauce, and ranch dressing (or blue cheese dressing) to the onions. Mix continuously until cream cheese is melted.
5. Add the chicken to the sauce. Add a lot, add a little, shred it up or keep it cubed. Use your favorite.
6. Mix in one cup of the cheddar cheese and one cup of the mozzarella cheese, mixing until melted. Then add the cooked pasta.
- NOTE: If your sauce is thicker than you’d like, thin using the reserved pasta water from step 1. Start with approximately half a cup and add more as needed.
7. Transfer everything to your prepared casserole dish and top with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, chopped green onions, and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Drizzle with additional hot sauce or Ranch dressing, if desired.
8. Bake for approximately 15-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve garnished with additional green onion, hot sauce, or Ranch dressing, if desired.
How long will leftovers last in the refrigerator? Leftovers will last for up to 4-5 days when stored in an air-tight container and in the refrigerator.
How can I make this low-carb? Turn the easy buffalo chicken pasta low carb by swapping the pasta with cauliflower. For best results, I recommend boiling cauliflower florets in a large pot of water for approximately 3 minutes, then draining well, and setting aside until ready to mix with your prepared cheesy buffalo sauce and chicken.
RELATED: Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe
Can You Cook This in the Slow Cooker (crockpot)?
Yes, you can definitely make buffalo chicken pasta in your slow cooker. Here’s how you’ll want to do it-
- Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, butter, cream cheese, chicken broth, hot sauce, and chicken to the bowl of a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, high for 2-3 hours (everything is cooked so it doesn’t need that long).
- Thirty-minutes before serving, cook your noodles according to package instructions (sorry, guys, I’m not a fan of cooking pasta inside the actual slow cooker).
- Add the ranch dressing, shredded cheeses, and cooked pasta. If your sauce is too thick, thin using a bit of reserved pasta water or chicken broth.
- If desired, you may top your pasta with additional shredded cheese and spoonfuls of ricotta, cover, and allow to cook until melted.
RELATED: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
More Pasta Recipes,
If you try this creamy buffalo chicken pasta recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback!
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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 1 lb pasta - (I used cellentani pasta)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion - diced
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- salt and pepper - to season
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese - softened
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce - divided
- 1/4 cup Ranch dressing - (or Blue Cheese)
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast - cooked and chopped
- 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese - shredded
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese - shredded
- 1 cup ricotta cheese - optional
- 1/4 cup green onions - chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1-2 cups of the salted pasta water; drain well.
- Prepare the cream sauce. As the noodles are cooking, add the olive oil to a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, mixing well to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the butter, cream cheese, chicken broth, hot sauce, and Ranch dressing to the onions. Mix continuously until cream cheese is melted.
- Add the chicken. Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and mix to combine.
- Add the cheese and cooked noodles. Add one cup of the cheddar cheese and one cup of the mozzarella cheese to the pot. Mix thoroughly to combine. Gently fold in the cooked and drained noodles. NOTE: If your sauce is thicker than you'd like, thin using the reserved pasta water from step 1. Start with approximately half a cup and add more as needed.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish. Season with additional salt, pepper, or hot sauce, to taste then transfer the chicken and pasta mixture to your prepared baking dish. Top with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, chopped green onions, and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Drizzle with additional hot sauce or Ranch dressing, if desired.
- Bake. Transfer to your preheated oven and bake for 15-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve garnished with additional green onion, hot sauce, or Ranch dressing, if desired.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)