Buffalo Chicken Pasta is a delicious and flavorful combination of tender pasta, buffalo sauce, chicken, and lots of cheese! And, it can all be made in a skillet in about 30 minutes! It’s a crowd-pleasing recipe that will have everyone craving more. If this sounds amazing to you, be sure to check out my Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Chicken: Rotisserie chicken is perfect for this recipe since it is already cooked. You will need 3 cups of chicken, which is equivalent to about a whole rotisserie chicken. Sometimes, you can find the chicken already shredded at your local grocery store. Leftover chicken or shredded chicken would also work.
Buffalo Sauce: Use buffalo sauce, not hot sauce for this recipe. If you want to make your own buffalo sauce, I have the perfect recipe for you! The homemade sauce can be made a little hotter or not as hot, depending on your tolerance.
Ranch Dressing: I mixed ranch dressing in the buffalo chicken pasta. If preferred, you could use blue cheese dressing.
Cheese: For the creamiest, cheesiest dish, I used cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Reserve about a cup of mozzarella cheese to add to the top and broil until melted and bubbly. If possible, shred your own cheddar and mozzarella cheese from blocks. They melt and taste better than bagged shredded cheese.
Pasta: Rigatoni pasta is tubular noodles with ridges along the outer surface. They are the ideal shape for capturing and holding all of the sauce in the dish. You could use pasta you have on hand, or even make your own homemade-shaped pasta!
Can I Add Vegetables To Buffalo Chicken Pasta?
Sure! To enhance the flavor and nutritional value of this dish, you can add vegetables. Some options are:
- Bell peppers
- Spinach or Kale
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Yellow squash
When adding vegetables, consider their cooking time and adjust accordingly. Add the vegetables with shorter cooking time towards the end and the vegetables that require longer to cook, throw in earlier.
How To Store Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Once cooled, store buffalo chicken pasta in an airtight container. If you have a lot left, store it in individual-sized portions. Then, you don’t have to heat up all of it when ready to enjoy. Another option is to freeze the buffalo chicken pasta. Store it in freezer-safe containers, leaving a little room at the top for expansion. It will last up to 2-3 months. Let the frozen pasta thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups (960 g) chicken broth
- 16 ounces rigatoni pasta
- ½ cup (136.5 g) buffalo sauce
- 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed, softened
- 1 ½ cups (169.5 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups (226 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
- 3 cups (420 g) rotisserie chicken, shredded, chopped (about 1 whole rotisserie chicken)
- ½ cup (120 g) ranch dressing
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- chives, for garnish (optional)
- In a large 13-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Once the butter has melted, add onions. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the can of diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta noodles, making sure to submerge them until they are completely covered. Reduce heat to low and bring the mixture back to a boil. Cover, stirring occasionally, for 10-13 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente.
- Keeping the heat on low, add the buffalo sauce, cubed cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Stir gently until all the cheese has melted.
- Add the shredded chicken, ranch dressing, and red pepper flakes. Stir together and continue to cook until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes).
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Broil for one minute, or until the cheese is melted.
- Garnish with chives (optional). Serve warm.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.
What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
Such a simple and easy way to get your buffalo chicken fix. I'm also a sucker for cheesy pasta, so this one gets a checkmark in the win box.
If you are a fan of buffalo chicken, you can't go wrong with this recipe! However, I am a believer in blue cheese with buffalo sauce, so I will make it with that instead of ranch dressing. But, I still went back for seconds…
I was skeptical of this at first but it is so good! It's tangy, a little bit spicy, and perfectly savory. Overall, this is a very balanced dish, flavor-wise.
Buffalo anything is my favorite! This is a fantastic twist on all things buffalo! If you are a lover of buffalo flavor then this is the must-try dish for you. I love celery with my buffalo wings so I would even throw some fresh chopped celery as a crisp bite on top!
I'm not a huge fan of buffalo, but was surprised by this dish! It had a subtle heat and the creaminess of the sauce really balanced out the flavors well.
Cheesy, creamy, and savory. What else could you want in a pasta dish? You'll enjoy this if you like buffalo chicken in general!