This creamy pasta dish is made with chicken and penne pasta tossed in a creamy, cheesy Buffalo sauce then drizzles with ranch dressing and garnished with green onions. A delicious 20-minute meal!
If you're a buffalo chicken wing lover, this Buffalo Chicken pasta dinner is going to become a new favorite!
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
Tender pieces of chicken are tossed with penne pasta in a rich, cheesy Buffalo-chicken sauce then topped off with a drizzle of creamy ranch dressing and a sprinkle of green onions.
Serve with the classic celery, carrots and cool ranch and you've got a full meal in just 20 minutes!
The sauce is made with chicken broth, giving you amazing flavor and creamy texture in every bite.
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
You need just 8 ingredients for this dish. Super simple!
Here's everything you need:
- Chicken. Chicken breasts are cubed into bit-sized pieces. To save time, you can use rotisserie chicken or other cooked chicken and just skip the first step of cooking the chicken. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
- Butter. For cooking the chicken.
- Penne pasta. Or choose another paste shape if you prefer.
- Chicken broth. This is the based of the sauce. Much more flavorful than just using milk or water.
- Cream cheese. This adds creaminess to the sauce.
- Cheddar cheese. Freshly shredded melts best.
- Garlic. I like to use garlic paste but you can use fresh garlic, minced or powdered.
- Frank's Buffalo sauce. Note that this is pre-mixed wing sauce, not the original hot sauce.
For Garnish (optional by encouraged!): Green onion and ranch dressing.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
This pasta dish comes together in a few simple steps.
Here's a look:
- Cook pasta according to package.
- Cook chicken then set aside.
- Heat and whisk together garlic, chicken broth and cream cheese.
- Stir in Buffalo sauce then cheddar cheese.
- Fold in cooked chicken and noodles.
- Plate pasta then drizzle with ranch dressing and green onions.
Simple! Ready in just 20 minutes.
★ Tips & FAQs ★
What is Buffalo Chicken Pasta?
Buffalo Chicken Pasta is a delicious and savory dish that combines the bold flavors of Buffalo chicken with the comforting elements of pasta. Made with cooked chicken, tossed in a spicy, creamy and cheesy Buffalo sauce.
How spicy is the buffalo sauce used in this dish?
The level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit your preference. You can choose to use less buffalo sauce for a less spicy flavor or opt to add extra hot sauce sauce if you enjoy more heat. Feel free to experiment with different amounts or even different brands. I use Frank's Wing Sauce which is hot sauce already mixed with butter and seasonings to create that classic wing sauce taste.
Additionally, to cut the spice, consider adding more creamy ingredients like ranch dressing or even blue cheese dressing to balance out the heat.
Can I use a different type of pasta?
Absolutely! While the recipe may suggest a specific type of pasta, such as penne or fusilli, you can use any pasta variety you like. Some popular alternatives include rotini, fettuccine, or even whole wheat or gluten-free pasta for a healthier option.
Can I make this dish in advance?
Yes, Buffalo Chicken Pasta is a great dish for meal prepping. It's easy to reheat in the microwave. It's best to drizzle with ranch dressing and garnish with green onions after heating.
What side dishes pair well with Buffalo Chicken Pasta?
Common side dishes include a crisp green salad, garlic bread, or even celery sticks and baby carrots with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
These sides complement the flavors of the buffalo chicken while providing a well-rounded meal.
Can I use pre-cooked chicken for this recipe?
Yes, using pre-cooked chicken is a time-saving option. You can use cut-up rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken breasts. Simply shred or cube the pre-cooked chicken and toss it in the buffalo sauce before combining it with the cooked pasta. Let the chicken warm up with the sauce for a few extra minutes if adding cold.
How can I make this dish vegetarian?
While the traditional Buffalo Chicken Pasta contains chicken, you can create a vegetarian version by using plant-based alternatives such as buffalo-flavored tofu or cauliflower. You can also use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
Store any leftover Buffalo Chicken Pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove, adding a splash of water or broth to maintain moisture.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Note: Freezing may alter the texture of the pasta, so it's not ideal, but it's possible if you don't mind the pasta becoming more soft.
Alternatively, you can freeze the Buffalo chicken mixture separately and cook fresh pasta when you're ready to enjoy it.
★ More Recipes You'll Love★
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Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- 8 oz package penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1.25 lbs cubed chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoon garlic paste
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup Buffalo wing sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup ranch dressing
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
- ¼ sliced green onions
- Prepare penne pasta according to package instructions.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and chicken, cook and stir until outsides is light golden brown.Transfer cooked chicken onto a plate and set aside.
- Add garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).Add cream cheese and chicken broth; stir until cream cheese has melted and combined with the sauce.Stir in Buffalo sauce then cheddar cheese, allowing it to melt into the sauce.
- Add cooked chicken and cooked and drained noodles, gently stir until evenly coated in sauce.
- Plate pasta and chicken then top with ranch dressing, blue cheese and/or green onions if desired.