Easy Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe (So Delicious!)
This Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake is a delicious and simple casserole recipe that can be ready in 30 minutes.
When buffalo chicken dip and cheesy pasta are combined in one pan, the result is a meal that everyone will devour in minutes.
Dips that are creamy and loaded with ingredients, such as buffalo chicken dip and spinach artichoke dip, are always a hit at parties.
What if I told you that you could recreate the magic of a classic party dip in a creamy, rich, and saucy pasta dinner?
BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA
Do you find it difficult to prepare quick and easy dinners? I have a habit of putting off thinking about dinner until the very last minute.
Then I’m scrambling to prepare a hot meal when everyone is starving.
Having pasta, chicken, and cheese on hand makes it simple to prepare a quick 30-minute meal.
I like to buy Sam’s Club rotisserie chickens and freeze bags of shredded chicken for future meals. Another excellent option is to keep canned chicken on hand in the pantry.
With the addition of pasta noodles, cream cheese, hot sauce, and melted cheese, this became the best buffalo chicken casserole ever!
This pasta dinner, according to my brother, tasted exactly like the buffalo chicken dip, only heartier! You can’t beat a pan full of cheesy pasta goodness that everyone craves every week.
- A saucy and hearty pasta dish that tastes exactly like buffalo chicken dip.
- It’s bursting with tangy and spicy flavors that are hard to resist.
- A one-pot meal that can be prepared in under 15 minutes.
- It’s super simple to make gluten-free or vegetarian!
INGREDIENTS FOR BUFFALO CHICKEN CASSEROLE
- Chicken: Rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken breasts, chopped grilled chicken, or even canned chicken can be used. In this buffalo chicken recipe, we used every type of chicken available. It tastes great regardless of the type of chicken you use.
- Cream cheese adds a creamy and delicious flavor to the pasta.
- Shredded Cheese: A combination of shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese bakes up gooey and delicious. I never said this was a healthy buffalo chicken pasta, did I?
- Hot Sauce: To add a hot and spicy flavor to the buffalo pasta, we like to use Frank’s Red Hot sauce. To make it milder, reduce the amount or substitute wing sauce.
- Either ranch or blue cheese dressing will be delicious. It all depends on the dressing you like on your buffalo chicken wings. We make buffalo ranch chicken because our family prefers ranch dressing.
- Pasta: For this simple casserole, use your favorite pasta noodles. We prefer penne noodles because they absorb more sauce. Bow tie noodles would also be delicious in this buffalo chicken pasta. Cook and drain the noodles before adding them to the buffalo chicken dip.
- Toppings: Green onions and blue cheese crumbles are delicious additions to this buffalo chicken pasta.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Simply follow these 6 easy steps to make one of my favorite recipes!
- To make the cheesy buffalo sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cream cheese, buffalo sauce, and chicken broth in a large pot or skillet over medium heat Whisk together the ingredients until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Make the sauce more flavorful! Combine the paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl. To combine, stir everything together.
- Make it rich and creamy! To make a blue cheese or ranch dressing sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir the sauce until it is smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the chicken. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes after adding the cooked, shredded chicken.
- Prepare the pasta. In a large pot of boiling water, add the penne pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and add it to the buffalo chicken sauce.
- Finish by serving. If desired, garnish the pasta with diced green onions and crushed red pepper flakes before serving.
CAN A BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA BAKE BE MADE IN A CROCK POT?
It is possible. If you’re cooking raw chicken breasts rather than already cooked chicken, I’d recommend using a crock pot.
- To the hot sauce, add the chicken breasts and hot sauce. Cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high. In the juices, shred the chicken.
- Cook for 15 minutes after adding the cream cheese, ranch dressing, and cheese.
- Just before serving, add the cooked pasta and top with more cheese.
BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA VARIATIONS
This buffalo pasta is rich and flavorful. However, you can experiment with some fun changes to the recipe to suit your preferences.
- Seafood: Instead of chicken fingers, try popcorn shrimp for a taste of the sea.
- Cheese: Experiment with different types of cheese, such as Fontina, Mozzarella, or Gouda. Always use a well-melted cheese.
- Pasta: Most short pasta shapes, such as small shells, fusilli, or cellentani, work well in this recipe.
- Toppings: Garnish your pasta with blue cheese, bacon, or diced tomatoes.
CAN YOU FREEZE IT?
Buffalo Chicken Pasta makes an excellent freezer meal. Follow the recipe until you get to the step where you put it in the oven.
At this point, wrap the casserole tightly in plastic wrap and cover it with foil. You could also keep it in an airtight container.
When you’re ready to thaw and bake the pasta, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
After thawing, proceed with the baking instructions. After cooking, you can also freeze this pasta.
When reheating this pasta bake, you should have a little extra sauce on hand because the noodles may soak up the sauce.
CAN YOU MAKE BAKED PASTA AHEAD OF TIME?
Baked pasta can be made ahead of time. This dish will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the pasta in the oven.
Cover the pasta and bake it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove the pasta from the oven and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes.
When the cheese is done, it should be bubbly. This buffalo pasta is a fun twist on traditional buffalo wings that is ideal for a dinner with family or friends.
It combines hearty pasta with the spice and flavor of buffalo sauce and is sure to please!
HOW TO STORE?
Make sure the buffalo chicken pasta bake has completely cooled before storing it.
Refrigerate for 3-4 days after wrapping in foil. You can also store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
HOW TO FREEZE BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA BAKE?
- After baking, ensure that the casserole has completely cooled. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes, or until thoroughly warmed.
- Freeze before baking: Freeze before baking is another option. Place the casserole in a freezer-safe casserole dish after assembling it. Wrap tightly in foil and place in the freezer.
- If you want more sauce, use slightly less than a pound of pasta. It will take a little longer to thicken, but if you plan on having leftovers, this is preferable because the pasta will absorb more sauce in the fridge.
- To ensure that the cream cheese melts properly, make sure it is completely softened before adding it to the pasta.
- To avoid toughening the chicken, gently boil it.
- 2.5 cups cooked chicken is also an option.
- For extra creamy results, shred the cheese from a block. Shredded cheese from a bag does not melt (or taste) as well.
- Over low heat, add the cheese to the sauce. When the heat is too high, the dairy separates and the consistency becomes grainy.
- If you prefer, you can substitute ranch for the blue cheese.
- This recipe can be made with 2.5 cups of chicken broth and 1.5 cups of water, but I prefer to use 4 cups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can this buffalo chicken casserole be made ahead of time?
The pasta casserole can be prepared up to one day in advance. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. 30 minutes before baking, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator. Bake until the mixture is hot and bubbly.
How long will leftovers last?
Leftovers? What are the leftovers? LOL! Leftover buffalo chicken pasta will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days if stored in a tightly sealed container.
Can I make this a low carb meal?
You most certainly can. Enjoy by substituting cooked cauliflower for the pasta noodles.
What goes with buffalo chicken?
There are numerous sides that can be served alongside our Shredded Buffalo Chicken Tacos. Baked potatoes, onion rings, steamed green beans, homemade macaroni and cheese, our chickpea and edamame salad, baked beans, pasta salad, and french fries are among our favorite side dishes.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
When you combine buffalo chicken, cheese, and pasta in one casserole, you get a meal that everyone will enjoy. This Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake is delicious and ready in 30 minutes.
- 2 cups (8 ounces) uncooked, penne pasta (or substitute cooked cauliflower)
- 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup ranch dressing
- 1/3 cup hot sauce
- 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (or 1 – 12.5 ounce can chunk chicken breast)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- green onions, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat an 8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook the pasta noodles as directed on the package. To keep them from sticking, drain and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cream together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, and hot sauce until smooth.
- Stir in the chicken, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and cooked pasta noodles to the cream cheese mixture. Spoon into the dish that has been prepared.
- Sprinkle the remaining two cheeses over the top of the pasta. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is completely melted.
- Remove from the oven and top with green onions, hot sauce, and ranch drizzles. It serves 6 people.
If using canned chicken, drain and shred it with a fork before using.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: None
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 6 servings
- Calories: 416kcal
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 858mg
- Fat: 29g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 17g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 21g
- Cholesterol: 78mg
Keywords: Buffalo chicken pasta casserole, buffalo chicken pasta, chicken pasta casserole recipe, main dish recipe