This buffalo chicken pasta recipe is a fun twist on your favorite wings and a great way to use up leftover cooked/rotisserie chicken! Great for busy weeknights.
This buffalo chicken pasta has a base of cream cheese, and then we add in the standard buffalo sauce ingredients of Frank's Red Hot Original and a bit of butter. I wouldn't call this pasta knock-your-socks-off hot, but it does have a kick to it. If you really can't handle heat, you can reduce the hot sauce by a tablespoon or so, but the cream cheese and ranch do offer a cooling effect.
If you want to introduce your kid to spice and they like hot wings, this might be a good one to try!
Recipe notes & troubleshooting tips:
- This recipe goes much smoother if you let the cream cheese warm up first. I like to microwave it for 30 seconds or so - this makes it easy to work with.
- I recommend grating your own cheddar because it melts better than the bagged pre-grated stuff and also generally tastes better.
- If you don't have dry ranch seasoning, you could use a couple of tablespoons of bottled ranch dressing instead, but the ranch flavor may not be quite as concentrated. Or, try adding blue cheese dressing instead.
- I left out the blue cheese from this particular recipe, but you can definitely add some to the sauce if buffalo chicken isn't the same without it. 😉
- You can use any kind of pasta for this recipe. I've tested with penne and spaghetti (like in the photos).
- Ranch seasoning can be quite salty, so I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth if you're sensitive to salt.
- I recommend eating this pasta right away because the sauce dries out/thickens up quite quickly and doesn't reheat too well. With that said, if you know you'll have leftovers, only make enough pasta for what you're going to be eating for that meal and simply save and reheat any extra sauce by itself (on a low heat).
More tasty chicken recipes to try:
I hope you'll enjoy this easy buffalo chicken pasta recipe!
Questions? Let me know in the comments.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta
This buffalo chicken pasta recipe is a fun twist on your favorite wings and a great way to use up leftover cooked/rotisserie chicken!
- 12 ounces uncooked pasta
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese (a block of Philly) softened
- 3 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning (I used Hidden Valley)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped scallions (optional, to taste)
Take the cream cheese out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to starting the recipe. It should be really soft. You can also microwave it for 30 seconds or so to soften it up.
Boil a salted pot of water for your pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions.
Meanwhile, prep everything while waiting for the water to boil. I start the sauce once the pasta is cooking.
Add the butter, cream cheese, Frank's Red Hot, chicken broth, and ranch seasoning to a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter melts and it heats up a bit, stir until the cream cheese has been totally incorporated into the sauce (this will take a few minutes). Let it cook for another minute or two to thicken it up a bit.
Stir the cheddar in, and then add in the chicken. Let it warm through (but don't let it cook too much). Season with salt & pepper as needed. If you feel the sauce needs a little more moisture, add a splash of the pasta water prior to draining it. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss. Serve immediately with scallions sprinkled over top.
- Serves 4-6 with the recommended 12 ounces of pasta. Drop it down to 8 ounces if you want more sauce for 4 people.
- If you're sensitive to salt, use low-sodium chicken broth.
- Feel free to add blue cheese crumbles to the sauce! I didn't include them for this recipe, but it would be a great addition if you love blue cheese. I'd stir it in at the same time as the cheddar.
- You can use a couple tablespoons of ranch dressing if you can't find ranch seasoning.
- This recipe isn't super spicy, but it does have some kick to it.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.