Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

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Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta is easy to make in just 29 minutes! It’s made with ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella & blue cheese to create THE ULTIMATE creamy, cheesy dish!

Buffalo chicken baked pasta in casserole dish with serving spoon

Cheese + buffalo sauce + pasta = my favorite combo of all time! It’s creamy, saucy, carb-y goodness and I just can’t get enough of it!

The most popular recipe on the blog is Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne. (Which is basically THE BEST Buffalo Mac N Cheese EVER!) This dish has held the top spot on the blog since 2011 and I don’t see it dropping anytime soon! I took this concept and turned it into a baked pasta dish that’s going to BLOW YOUR MIND!

I’ve tested and perfected this recipe over the last 5 years and I’m here to tell you that it’s officially PERFECT! It has just the right amount of bite to the pasta, creaminess to the sauce and flavor of buffalo sauce.

All the creamy, cheesiness mellows out the spice of the buffalo sauce so this recipe is definitely suitable for the entire family. I guarantee your kids, husband, friends or significant other will be asking for this dish again and again! This new spin on baked ziti with chicken will be your new weeknight hero!

Baked cheesy pasta with spoonful coming out of baking dish

How to make Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

  • Cook the pasta.
    • Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.
    • Add one pound of pasta, either penne, ziti or rigatoni, to the boiling water.
    • Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and set aside.
      • Quick Tip! Be sure not to overcook the pasta. Cooking the pasta al dente, which means it’s just slightly undercooked and still has a bite to it, will help it maintain it’s texture while the dish bakes in the oven.
  • Make the cheesy buffalo sauce.
    • Place butter in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.
    • Once the butter has melted, add minced garlic to the pot and saute for 30-60 seconds.
    • Add heavy cream, parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese.
    • Whisk until the cheeses have melted together, 2-3 minutes.
    • Add buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing, stir to combine.
      • Quick Tip! Not a fan of blue cheese dressing? Ranch dressing can be used in it’s place!
  • Create Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta.
    • Add the cooked pasta and cooked, shredded chicken to the cheesy buffalo sauce.
      • Quick Tip! You can use this easy Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken to make cooked, shredded chicken to use in this baked pasta dish. You can also purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred the meat off the bone for use in this recipe.
    • Toss the pasta and chicken with the sauce until coated.
    • Transfer everything from the pot to an oven-safe baking dish.
    • Top the dish with shredded mozzarella cheese.
    • Place in a 350°F preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Do you bake pasta covered or uncovered?

Since this baked pasta dish is only in the oven for 15-20 minutes, it is baked uncovered so that the cheese melts nicely over the top. Some baked pasta recipes will call for a longer cook time and therefore will bake covered for at least part of the cooking time.

I lowered the cook time because all of the ingredients are already fully cooked when going into the oven. The baking portion of this recipe is to melt the cheese and cook all of the ingredients together. Cutting down on the baking time in the oven prevents the baked pasta from drying out.

Can I pre-make baked pasta?

Yes, this baked pasta dish can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored, covered in the refrigerator, before baking. When ready to bake, remove the dish from the refrigerator and bake as directed.

After the dish has been baked, any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

To reheat the baked pasta in the oven, place in an oven-safe dish covered with foil. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes, or until heated through. To reheat the baked pasta in the microwave, place it in a microwave safe dish, covered, and microwave for 2 minutes.

What to serve with Baked Pasta

Baked pasta is traditionally served with bread and salad on the side. To create an entire “Buffalo Style” meal, I highly recommend serving this Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta with Buffalo Cheesy Pizza Bread or Buffalo Cheesy Garlic Knots!

For the salad, try this Deconstructed Wedge Salad from Bowl of Delicious with blue cheese dressing. It will pair well with the blue cheese dressing in the pasta! Or try this Buffalo Cauliflower Salad from Blissful Basil to double up on the Buffalo style goodness!

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes! The buffalo cheesy sauce and pasta really are the stars of the show in this recipe. To make vegetarian baked pasta, simply omit the chicken and use a vegetarian parmesan style cheese.

You can also toss in some veggies in place of the chicken, like broccoli florets, diced zucchini or cauliflower florets.

Baked rigatoni with cheese in casserole dish

In my world, there’s no such thing as too much buffalo sauce, so here’s 6 more delicious “Buffalo Style” recipes to try!

  1. Buffalo Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole – this cheesy baked casserole dish is so easy to make in just one pan! It’s perfect for families & quick weeknight dinners!
  2. Buffalo Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells – more cheesy, buffalo pasta goodness for you!
  3. Slow Cooker Buffalo Cheesy Sausage Balls – the perfect game day party food!
  4. Buffalo Chicken Burgers – perfect for the grill, these lean, gluten free burgers are much healthier than their ground beef counterparts!
  5. Easy Buffalo Cheeseburger Macaroni – it’s like Hamburger Helper, but so much better! Macaroni and cheese + ground beef + buffalo sauce = winner, winner cheesy dinner!
  6. Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers – to make this easy, whole 30 recipe, simply stuff buffalo chicken in bell peppers & bake! They’re healthy, gluten free & low carb!
Cheesy baked pasta in casserole dish
5 from 4 votes
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Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta

Buffalo Chicken Baked Pasta is easy to make in just 29 minutes! It's made with ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella & blue cheese to create THE ULTIMATE creamy, cheesy dish!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 830 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta ziti, penne or rigatoni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce
  • ¼ cup blue cheese dressing
  • 1 lb cooked, shredded chicken breasts
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain and set aside.

  3. Add the butter to a large pot on the stove over medium heat.
  4. Once melted, add the garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds.
  5. Add the heavy cream, parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese.
  6. Whisk until the cheeses have melted together, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing.
  8. Stir to combine everything, then add in the shredded chicken and cooked pasta.
  9. Transfer the pasta to an oven-safe baking dish.
  10. Top with the mozzarella cheese, then place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

  11. Remove and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Dressing Substitution: If you're not a fan of blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing can be used in its place.
  • Chicken: This easy Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken recipe can be used to make cooked, shredded chicken to use in this recipe. You can also purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred the meat off the bone for use in this recipe.
  • Vegetarian: To make this recipe vegetarian, omit the chicken and use a vegetarian parmesan style cheese. Veggies, such as diced zucchini, cauliflower or broccoli florets, can be added in place of the chicken, if desired.