This buffalo chicken pasta is made of saucy, creamy spaghetti loaded with buffalo sauce and topped off with rotisserie chicken and crumbled feta. You’ll be craving a second bite before you finish your first.
Easy & Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Ever get that pasta craving but want to step away from traditional recipes? Me too. This buffalo chicken pasta is the perfect solution. Wonderfully al dente noodles are simmered in a silky smooth, cheesy sauce infused with buffalo sauce flavor. The pasta is then topped with shredded rotisserie chicken and tart goat feta. The result is an explosion of savory goodness that reminds me of munching on buffalo chicken wings on game day.
The dish can be customized to suit different tastes and preferences. Some variations may include bacon, onions, or vegetables such as bell peppers or broccoli; I used corn. Other recipes may also suggest the addition of blue cheese to enhance the Buffalo sauce flair further.
What You’ll Need
Here is a list of what you need to make this buffalo ranch chicken pasta. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for detailed measurements.
For the drizzle:
- Heavy cream
- Ranch dressing
For the corn:
- Unsalted butter: Feel free to use salted butter but leave out the rest of the salt for the corn.
- 1 cup corn kernels
For the pasta:
- Spaghetti: You can experiment with other pasta shapes. I sometimes use bowtie pasta in this recipe.
- Unsalted butter
- Tomato paste: The tomato paste is optional, but it does serve to soften the tang of the buffalo sauce.
- Low-sodium chicken stock/broth: Feel free to use veggie stock instead.
- Full-fat cream cheese: Sour cream will work well too.
- Buffalo sauce
- Heavy cream: Half and half is a great substitute.
- Pasta water: It is important to reserve some of the pasta water and add it back into the sauce to help the sauce bind to the pasta.
- Shredded mozzarella: Not a mozzarella person? Try sharp cheddar, Muenster, or a Tex-Mex cheese blend.
- Shredded rotisserie chicken: Feel free to roast and shred chicken breasts or thighs.
- Feta cheese crumbles: Goat cheese is also okay to use.
- Fresh parsley
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta
This pasta recipe is fun to throw together, but more importantly, it is delicious!
- Make the drizzle. Whisk the heavy cream and Ranch dressing until well combined and season with salt.
- To cook the corn. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the corn, season it with salt, and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the pasta. Fill the same pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook to al dente. Strain, reserving half of the pasta water.
- Cook the garlic. Melt the butter in the pot over low heat, add the garlic, and cook until fragrant.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook until darkened in color.
- Add. Mix. Add the chicken stock and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cream cheese and mix to combine. Add the buffalo sauce and heavy cream and mix to combine. Stir in the pasta water and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the cheese. Raise the heat to medium-low and stir the mozzarella. Simmer until fully melted, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.
- Stir in the spaghetti until completely coated. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Serve in bowls topped with shredded chicken, feta, grilled corn, and Ranch drizzle. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
Recipe Tips & Variations
Are you eager to make the best buffalo chicken pasta possible? Here are some simple tips and tricks for you. I included a few exciting recipe variations that will allow you to achieve a top-notch pasta dish tailored to your taste buds.
- Reserve that pasta water. Pasta releases starches into the water it cooks in. When you add some of the starchy pasta water to a sauce, the sauce will loosen and bind more effectively to the pasta itself by means of those starches.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. This recipe requires you to simmer the cooked pasta in the sauce for several minutes at the end. So it is particularly important to only cook the pasta to al dente. If you cook it all the way through initially, you will have a soggy end product.
- Use a different cheese. Mozzarella has a nice, mild flavor that won’t compete with the tang of the buffalo sauce. If you want something more adventurous, try a sharp cheddar or pepper jack. Replace the goat feta with a bit of crumbled blue cheese for an extra pop of flavor.
- Try a different protein. I love chicken here, but shrimp is an excellent substitution for pescatarians. You could also use browned ground beef or turkey instead of chicken.
- Make it vegetarian. Use veggie stock instead of chicken stock and, instead of chicken, use baked tofu or roasted veggies to turn this pasta into a hearty vegetarian entree.
What to Serve With Buffalo Ranch Chicken Pasta
This creamy buffalo chicken pasta is sure to fill you up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play around with a side dish or two. Here are some of my favorite things to serve with this tasty pasta.
- Salad. Lighten this flavorful pasta with my Heirloom Tomato Salad, Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn and Tomatoes, Creamy Broccoli Salad Recipe with Chicken, Bacon, and Cheddar Cheese, or even this Rainbow Fruit Salad with Honey Orange Yogurt Dressing.
- Cooked veggies. Round out your meal with some cooked veggies. I have been loving these Perfect Grilled Zucchini and Roasted Artichokes.
- Soup. Try my Cream of Zucchini Soup or this Asparagus Soup Recipe.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- If you find yourself with leftovers, allow the dish to cool completely, seal it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, transfer the pasta to a large pan and heat over medium-low heat, occasionally stirring until heated through. If the sauce is too thick, feel free to stir in a bit of water or chicken stock to loosen it up.
- To freeze: Cool the pasta, place it in an airtight container, and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, allow the pasta to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally.
- You can also reheat buffalo chicken pasta directly from frozen. Transfer the pasta to an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Heat in the oven at 350˚F for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
I love pasta. It’s a canvas for creativity. This creamy buffalo chicken pasta is packed with flavor and is one of my favorites, but if you want something different, try one of these wonderful pasta recipes.
- Rasta Pasta (Caribbean Jerk Chicken Pasta)
- Skillet Baked Gluten Free Pasta with Ground Turkey and Tomatoes
- Red Pepper Sauce Pasta with Spinach and Feta
- Creamy Pasta with Ricotta, Mint and Garlic Sauce
- Garlic Pasta with Ketchup and Feta
- Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta
- Alfredo Pasta with Steak
- Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Alfredo Casserole
Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup canned corn kernels, rinsed and drained
- salt, to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti, uncooked
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ⅔ cup low-sodium chicken stock
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup buffalo sauce
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream, or half and half
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Whisk the heavy cream and Ranch dressing in a mixing bowl until well combined. Season with salt to taste. Taste and adjust the sauce's intensity by adding more Ranch as needed. I recommend keeping the flavor subtle.
- Melt the butter in a large pot (I used a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir occasionally. Season it with salt to taste. Transfer the corn to a bowl and set it aside.
- Return the pot to the burner and fill it with water; increase the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook it according to package instructions until it is "al dente." It should be cooked through but still have a slight bite.
- Strain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Set the spaghetti aside. If you're going to come back to cooking later, toss the spaghetti in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
- Cook the garlic: melt the butter in the pot over low heat. Add the garlic and let it cook for 3 minutes or until soft and fragrant; stir frequently. Stir in the tomato paste and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until it darkens in color.
- Add the chicken stock and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Add the cream cheese and whisk to combine.
- Pour in the buffalo sauce and heavy cream. Mix until well combined. Stir in 1/3 cup of the pasta water, increase the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for 3 minutes. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, add the remaining reserved pasta water to thin it out.
- Stir the mozzarella into the sauce and let it simmer for 6 minutes or until thoroughly melted. Stir occasionally—season with salt and pepper to taste. Now you can adjust the flavor with more buffalo sauce for a more intense flavor or heavy cream for a more mellow flavor.
- Gently stir the spaghetti into the sauce until it's completely coated. Let it heat for 4 to 5 minutes in the sauce.
- Remove from heat. Add the pasta to serving bowls. Top each bowl with shredded chicken and goat's milk feta. Add grilled corn and Ranch drizzle to taste.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
- Chicken: I used rotisserie chicken, but feel free to use leftover cooked chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Add shrimp or shredded salmon for a seafood spin, or toss in tofu crumbles to make it vegetarian.
- Butter: If you use salted butter, you’ll want to use less salt in other areas of the dish.
- Pasta: I prefer spaghetti here, but you can use whatever you like, including fettuccine or bow-tie pasta. More importantly, do not overcook the pasta or past the “al dente” time because the pasta will continue to cook later while it simmers in the buffalo sauce.
- Corn: I like the texture corn adds to this dish, but you can leave it out or add broccoli florets or diced bell peppers.
- Use Half & Half instead of Heavy Whipping Cream for a lighter sauce.
- Buffalo Sauce: My favorite is the original Frank’s Red Hot, but feel free to use whatever brand of Buffalo sauce you like.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.