Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta is one of our favorite easy cheesy casserole dishes that is a favorite comfort food during hectic weeknights.
Shredded chicken in a creamy buffalo sauce is tossed in cooked pasta, then topped with cheese and baked until cheesy perfection.
A drizzle of ranch dressing and a sprinkle of chopped green onions give this easy casserole the finishing touch to a delicious main dish meal.
I think my teenagers could eat this buffalo chicken recipe on repeat 5x a week!
I love it because it's quick and easy to make and reheats well in the microwave - if there are an leftovers. Ever seen 16 year old boys eat pasta? 🙂
It's delicious served with my cheesy stuffed garlic bread as a side dish and makes for a hearty meal any day of the week.
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Ingredients & Substitutions
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you can easily find in the grocery store and I will list substitutions below so that you can change it up and make it your own!
- Pasta - we use penne pasta or you can substitute with your favorite pasta shape.
- Olive oil - use high-quality extra virgin olive oil to cook the shallots.
- Shallot - adds a sweet flavor or you can subsitute cooking onions in their place.
- Fresh garlic - fresh garlic for great flavor, or substitute 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Chicken stock - in a pinch, I sometimes substitute vegetable stock instead.
- Ranch dressing - use your favorite bottled ranch dressing
- Cream cheese - we used regular cream cheese, or you can also use light cream cheese
- Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce - our favorite!!
- Cheddar cheese - we love the blend of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
- Monterey Jack cheese - you could also subsitute Mozzarella or any of the best cheese for melting.
- Black pepper
- Cooked chicken, shredded - you can use leftover chicken or freshly cooked chicken. I like to poach chicken or use shredded rotisserie chicken.
- Green onions - optional for garnish for individual servings.
Step by Step Instructions - How to make buffalo chicken pasta bake
You can find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this page. I've included some step by step visuals below to help you along the way with each step.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Step 2 - Shred both cheeses and mix them together in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 3 - Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving ½ cup of paster water.
Step 4 - In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook shallot and minced garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened.
Step 5 - Reduce heat and stir in the softened cream cheese, black pepper and chicken stock. Stir constantly over low heat until the cream cheese is completely melted into the chicken stock.
Step 6 - Stir in the buffalo sauce and ½ cup of ranch dressing until combined.
Step 7 - Stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheeses.
Step 8 - Gently stir in the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water and shredded chicken.
Step 9 - Top with remaining shredded cheese and bake in 375°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
Serve with buffalo chicken pasta bake topped with chopped onions and drizzle with ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
Can I freeze buffalo chicken pasta bake?
Yes! Transfer pasta bake to an airtight freezer container for up to three months. To reheat, thaw overnight in refrigerator, then reheat in 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, covered in foil.