A large spoonful of Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake in a cast-iron skillet
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

The Ultimate Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe

This quick and easy oven-baked, creamy Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese casserole recipe is deliciously spicy, simple to make, and the ultimate comfort food!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casserole, chicken pasta bake recipes, pasta recipes, chicken casserole recipes, comfort food, main dish
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 597kcal
Author: Sharon Rigsby

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces bowtie or farfalle pasta
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 3 cups cooked chicken chopped or 1 rotisserie chicken chopped up with the skin and bones removed.
  • 1 bell pepper large, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions or scallions divided
  • 2 cloves garlic grated or finely minced
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened or at room temperature
  • 1 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing works best with homemade or refrigerated dressing
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Hot Wing Sauce I like Frank's
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded and divided
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the pasta box. When finished cooking reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before placing the pasta in a colander to drain.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine the chicken, bell pepper, 1/4 cup of the chopped scallions, and 2 cups shredded cheese. Set aside.
  • Place the cream cheese, garlic, blue cheese or ranch dressing and the hot wing sauce in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. If you like your food spicy you can add up to 1/4 cup more hot wing sauce. Mix well.
  • Place the drained pasta in a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chicken mixture, reserved pasta water, and cream cheese mixture and combine.
  • Melt butter and mix with the panko bread crumbs.
  • Top with the crumbled blue cheese, remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese, panko bread crumbs, and the remaining scallions.
  • Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the panko is crispy. Let sit for a few minutes and serve hot. Enjoy!

Notes

I made this casserole in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet because I was only feeding four people. I froze the rest to eat another time. It does fit perfectly in a 9x13 baking dish. 
I usually use leftover chicken when making this recipe. Or I will purchase a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin and bones and chop up the meat. Three cups of chicken is a loose measurement. A little more or less won't matter. 
If you would like to roast chicken breasts and use them in this recipe, check out this post, Easy Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts.  Chicken breasts are so large these days; you can usually get two cups of chicken from one large breast. 
I prefer using either homemade blue cheese or ranch salad dressing or the refrigerated kind. However, if all you have is regular bottled dressing, it will work too.
If you don't like spicy food, reduce the amount of buffalo wing sauce you add. If you like spicy food, add up to 1/4 cup more. This recipe is medium spicy.
This chicken and pasta recipe is versatile. You can use pretty much any pasta you like or have on hand. I happen to like bowtie pasta or farfalle, and that's what I used, but you could use penne, rotini, shells, elbow macaroni, fusilli; the list goes on and on.
I used sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe, but this makes it an excellent opportunity to use all of those half-full packages of shredded cheese in your cheese drawer. Cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Colby, or a Mexican or Italian blend will all work well.
If you don't have buffalo sauce, you can substitute 1/4 cup of hot sauce plus 1/4 cup of melted butter. 

Nutrition

Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 751mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1381IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 387mg | Iron: 2mg