EASY Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad combines pasta, chicken, and veggies with a delicious buffalo-ranch dressing. 

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad in a bowl.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Buffalo sauce is a favorite ingredient in my home because it adds so much flavor to dishes and keeps the ingredient list short.

It’s the star of some of my easiest recipes, including Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Buffalo Chicken Pasta, and Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps, to name a few.

Today, I’m excited to share yet another easy recipe that features buffalo sauce: a pasta salad!

Moving away from the traditional Italian-dressed pasta salad recipe, this version spices things up (literally)! It’s easy to prepare, making it perfect for potlucks, BBQs, parties, and more. It’s quickly become one of my new favorites and I know it’s going to be on heavy rotation this Spring and Summer!

All the ingredients in this dish prepped out for easy assembly.


  • Rotini Pasta: Its spiral shape holds onto the dressing well. Feel free to substitute with bowtie, penne, or a similarly sized pasta.
  • Cooked Chicken: This salad is perfect for repurposing leftover baked chicken or a rotisserie chicken.
  • Celery: Adds a crunchy texture. Finely chop it so it mixes well with the other ingredients.
  • Red Pepper: Offers a sweet, mild flavor and a pop of color. An orange or yellow pepper can be used as a substitute.
  • Green Onions: These deliver a mild bite and fresh flavor. Leave them out if you’re not a fan of onions, or if you’d like more bite, use a red onion.
  • Carrots: Grating them on the large holes of a cheese grater ensures you don’t have big crunchy carrot bites throughout the salad. They add a nice mild sweetness.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Buffalo Sauce: Frank’s® RedHot Wings Buffalo sauce is my favorite here, it’s got a great balance of spice and flavor.
  • Ranch Dressing: Grab a high-quality or homemade ranch for the best possible flavor.
  • Mayo: Adds creaminess and helps thicken the dressing. Use full-fat for a richer flavor.
  • Garlic Powder and Black Pepper: These two ingredients enhance the overall flavor of the dressing.

Sauce being combined and then all the easy Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients being added to a bowl and the dressing being poured over everything.


Recipe Variations

  • Spice it up or down: Adjust the amount of buffalo sauce based on what you like. Start with a little and add more as you go.
  • Customize veggies: Not into celery or carrots? Swap for other crunchy veggies like cucumbers or radishes.
  • Cheese: Add some crumbled blue cheese or small cubes of mozzarella (or cheddar) for a fun flavor boost.
  • Protein: Swap chicken for Air Fryer Chickpeas or bacon. If you’d rather have this be more of a side salad, leave out the meat entirely.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe Tips

  • Marinate the Chicken: For extra flavor, marinate your chicken in a bit of buffalo sauce before cooking. This will increase the spicy flavors throughout the salad.
  • Add Fresh Herbs: Dill or parsley can add a bright and fresh flavor that nicely contrasts the creamy and spicy dressing. Chop finely and sprinkle over the top before serving.
  • Let It Chill: If you’ve got the time, letting the salad chill in the fridge for a bit before serving can help the flavors meld together better.
  • Salt the Pasta Water: If you’ve ever had a lack-luster pasta salad, it might just be because the pasta wasn’t cooked in well-salted water. Salted water seasons the pasta making the whole salad taste better.
  • Cooking Pasta: Cook pasta to al dente. It should have a slight bite to it, which prevents it from becoming mushy when mixed with the dressing and other ingredients.
  • Cool Pasta Quickly: After draining, rinse the pasta under cold water to quickly stop the cooking process. This also removes excess starch so the pasta won’t sticking together.

The dish in a bowl ready to be served.


Leftover Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

  • I like this salad best the same day it’s made, but it will stay good for 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Stir well before serving, adding extra dressing if needed. Pasta will continue to absorb surrounding liquid, so if the salad seems dry, it might just need more dressing.
  • Make it ahead: Prep the pasta and chop the veggies in advance. Just mix with the dressing right before serving to keep everything fresh.

What To Serve With Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

  1. Cornbread: Slightly sweet cornbread can balance the spicy kick of the buffalo sauce in the salad.
  2. Tropical Fruit Salad: A simple fruit salad with pineapple and grapes offers a nice sweetness.
  3. Cucumber Salad: This light and refreshing salad helps balance the creamy and spicy flavors of the pasta salad.
  4. BBQ Ribs or Steak: If you’re looking to add more protein to your meal, BBQ ribs or grilled steak pair well with this salad.
  5. Sweet Potato Fries: Whether baked or fried, sweet potatoes complement the buffalo chicken theme nicely.

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad combines pasta, chicken, and veggies with a delicious buffalo-ranch dressing. 
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad in a bowl.
Print Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad in a bowl.
5 from 1 vote
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad combines pasta, chicken, and veggies with a delicious buffalo-ranch dressing. 
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 433kcal
Cost $14.59



  • 1 pkg (16 oz) rotini (or similar pasta)
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (1 stalk)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated carrots (grate on large holes of cheese grater)


  • 3/4 cup buffalo sauce (Note 1)
  • 3/4 cup good ranch dressing (Note 2)
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • DRESSING: In a medium-sized bowl, combine "dressing" ingredients. Whisk until combined. Place in the fridge to chill while preparing the rest of the salad.
  • PASTA: Bring a large pot of 12 cups water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add 1 tbsp salt and then pasta. Boil to package directions for "al dente." Drain, rinse under cold water (no longer than 20 seconds). Set aside to fully cool.
  • ASSEMBLE: Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl. Add the chicken and prepared veggies. Stir in the dressing to preference (I add it all!) and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • STORAGE: Best enjoyed on the day it is made. For advance prep, store components separately and assemble before serving.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Frank’s® RedHot Wings Buffalo Sauce is our favorite in this salad. Frank’s makes quite a few sauces; be sure to use the one labeled “buffalo” not the cayenne pepper sauce!
Note 2: This ranch is our favorite in this recipe. Not into store-bought dressings? Try our favorite Ranch Dressing Recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.6g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18.8g | Cholesterol: 40.7mg | Sodium: 500.8mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 3.8g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

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