Buffalo Chicken Pasta

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This Buffalo Chicken Pasta packs a serious punch of flavor and is so easy to make thanks to some ingredient shortcuts. Quell your buffalo chicken cravings in under 30 minutes– all while getting loads of protein!

Can’t get enough buffalo chicken? Try our Buffalo Chicken Tenders or easy Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps next time!

Overhead image of Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This Buffalo Chicken Pasta is part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients, or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta is so quick and easy to make, but packs a serious flavor punch! And here’s the best part: the sauce is TWO ingredients. Really, just two!

And while you may be conceding that there is going to have to be a trade-off of less flavor for ease, it won’t happen with this recipe. Because, with a good brand of Alfredo sauce and the right Buffalo sauce, the sauce tastes restaurant quality. (More on this below!)

QUICK TIP

This Buffalo Chicken Pasta without cream cheese is made on the stovetop instead of being baked– making it a true 30-minute (or less) dinner-time solution.

Ingredient shot-- image of all the ingredients used in this dish

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Sauce

As mentioned, good sauces make all the difference with this recipe. Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • Jarred Alfredo sauce. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t typically like jarred Alfredo, but Rao’s ®Alfredo is pretty great– especially when mixed with the buffalo sauce and browned bits left behind from the chicken. It’s the freshest tasting not-homemade Alfredo I’ve ever tried and tastes creamy, smooth, and rich.
  • Buffalo Sauce. Frank’s® RedHot Wings Buffalo sauce is our favorite in this Buffalo Chicken Pasta! Frank’s makes quite a few sauces; be sure to use the one labeled “buffalonot the cayenne pepper sauce!

Process shots-- images of the chicken being prepped and cooked for this Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Ingredients

Beyond the sauce we’ve got four other main ingredients:

  1. Pasta. We like penne, but there are so many different types of noodles that will work — farfalle, rigatoni, fusilli, mostaccioli, to name a few.
  2. Frozen peas. We throw these in for some added color and nutrients, but if you aren’t a fan of peas, the pasta is still tasty without ’em. 
  3. Butter. Sautéing the chicken in butter imbues it with loads of flavor and adds a nice color to the meat.
  4. Chicken. While most of the Lifesaver Recipes rely on rotisserie chicken, we want raw chicken breasts for this recipe. This is because we’re relying on the leftover “browned bits” from cooking the chicken to add a depth of flavor to the sauce. We season the chicken simply — just salt, pepper, and garlic powder. If you’d prefer, flavor the chicken with a packet of ranch seasoning instead!

QUICK TIP

For the chicken, grab 2 large skinless, boneless breasts and cut each in half to get 4 thinner filets — this way they’ll cook up ridiculously quickly (and evenly) on the stovetop (no need to transfer to the oven).

Process shots- images of the chicken being cut up and then the creamy buffalo sauce being made

How To Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta

  • Salt the pasta water: Salting the water is the only chance you have to season the actual pasta, so make sure the pasta is well salted as it cooks. Add the salt when the water is boiling, and then wait until the water returns to a full boil before adding the penne pasta.
  • Cook chicken and let it rest: Give the chicken breasts a quick sauté and then remove to a plate. Tent the plate of chicken with foil and let it rest before dicing (this results in juicy and tender bites of chicken).
  • Toss together sauce: while the chicken is resting, combine and heat the Alfredo and buffalo sauce. Add the chicken and peas back in and toss everything together.
  • Garnish with your Buffalo Chicken faves! We love some bleu cheese crumbles and a good handful of green onions or chives. 

Process shots of Buffalo Chicken Pasta-- images of the pasta being added into the dish

STORAGE

Can You Freeze This Recipe?

As with most pasta dishes, this recipe is best enjoyed the minute everything is tossed together.

Because of the pasta and dairy in this dish, it is not a great candidate for freezing and thawing. Dairy-filled dishes typically get grainy or the sauce can break/curdle from being frozen and thawed.

Overhead image of the Buffalo Chicken Pasta in a pot ready to be enjoyed

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta

5 from 2 votes
This Buffalo Chicken Pasta packs a serious punch of flavor and is so easy to make, thanks to some ingredient shortcuts. Quell your buffalo chicken cravings in under 30 minutes, all while getting loads of protein!
Print Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

5 from 2 votes
This Buffalo Chicken Pasta packs a serious punch of flavor and is so easy to make, thanks to some ingredient shortcuts. Quell your buffalo chicken cravings in under 30 minutes, all while getting loads of protein!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword buffalo chicken pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 661kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $8.21

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • Fine sea salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 3 cups uncooked penne pasta or other pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 jar (15 oz.) Rao's Alfredo or your favorite brand of Alfredo sauce (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Sauce (Note 2)
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen peas
  • Optional: chives, blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

  • PREP CHICKEN: Cut chicken breasts in half widthwise to make four thinner filets. Use a meat mallet/frying pan/your fist to give each piece a quick pound (don't flatten chicken; we just want all the pieces fairly even in width). Season both sides. (I add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt & pepper to each side and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder to each side.)
  • PASTA: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water and then cook the pasta according to package instructions, subtracting 1 minute from what the package indicates. Drain the pasta, don't rinse, set aside.
  • COOK CHICKEN: Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons butter to a large heavy-bottom skillet. Heat on high heat to melt. As soon as it's melted, add the chicken pieces in one layer. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through (registers 160 degrees/juices run clear); remove to a plate. Tent with foil.
  • SAUCE: Don't wipe out the skillet! Reduce heat to medium. Pour in the entire container of Alfredo and 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce. Stir, scraping up the browned bits left behind from the chicken. Bring sauce to a simmer.
  • FINISHING: Add the cooked and drained pasta, diced chicken, and frozen peas to sauce. Toss to combine and warm through. Taste for more salt & pepper if needed. If desired, top with some bleu cheese crumbles and green onions or chives. Enjoy immediately.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Alfredo sauce: I'll be the first to admit I don't typically like jarred Alfredo, but Rao's ®Alfredo is pretty great -- the freshest tasting jarred Alfredo I've ever tried and tastes creamy, smooth, and rich. If you don't use Rao's be sure to use a good quality one that you love! (With so few ingredients, the ingredients used really matter!)
Note 2: Buffalo sauce: Frank’s® RedHot Wings Buffalo sauce is what we're looking for here! Frank’s makes quite a few sauces; be sure to use the one labeled “buffalonot the cayenne pepper sauce!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1690mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1884IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

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.

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  1. 5 stars
    Very Good & much Great. You are successful because you share all the Knowledge you know with others. That’s a Great sign! Good Luck
    to the Future AND thanks.

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