Can you keep a secret?

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta I

Last night I went to a karate slash pilates slash bootcamp-ish slash heart attack class. I know. Your face? Your expression you are wearing right now? I was thinking the exact same thing. But my face was red and dripping with beads of sweat.


Anyway. That’s not the secret.


All I could think of during this class was cheese. Cheese on toast, cheese with jam, cheese on nachos, cheese in my face. If you find this peculiar then you really don’t know me. If you are not the least bit surprised, well then… you sure are neat. And I like you.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta I

After flinging myself through the front door following my uncoordinated attempt at unarmed combat and eating four handfuls of peanut butter stuffed pretzels (I hear they are excellent for muscle recovery. write that down.), it dawned on me that peanut butter pretzels do not a dinner make. I had already spent a luscious 30 minutes with a quesadilla earlier in the evening, but when you jump, kick and squeeze your body into oblivion, you deserve a second dinner. It’s like a law or something.


Then I remembered the buffalo chicken mac sitting in the fridge and decided it qualified as a post-workout recovery meal.


Uh… wait a minute.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta I

This is sort of like mac and cheese. Or it is mac and cheese. Can someone tell me what the difference between baked pasta and mac and cheese is? Educate me. It’s probably the cheese to pasta ratio. Copious amounts of cheese make up this buffalo chicken pasta. Maybe baked pasta doesn’t have lots of cheese. I don’t know.


But guess what? Now it does. That’s the beauty of this whole little deal we’ve got going on. I make things and name them whatever the heck I want. Sometimes you call me on it. Other times you look at me with googly eyes. Most times it is still delicious. Except for anything with broccoli. If I ever tell you something with broccoli is delicious, I’m lying.


I don’t care what you call it. Just get on it.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta I

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta

serves 4-6

1 pound pasta (I used whole wheat orecchiette)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cups milk

4 ounces freshly grated monterey jack cheese (I used half a brick) + more for topping

1/3 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese + more for topping

1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

salt and pepper to taste

for garnish: 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, additional buffalo wing sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until milk thickens. Add in grated cheeses and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in buffalo wing sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Spray a baking dish (9 x 13 is fine, I used a round 4-inch deep dish) with non-stick spray. Add pasta and chicken, then pour cheese sauce over and mix throughly until everything is coated. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with gorgonzola, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with buffalo wing sauce.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta I

And save me some? I’m still hungry.

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278 Responses to “Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta.”

  1. #
    Katie Bird — May 9, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    This recipe is great! Great flavor and I used left over chicken so it super easy! Awesome!!


  2. #
    Lynne — May 21, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    Trying this tomorrow for dinner…..thanks Sybil:-)


  3. #
    Gene — May 25, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    The difference between mac and cheese and “baked pasta” is that mac and cheese does not have meat in it. The addition of meat technically makes it a casserole. I learned this distinction from watching a video on the food network’s website on the topic a while back.


    • Prue — June 6th, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

      Was that necessary to leave a comment about?


      • Christy — July 6th, 2012 @ 11:02 pm


        • Nick — July 31st, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

          The author explicitly asked someone to distinguish between macaroni and cheese and “baked pasta”, so yes, gene’s comment was necessary.

  4. #
    Joe — June 13, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    Great Meal! Had difficulty thickening the milk but it turned out fine anyways and I added a clove of minced garlic into my sauce ! very heavy and can feed probably 8 people.


  5. #
    Andrea — June 15, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    Sounds great! I’ll have to try this sometime when it’s my turn to cook dinner for my roommates! What kind of buffalo wing sauce did you use?


    • Kellie — October 28th, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

      I recommend a brand named wing time! It’s so good :-)


  6. #
    jackson — June 25, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    For wings and other ” Buffalo Style” stuff I use only Frank’s ( brand) hot sauce- Just the right blend of hot and flavor – I’ve tried a substitute – but so far nothing comes close – When flavor is more important than heat – Only go with Frank’s – BTW – Franks is brand used by folks credited with creating ” Buffalo Style” chicken wings….. BOL


  7. #
    Marie — July 15, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

    Yummy! Easy and delicious!


  8. #
    JESSICA — July 20, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    We tried this tonight.I was very disappointed.I had a hard time getting the milk to thicken.A lot of work for mac and cheese.My family did eat it and liked it but not enough to make again.


    • JESSICA — July 20th, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

      Maybe I did something wrong…????Maybe I needed more cheese.


      • ES — August 10th, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

        I couldn’t get the milk to thicken either. I think the proportions of the recipe are off.

      • Jill — March 28th, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

        The proportions aren’t off, you just need to bring the butter/flour roux and mild to a boil. It will thicken almost immediately. I made this and it was wonderful. Even my 18 month old couldn’t get enough.

  9. #
    grace — July 24, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    I just want to say I love your style of writing… even if it wasn’t a recipe you were talking about I would still want to read what you say because you are funny. :)


  10. #
    Linda — August 23, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    Your not alone cause i am not familaur with any bands haveing to do with sweaters or poneys eaither! I betcha they arent even worth listening to. However this buffalo chicken with pasta and oodles and oodels of cheese is what i’m talkin about… ITS THE BOMB!


  11. #
    t — August 24, 2012 @ 7:58 am

    I think your milk did not thicken because there is no mention of adding the flour to the milk. A tablespoon of flour is noted in the ingredients, but is not mentioned in the assembly instructions.


    • Jessica — August 24th, 2012 @ 9:03 am

      No, it definitely is written in the instructions. Right after the butter melts.


  12. #
    Jenn — August 29, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

    To all those who said they had trouble getting the milk to thicken, did you let it come to a bubble? Those ratios sounds about right to me, as we’ve used basically the same amounts for mac & cheese, cheese sauce for broccoli, or white sauce for years. But I do know now (thanks to Emeril, LOL) that it a roux won’t reach its full thickening capacity until it comes to a boil. No offense to anyone’s skills, just popped into my head.


  13. #
    Amy — September 18, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    Would the cook time change if I used ramekins?


  14. #
    Katherine — September 19, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    I made this last night and it came out perfect! I used 1T butter, 1T flour and only 1 cup of milk to make the roux. I had no trouble getting the milk to thicken although it did take 15-20 mins. I used cheddar, asiago, and tossed in some leftover cream cheese. It was delicious, thanks for the recipe!


  15. #
    Pam Betts — October 9, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

    WORST anything I have EVER cooked!!!!!! Followed the recipe exactly and the pasta was so dried out it was crunchy. How embarrassing!!! Will never try your web site again or any of your recipes!!!! Hamburger Helper is better than this! OMG, I cannot stress enough how bad this was. A total waster of ingredients!!!!!


    • Daniela — October 30th, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

      How hard is it to get the pasta tender? Lol you don’t even need this website to do so, not the recipe’s fault .


    • Courtney — November 15th, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

      Seriously, I cannot even fathom what you did to your pasta to make it “dried out” and “crunchy” ….besides not cooking it.


    • Lyla — November 2nd, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

      I can’t figure out any reason for being this nasty to someone else about you being a bad cook. Perhaps your “embarrassment”?


  16. #
    Hannah Jayne — October 12, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

    This has become my “are you kidding?” dish. I made it the first time, cut it in half and threw one casserole in the fridge for my bestie and her family. After my boyfriend ate all but my meager portion, I made the mistake of telling him there was another casserole in the fridge… The morning after, there wasn’t. He and his “we’re going to grab a beer” buddies polished it off. I almost hate to make this now because people suddenly start “dropping” by!


  17. #
    Kelly — October 28, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    Made this tonight! Really good, even though my cheese sauce didn’t get completely smooth. Next time I’ll let my milk come to a boil before adding my cheese! Thanks for another great recipe! :)


  18. #
    Samantha Linenberger — October 28, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    This had become a regular at our house. We love it. I just had to share it on my own blog. Thanks for a great meal!


  19. #
    Chloe — February 10, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

    Macaroni Cheese is my favourite ever and this sounded like such an awesome take I had to try it, unfortunately I could not find buffalo cause anywhere :(
    To adapt, me and my boyfriend marinated the chicken in a BBQ sauce for an hour and then added some extra to the cheese sauce instrad od buffalo. It was delicious and I am going to continue my hunt for buffalo sauce!!


    • Brianna — March 17th, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

      Try looking for Frank’s in the condiment section of the store. I know that Costco usually carries it, as well.


  20. #
    Hannah — March 11, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

    I used all sharp cheddar cheese and it was so gooooood. My brothers lost their minds. To say the least, it was a hit.


  21. #
    Lorelei Reichle — June 29, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    It is essential to accelerate muscle recovery for a number of reasons. In order to get back into your fitness routine, incorporating a few healing techniques for sore muscles is essential. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting a fitness routine, giving the muscle time to repair itself is imperative to muscle recovery, which can affect your ability to exercise or train on a regular basis. No matter what your fitness level, you’ll be able to get back on track with your exercise routine by following these tips.'”*;

    So long <


  22. #
    Beth — July 10, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

    This made our regular rotation of meals after my hubby took only a few bites. SCORE! The only change I’m going to try next time is either more sauce or tossing my chicken in sauce to coat before mixing in the noodles and sauce. We had a similar dish at a local restaurant and remembered the chicken being colored with the sauce…love that I can make this at home and monitor my own ingredients!!


  23. #
    Jennie B — July 24, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    Omg!!! Made this with white beans and shredded summer squash, SO DELICIOUS. I’m freaking out over how amazing it is. I just used pepper jack, feta and cream cheese because that’s what I had- still amazing. You’re the best.


  24. #
    Victoria — October 6, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

    Just made this for Sunday football watching and it was awesome. Your recipes never disappoint!


  25. #
    Lisa — November 18, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    I just made this last night for our football party. I was really expecting something with much more flavor. It was very one note.. I used a box of 13oz orecchiette and felt that it was way too much pasta to sauce ratio even though it was less than the pound you called for in the recipe. I ended up mixing in a half block of softened cream cheese just to give it some sort of creaminess that it was definitely lacking. I also ended up adding another 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce since it barely had any spice. I like the idea and appreciate you putting the recipe out there. But you know you can’t please everyone.


  26. #
    Catherine Wiencek — December 28, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

    OK, just made this. Yum tastes good even before baking. I sautéed chicken thighs,salt pepper and some hot sauce, made your cheese sauce, but deglazed the chicken pan w/wine and mixed it in the cheese sauce. I add wine to everything. Made buttered bread crumbs and plan to serve with diced celery, blue cheese and cilantro. Can’t wait til dinner…


  27. #
    Menupage — March 13, 2015 @ 5:49 pm

    Wow, interesting! Has anyone else come across the same thing compared to this? I am curious where to find more responses on this matter…



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