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A spoon serving up a portion of buffalo chicken pasta.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This buffalo chicken pasta is crispy chicken pieces tossed with penne pasta in a spicy and creamy cheese sauce, then baked to golden brown perfection. A unique baked pasta dish that's great for serving a large crowd!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 508kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 12 ounces frozen breaded chicken tenders
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 16 ounces short pasta such as penne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ranch powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided use
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • cooking spray


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Bake the chicken fingers according to package directions. Coarsely chop the chicken. Reserve 1/2 cup of chicken pieces for garnish.
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour, then whisk until combined.
  • Pour in the water and whisk until smooth and just thickened. 
  • Add the milk and whisk until combined. 
  • Stir in the pasta, salt, ranch powder and smoked paprika, then bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente.
  • Turn the heat to low, then stir in the 3 cups of cheddar cheese, the mozzarella and cream cheeses, and 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce. Keep stirring until the sauce is smooth.  If you need to thin the sauce, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  • Stir in the diced chicken.
  • Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese over the top.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and browned.
  • Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of buffalo sauce over the pasta. Add the reserved chopped chicken, celery and green onions on top, then serve.


Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 780mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 995IU | Calcium: 497mg | Iron: 1.7mg