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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

This buffalo chicken salad is the perfect way to spice up your summer meals! It a delicious side dish for a cookout or an easy and flavorful summer meal! With tender pasta flavorful chicken, crisp veggies and a creamy, spicy dressing everyone loves this easy pasta salad recipe!

A large glass bowl full of buffalo chicken pasta salad

Confession- I don’t like buffalo wings, or hot wings of any kind. I’m just not someone who likes to eat meat of any kind off of a bone. However I do love things that seasoned with buffalo flavor like buffalo chicken dip, or this buffalo pasta salad! There is something about that tangy spice mixed with the creaminess of blue cheese that is just so tasty!

What I love about this easy buffalo chicken pasta salad is that it makes a great party food, cookouts, tailgating, summer holidays, or it makes a quick dinner that can be made ahead and is perfect for a hot summer day. We eat a ton of salads in the summer, they are a great solution for when it is too hot to turn on the oven, or you need something portable for the pool or beach!

Here’s how to make this easy pasta salad!

Ingredient Checklist-

The ingredients for buffalo chicken pasta salad bowls containing chopped chicken buffalo sauce, blue cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. There are green onions, stalks of celery and uncooked noodles sprinkled around the bowls

Get the exact measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Box of Pasta– I like to use rotini, but you can use your favorite pasta shape. You want to use small pasta that is bite size and easy to eat. I like macaroni noodles, and bowtie pasta for this recipe too! You can also use whole wheat pasta, gluten free pasta, or any alternative pasta that you like. I often make it with lentil pasta for added protein!

Cooked Chicken– This is a great recipe for using up leftover shredded chicken! If you are cooking chicken for another dish you can make some extra to have prepped for this salad. Another great short cut is rotisserie chicken! Just pick the chicken off the bones and you’re ready to go! You can also use the pre-cooked chicken strips you can find in the lunch meat section of the grocery store.

Green Onions- You want nice fresh green onions (also called scallions) You’ll be using the white part and the scallion greens in the salad so you want them to be crispy!

Celery- You want nice crisp celery so make sure it is fresh!

Crumbled Blue Cheese– You should be able to find this in your local grocery store.

Buffalo Wing Sauce- It is important that you use a wing sauce and not just plain hot sauce. If you have a wing sauce recipe you love you can use it or I like to use Sweet Baby Ray’s Wing Sauce. it is a tangy buffalo wing sauce that is just hot enough!

Mayonnaise– I prefer real mayo but if you prefer Miracle Whip you can swap it with no problem.

Sour Cream– I use full fat sour cream but low fat works well too.

Garlic Powder & Onion Powder– Make sure your spices are nice and fresh and flavorful!

A collage of 4 pictures showing the steps for assembling a buffalo chicken pasta salad

The first thing you’ll need to do is cook the pasta. Cook your chosen pasta according to the package directions in lightly salted water to al dente . When it is done drain the cooked pasta in a colander and rinse for several minutes with cold water. This helps cool the pasta quickly and stops it from cooking and softening any more.

While the pasta is cooking chop the chicken into bite size pieces and place in a large mixing or serving bowl. I like to season the chicken with buffalo sauce so I pour about at tablespoon full of buffalo wing sauce over the chicken and stir to coat.

Now in a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, and garlic powder. Add in buffalo wing sauce, if you like a more mild buffalo taste use ¼ of a cup, if you like it hotter add more, up to ½ of a cup. You can start with a smaller amount and add more to taste. Stir well.

Add the pasta to the bowl with the chicken, pour over the mayo mixture and stir to coat thoroughly. Add in blue cheese, green onions and celery and fold until evenly mixed. If you’d like you can reserve some green onions, celery, and blue cheese to garnish each serving as you plate it.

two small white plates each with a helping of pasta salad on them. There is a large bowl of pasta salad and a wooden spoon on the counter

Additions & Substitutions

If you aren’t a fan of blue cheese you can swap it out for shredded cheddar, mozzarella or Monterey jack. They will all be delicious and not as pungent as blue cheese. You can also use feta cheese if you want a touch of the strong cheese flavor that isn’t quite as strong as bleu cheese.

You can adjust the amount of hot sauce you use in this recipe to adjust the level of spice. I like to start with 1/4 cup and then add more after the salad is put together to get the best taste. The buffalo wing sauce is the main ingredient that creates the flavor of this salad so it is important to get it right.

You can swap the mayonnaise for blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing if you want to add in different flavors. The addition of the mayo creates a creamy buffalo sauce so it is important that whatever you add has a creamy base.

You can add in additional vegetables if you want to have additional flavors and crunchy veggies in your pasta salad. Some of our favorite additions are red onion, green or red pepper, carrots or cucumbers. We love to have this cold pasta salad for dinner on hot summer nights and adding extra veggies helps round out the meal.

A small white plate with a helping of buffalo chicken pasta salad on it.

FAQ & Tips for Success

Make sure to cook pasta to al dente, you want nice tender pasta but not overcooked or it won’t hold it’s shape in the salad.

Can I make this salad ahead of time? This salad keeps pretty well overnight. If you want to make it ahead for the next day I recommend only mixing in half of the buffalo dressing mixture. It will sink in quite a bit after the salad sits so reserve the other half to mix in right before serving. If you are eating leftovers you can add a little extra mayo and buffalo sauce ore a drizzle of ranch dressing to revive it a bit!

What to serve with this pasta salad? I love a big scoop of this pasta salad with some fresh corn on the cob and summer fruit salad for a delicious easy dinner. It also makes a great side dish with steak, burgers or pretty much any grilled meat!

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

This buffalo chicken salad is the perfect way to spice up your summer meals! It a delicious side dish for a cookout or an easy and flavorful summer meal! With tender pasta flavorful chicken, crisp veggies and a creamy, spicy dressing everyone loves this easy pasta salad recipe!
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soups & Salads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 Servings
Calories: 650kcal
Author: Krista

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Box of Pasta
  • 3-4 Cups of Cooked Chicken
  • ½ Cup Sliced Green Onions
  • ½ Cup Diced Celery
  • ½ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • ¼- ½ Cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder

Instructions

  • The first thing you’ll need to do is cook the pasta. Cook your chosen pasta according to the package directions in lightly salted water to al dente . When it is done drain the cooked pasta in a colander and rinse for several minutes with cold water. This helps cool the pasta quickly and stops it from cooking and softening any more.
  • While the pasta is cooking chop the chicken into bite size pieces and place in a large mixing or serving bowl. I like to season the chicken with buffalo sauce so I pour about at tablespoon full of buffalo wing sauce over the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Now in a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, and garlic powder. Add in buffalo wing sauce, if you like a more mild buffalo taste use ¼ of a cup, if you like it hotter add more, up to ½ of a cup. You can start with a smaller amount and add more to taste. Stir well.
  • Add the pasta to the bowl with the chicken, pour over the mayo mixture and stir to coat thoroughly. Add in blue cheese, green onions and celery and fold until evenly mixed. If you’d like you can reserve some green onions, celery, and blue cheese to garnish each serving as you plate it.




Notes

If serving as a side dish this makes about 8 servings, if serving as a main dish it makes about 6. Nutrition facts have been calculated with 8 servings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 206mg | Sodium: 402mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

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