An easy buffalo chicken flavored pasta salad that can be prepared in just fifteen minutes. The perfect side dish for any party!
I’m trying to be grateful. It’s 100 degrees outside and the air is thicker than a bowl of my favorite Panera broccoli cheese soup, and just as hot. It’s literally difficult to breathe; my lungs take a few extra milliseconds to filter out the oxygen from this dense blanket of sheer humidity.
But, it’s summertime, it’s warm (putting it mildly), and there’s no snow in my 10-day forecast (and hopefully won’t be for a while), and for that, I’m trying to be grateful. In fact, I’m about to introduce even more heat to your summer days — in the form of this buffalo chicken pasta salad.
I made this buffalo chicken pasta salad a little while ago for a cookout at my parents’ house. It was nothing fancy, just the family and some of my sisters’ significant others (which makes for a pretty full house of 12 people) and I brought along this pasta salad for everyone to try out. It was a hit, and Nikki ate nearly the whole container on her own.
To keep things simple I use a rotisserie chicken, which I shred while it’s still warm and then toss with the pasta and cheese (for melty mozzarella in every bite) and then the sauces.
The buffalo sauce gives this pasta a good bit of heat, but it’s tempered nicely by the ranch dressing, and the pasta, too. The scallions and red pepper do a good job of keeping the dish from being too spicy (a cooling, crunchy element), so all ages can enjoy a big scoop besides their burgers without grappling for a glass of water.
Enjoy, and let’s try to appreciate the heat while it lasts.
Buffalo Chicken Style Pasta Salad
- 8 oz rotini pasta
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken, shredded)
- 1/3 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped scallions
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Add chicken breast and red pepper and stir to combine.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and black pepper to make a sauce.
Pour sauce over pasta mixture and stir until well combined.
Stir in mozzarella cheese (it is best to add this while the pasta is still warm so that the cheese mostly melts).
Top with chives and serve*
*This pasta salad is delicious either served warm or chilled first in the refrigerator.
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