Bring a little spice to summer parties this year with Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad. This pasta salad is tangy, refreshing, and packs just the right amount of heat. Radiatore pasta, creamy ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, your favorite hot sauce, shredded chicken, and a bunch of veggies come together to form something beyond your typical family-cookout pasta salad.
Don’t get me wrong – I am a big fan of the traditional pasta salad recipes with Italian dressing. But when I bring food somewhere, I want it to stand out, both in flavor and in presentation, and this Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad recipe does just that.
It is perfect as a side dish or even for a quick dinner at home – this is SO EASY to make, which is great for me, because I crave it frequently. Just something about the chicken wing flavor combined with pasta, all my favorite dressings, smooth mozzarella, and the fresh crunch of celery just makes for the perfect bite.
What ingredients do I need?
I’m glad you asked. These are the ingredients I put in my buffalo chicken pasta salad:
- Chicken. This is up to your preference – I usually just take chicken breast and cook it in the crock pot with some chicken stock and hot sauce a few hours before making, and when I come back it’s ready for shredding. If you want something even easier, feel free to use a store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred that up.
- Ranch Dressing. Your favorite brand is fine. I use homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, but store bought works just as well!
- Creamy blue cheese dressing. I also like to make this from scratch, but that is completely not necessary. Your favorite brand is fine.
- Hot sauce. My go-to is Frank’s.
- Cooked pasta. I think Radiatore is the best for pasta salad.
- Shredded carrot.
- Mozzarella balls.
- Chives or green onions.
- Crumbled blue cheese.
Tips and Tricks
- I recommend getting your chicken and pasta ready a few hours before you’re ready to serve. These need to be cold when put in the salad, so I think it’s best to cook your chicken and pasta in the morning, set aside, then bring it all together right before serving.
- If you choose to cook your own chicken, you will want it to be really tender and juicy for shredding. I recommend cooking low and slow in the crockpot with chicken stock and hot sauce.
- For some extra buffalo flavor, toss your cooked and shredded chicken in some extra hot sauce.
- Feel free to experiment with other add-ins or toppings!
- I find it’s easiest to combine all my sauces in one small bowl, then add to a large bowl with my chicken, celery, carrots, mozzarella, pasta, and toss together.
- This recipe is for a lot of pasta salad – enough to bring to a party. If you want less, you can half the recipe (or make the entire thing and eat the leftovers for a few days!)
- This recipe is not stringent – if you feel you want more of something, add it in. If you want less of something, take it out. Make it how you want to eat it!
Can I make Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad ahead of time?
Yes! You can make this all the day before, just keep it covered in your fridge.
If you do make this pasta salad recipe, let me know in the comments how it turned out for you. In the meantime, other check out another crowd-pleaser with my Absolute Best Brownies.
- 1 lb radiatore pasta
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- 1 cup creamy blue cheese dressing
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- 1/3 cup celery, chopped
- 1/3 cup shredded carrot
- 1/3 cup mozzarella balls
- 3 tbsp parsley
- 3 tbsp chives
- crumbled blue cheese, for topping
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, then set aside until cool.
- Shred or dice cooked chicken, then set aside until cool.
- Once pasta and chicken are cool, combine ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, and hot sauce in a bowl.
- Place pasta, chicken, celery, carrot, and mozzarella in the serving bowl. Then add dressings and mix together.
- Add in parsley and chives, saving some for topping.
- Top with blue cheese crumbles, plus remaining parsley and chives, then enjoy!
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g