Friday, April 26, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

It's time for another Blogger's Choice Recipe Swap hosted by A Taste of Home Cooking. I was given the blog Carrie's Sweet Life. Now, I've "known" Carrie for several years through a cooking board we both participate in, and I'm familiar with her blog, so I immediately went to her pasta recipes to choose one for this swap.

I chose this Buffalo Chicken Pasta, cheesy, gooey pasta and chicken with the flavor of buffalo sauce and blue cheese. And since the temperatures have been more like winter than spring, I thought this would be the perfect comfort food dinner.

Carrie omitted a few things from the recipe, so I went back to the source, which happened to be our host for this swap, to see what changes were made. The original recipe called for green onions and cilantro to top the baked pasta, so I decided to add these things back in to the recipe.

As a lot of my meals have been lately, this is another one that falls into the category of can-be-prepped-ahead or can-be-repurposed. A few ideas to save time - poach and shred your chicken the day before you are planning to put this dish together. Make extra chicken so you can use it for something else later in the week. Make extra pasta so you can use it for something else later in the week. Make extra cheese sauce to toss with the chicken, and use this filling for enchiladas or quesadillas.

For some reason our daughter was really excited for dinner when I made this. She saw me draining the pasta and starting yelling "yay, pasta!" and was asking me every 2 minutes if it was ready. As soon as I said it was she ran to her chair and sat waiting for her plate. But then she looked at it - an orange sauce with green things on top and everything mixed together - and her face fell. She likes flavor (sriracha is her favorite condiment!), but she also likes everything on her plate to be separate, so pasta mixed with chicken was going to be a tough one. Then she surprised me...she took a bite, chewed it, and then looked at both of us and said "mmmmmm!" Success!

I liked this as well, and am looking forward to the leftovers. Jon was on the fence, although he's not the biggest fan of warm blue cheese, so I can understand that.

Below is the recipe with a few very minor changes - I poached and shredded the chicken instead of cutting it into cubes. I added a bit of blue cheese into the cheese sauce; the original recipe only called for topping the finished dish with blue cheese. Finally, I made my sauce in an oven-proof saute pan, so once it was done I tossed the pasta and chicken into the pan instead of transferring everything into a baking dish. I used 3 pots and 2 cutting boards to make this dinner - I didn't need another baking dish to wash!

Thanks for sharing this, Carrie, and I'm glad you have decided to join us in these swaps again!

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

  • 1 pound short-cut pasta
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I poached the chicken in water, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder; once cooked, I shredded the chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I needed a touch more - just under 2 c)
  • 4 ounces grated Monterrey jack cheese + more for topping
  • 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese + more for topping
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese + more for topping after cooking
  • 1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped green onions and cilantro for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat a large, oven-proof saute pan 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.
  • Remove from the heat (so mixture doesn't get chalky) and add in grated cheeses, blue cheese, and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in buffalo wing sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Add pasta and chicken to the pan (add it slowly - I ended up using about 3/4 of the pasta I cooked). Sprinkle with the rest of the shredded cheeses (not the blue) and the bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown, hot, and bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and immediately top with the remaining blue cheese; garnish with the green onions and cilantro

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  1. Yummm, buffalo sauce. And pasta! How could it be anything but good? :)

  2. This looks like such a fun (and delicious) twist on pasta!

  3. Mmm...buffao chicken! Sign me up!

  4. I can guarantee my husband would love this one!

  5. So glad A liked this! I love that she eats spicy food. My daughter isn't a fan. :) This looks great!