Easy One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

One thing that has surprised me about having a baby is how much longer everything takes. Getting out the door, doing laundry, going to bed, making dinner…. The only things that seem to be happening faster these days are eating, showering, and sleeping. So as much as I love a good complicated recipe, I have been defaulting to quick and easy dishes pretty much every night (that doesn’t end in fast food :/ ). Things that I can throw together in 30 minutes or less are perfect for me. And if the recipe doesn’t dirty a ton of dishes, then it’s really a winner. So when I made the Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta from Nicole’s new cookbook a few weeks ago, I was in love – and inspired!

After making that pasta dish I almost immediately started thinking about making a Buffalo Chicken version. I thought the creamy pasta base would be a perfect match for the spicy Buffalo sauce. I have made different versions of Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese several times, and while they were all amazingly delicious, they were also packed full of fatty calories and more time consuming to make. This pasta is lightened up with the use of Greek yogurt and less cheese and also easier to make! Definitely a new favorite in our house!

 


A few more spicy Buffalo ideas!
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells
Homemade Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Buffalo Chicken Bites

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells

Up until a few weeks into my second trimester I had a major aversion to chicken. Just the thought of it icked me out. The first time I noticed the aversion was when I was having lunch with a friend and I ordered a buffalo chicken wrap. I took one bite, looked at my friend, covered my mouth with a napkin and said, “Sorry”. I wound up picking out all of the chicken (and half of the lettuce). Next time we went for lunch I asked them to replace the chicken with beans (yeah, that’s right, I ordered a buffalo bean wrap, and it was delicious!).

I am finally over that crazy aversion and we’re back to having chicken several nights a week. Of course it’s easy for things to get repetitive when you eat chicken for dinner several times a week, so I’m always trying to think up new ways to use it. What better way to spice up chicken than to add buffalo sauce? To mix it up even more I decided to stuff the chicken in pasta shells. The result was fantastic! We absolutely loved this dinner, hope you do too!

 

Check out these other tasty Buffalo recipes, too!

Buffalo Chicken Salad
Buffalo Chicken Bites
Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
 

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

As I said earlier this week, I have always been a huge fan of Spicy Buffalo Sauce. So when the craving hit, I knew I would need to act on it. The first step was sauce, which turned out be a great success. The second step was to decide what to do with the sauce one I made it (other than dipping random vegetables and an occasional finger in it).

As much as I love Buffalo sauce, I am not a huge fan of eating meat off of bones. Every once in a while I’ll get a craving for traditional wings, but usually I like to stick with the boneless variety. Keeping that in mind I tossed around a few ideas and finally decided that what I really wanted was Buffalo chicken sandwiches. More specifically, crispy coated chicken, with a balance between spicy sauce and cool creamy ranch, a few blue cheese crumbles, all on top of a soft and somewhat sweet bun. I don’t think I can even describe to you how much this meal hit the spot.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally then cut again into chunks *
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs
heaping 1/4 tsp onion powder
heaping 1/4 tsp garlic powder
heaping 1/4 tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil, divided, plus more if needed (alternatively you can reduce the oild to 1 Tbsp and oven bake the chicken)
Slider buns
Buffalo sauce
Ranch dressing
Blue Cheese crumbles
Thinly sliced red onion

*I was going for sliders so I cut mine into about 2.5×2.5 inch pieces, about 5 from each breast. The key is to make sure each “chunk” is about the size of your slider rolls and no more than 1/2 inch thick.
 
Directions
In a shallow bowl, mix together the panko, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon canola oil. Place the egg in separate bowl.

Coat the chicken by dipping into the egg first, then the panko mixture.

To cook by pan frying, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in batches, so as not to over crowd the pan, until all of the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Add additional tablespoon of oil in between batches and as needed if the pan becomes dry.

To cook by oven baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by placing a wire (cooling) rack over the tray and lightly spraying with non-stick spray.. Place the coated chicken on the wire rack and bake for about 10 minutes, or until a piece of chicken cut in half is no longer pink inside, rotating pan halfway through.

Serve on top of slider buns with Buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and thinly sliced onions. Goes well with oven fries and celery sticks.

Breading/Coating recipe slightly adapted from the recipe I use for fish sticks, originally from Elly Says Opa.