Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

A creamy cool dressing, hot buffalo sauce, tangy blue cheese, flavorful chicken, and pasta are all mixed together in this yummy take on our favorite party food but in an easier to eat format. Perfect for picnics, potlucks, and packing for your lunch!

What do you get when you take a buffalo and a chicken and a pasta salad and smoosh them together into one delicious, flavorful recipe? Buffalo chicken pasta salad, of course!

Okay, maybe that's a lie.  There is no actual buffalo in this recipe, nor is there a bit of lettuce (although you could totally add it yourself).  But it still is buffalo chicken salad.  And it's delicious. You might appreciate this fun and easy variation of the traditional buffalo chicken wings. It is also a delicious and flavorful variation on a traditional chicken salad that is always a hit at potlucks and picnics.

Be sure to check out our Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks! A popular, family friendly easy recipe!

A creamy buffalo dressing mixed with pasta, chicken, and blue cheese.

This is one of those dishes that you take a few bites of and think you just "kinda like it"...and then you take a few more.  And before you know it, you will eat your whole plate of salad and are looking for more.  It will sneak up on you like that.  So prepare yourself.  If you're making it for a football party or some other group event, make more than you think you'll need.

My son, Levi, loves this recipe. And he looooves buffalo wings, which means this recipe does them justice. I made him taste it before I took photos and he kept asking me when he could eat the rest. And when I said it was safe he ate everything that was left. Which is a good sign!

Ingredients for buffalo chicken pasta salad

Key Ingredients:

  • Blue Cheese. We think it really cools the dish down and adds some much needed creaminess. Even Levi, who hates blue cheese, agrees it is great in this recipe. So take it from the 15 year old and add some!
    If you really hate blue cheese, as many people do, you can just add some ranch instead. It may make your salad more liquidy, so drizzle it on top rather than incorporating it. Better yet, replace some of the mayo or yogurt with the ranch. If you incorporate it rather than replace ingredients, just use enough to have the ranch to buffalo ratio that you love. Again, beware of extra liquid!
  • Buffalo Sauce. We like ours pretty spicy, but we know some people do not. Start with less, add more! Just be aware that as you add more buffalo sauce your pasta salad will gain liquid. Homemade buffalo sauce is made of hot peppers, salt, and vinegar. However, buffalo sauce often has some butter-type flavorings added, unlike hot sauce which is almost always just hot peppers and vinegar.
  • Chicken. Use chicken breast cut into chunks or, to keep it easy, pull the meat off of a rotisserie chicken.
  • Celery. When you order buffalo chicken you also get a spear of celery. Celery gives a lovely crunch that pairs nicely with this creamy salad but it also cools down the heat from the buffalo sauce.
  • Pasta. Well, it wouldn't be a pasta salad without pasta, obviously. Choose a small pasta with lots of little crevices for the dressing to grab on to, like rotini.

Why is Buffalo sauce called Buffalo?

Legend has it the first plate of buffalo wings were served in Buffalo, which is why they were named as such. Don't worry, it is not made out of real buffalo. 

What is the best Buffalo wing sauce?

We're a big fan of Frank's Red Hot, and we think it works best in this recipe. We think it has the best texture and heat level. If you find it in the grocery store you can even choose from hotter sauces. Obviously, use your favorite. 

To Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad:

  • Boil your pasta to al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, chop the chicken into bite size pieces and pour a little buffalo wing sauce over the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Add pasta, mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, and garlic powder to the mixing bowl.
  • 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.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Fold in blue cheese, green onions and celery until well incorporated.

Make ahead/Store:

  • You can easily make the pasta, chicken, and dressing in advance several days and simply mix them together a couple hours prior to serving.
  • Or, mix the pasta salad together and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can store it another day, or so, if the chicken hasn't yet been added.
  • Store individual servings in mason jars, in the fridge, for an easy grab and go lunch.
A plate full of creamy buffalo chicken pasta salad

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

A yummy pasta salad stuffed with your favorite buffalo chicken flavors in a creamy dressing!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 272 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Box of Rotini or other 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
  • Cup Mayonnaise
  • Cup Sour Cream
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder

Instructions
 

  • First boil the pasta in lightly salted water to al dente according to package directions. When it is done cooking drain in a colander and rinse for several minutes with cold water to cool the pasta completely.
  • While the pasta is cooking chop the chicken into bite size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour a little buffalo wing sauce over the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Add cooled pasta, mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, and garlic powder to the mixing bowl.
  • 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.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Fold in blue cheese, green onions and celery until well incorporated.
  • Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 21gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 614mgPotassium: 259mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 323IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 1mg
Keyword 30 minute, chicken, salad
Made this recipe?Mention miznelliebellie or tag #NBRecipes!

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2 thoughts on “Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad”

  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Sounds pretty doggone good to me. I don't usually make pasta salad -- I know I'm Italian and why don't I make a pasta salad. Well the reason is that by the time you dump all the stuff into it -- it makes so much I'm sick of eating it. But since the family will be coming down for a get together and they all like chicken wings and bleu cheese and hot sauce this would be good.

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