Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad is tender pasta tossed in a tangy buffalo wing sauce with shredded chicken, tomatoes, celery. Add a drizzle of ranch dressing and you’re ready for a party!

glass bowl will buffalo chicken salad

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

I love buffalo chicken and this Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad combines the tangy, spicy flavor of buffalo chicken wings, pasta, and a creamy buffalo sauce and ranch dressing sauce, to make a cold pasta dish that is one of my favorite potluck recipes. It’s really easy to throw together, you can make it the day before, and it’s easy to transport. Not to mention it’s totally delicious!

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fork with buffalo chicken pasta salad

What is in Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad?

  • Rigatoni – I like this pasta the best because I think those little grooves hold the sauce so well but you can use any kind of pasta you like, even spaghetti!
  • Cooked chicken – I suggest cooking chicken breasts and shredding them for this recipe but you can also buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it, or you can use canned chicken if you prefer. Whatever works best for you.
  • Ranch dressing – I always use Hidden Valley Ranch dressing from a bottle but you can also buy a ranch seasoning packet and make your own dressing. You can also substitute blue cheese dressing instead. Just make sure the consistency isn’t watery because you want the dressing and hot sauce to create a creamy sauce that will coat the chicken and pasta.
  • Buffalo wing sauce – Frank’s Red Hot Original, or Frank’s Buffalo wing sauce is my favorite hot sauce but you can use whatever you sauce you would normally use on your buffalo wings.
  • Garlic powder – Just a little garlic powder adds a lot of extra flavor to this sauce.
  • Cheddar cheese – I use shredded cheddar cheese because that’s what I would use for buffalo chicken dip but if you like blue cheese with your buffalo chicken you can use blue cheese crumbles instead.
  • Celery – You can’t have buffalo chicken without celery! It helps cool your mouth down and adds a nice little crunch.
  • Cherry tomatoes – Bright red cherry tomatoes are the perfect addition to any summer pasta salad. Cut them in half and toss them with the pasta to add a bright burst of flavor.

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad:

  1. Cook your pasta according to package instructions. For pasta salad it is always a good idea to slightly overcook the pasta by adding an extra minute to the time on the box. This softens the pasta and allows it to absorb more of the flavors in the dish. Once the pasta has finished cooking drain it and set it aside.
  2. Add cooked pasta, cooked and shredded chicken, shredded cheese, celery, and cherry tomatoes to a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl combine ranch dressing, buffalo wing sauce, and garlic powder.
  4. Pour buffalo sauce over the pasta and toss everything together until it is well coated.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

glass bowl filled with buffalo chicken pasta salad

Should You Rinse Pasta for Pasta Salad?

Since this is a cold pasta salad you can rinse the pasta after you drain the boiling water from it. By rinsing it with cold water you stop the cooking process. Rinsing the pasta also removes the excess starch off which keeps the pasta from clumping together.

Helpful Tips for Making Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad:

  • You’ll need to shred your chicken for this recipe. You can 1) use two forks to pull the chicken into shreds, or 2) Use a stand mixer. Just place your cooked chicken breasts in the bowl of a stand mixer with the bread hook attachment, or paddle attachment on, and then mix on medium high for 3-5 minutes. It gives you perfectly shredded chicken every time!
  • I’m ranch dressing fan but feel free to substitute blue cheese dressing if you prefer. You can even add some crumbled blue cheese if you like!

Can You Make Pasta Salad the Night Before?

Yes! That’s the great thing about pasta salad, it’s even better if you make it ahead of time! Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, or a lid. Place in the refrigerator and store until ready to serve.

buffalo chicken pasta salad in a glass bowl

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BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
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Servings: 10
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad is tender pasta tossed in a tangy buffalo wing sauce with shredded chicken, tomatoes, celery. Add a drizzle of ranch dressing and you're ready for a party!
glass bowl will buffalo chicken salad
Print Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Rigatoni
  • cup Cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 5 stalks Celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups Cherry tomatoes, halved

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Once cooked drain pasta.
  • Add cooked pasta, cooked and shredded chicken, shredded cheese, celery, and cherry tomatoes to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl combine ranch dressing, buffalo wing sauce, and garlic powder.
  • Pour buffalo sauce over the pasta and toss everything together until it is well coated.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 516mg, Potassium: 316mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 6%, Vitamin C: 9.2%, Calcium: 6.9%, Iron: 7.1%
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buffalo chicken pasta, buffalo chicken recipe, cold pasta salad, potluck recipe