Pack a little extra heat (and a lot more flavor) into your summer cookout with this easy to make Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad! This easy pasta salad is sure to be the most popular dish at any get-together!
‘Tis the season for cookouts. For bonfires, outdoor parties, and easy throw-together-and-go pasta salads. I’ve begun to suspect that the whole summer season is actually just one big excuse to get together outdoors and eat food.
And pasta salad may just be the glue that holds these cookouts together — I don’t think I’ve ever been to any summertime celebration where there wasn’t at least one chilled Tupperware container full of dressing-soaked noodles… and whatever your familial preferences were in terms of add-ins.
But while a classic Italian dressing-tossed pasta salad is good, sure, I think it’s time we spice things up a bit. Your pasta salad and your cookout deserve to be amped up a notch or two, and that’s why I’ve finally perfected this recipe for buffalo chicken pasta salad.
With a heavy-handed pour of buffalo sauce (tempered by an equally heavy-handed serving of ranch dressing) this pasta salad is a feisty side dish that comes together in a matter of minutes — the longest part is boiling the pasta!
As with many pasta salads, this one can also be customized to best suit your tastes. Feel free to toss in some garden veggies or celery, but be sure that you don’t leave any of the ingredients out! There are two spoonfuls of mayonnaise stirred in with the buffalo/ranch sauce to maximize the creaminess of the dressing without making it too heavy, and the pasta does a wonderful job of soaking up the sauce for a flavorful kick of heat in each bite.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces rotini pasta
- 1 ½ cups chicken shredded, I use a rotisserie chicken
- ⅓ cup red pepper chopped
- ⅓ cup celery chopped, optional
- ½ cup buffalo sauce
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons scallions chopped
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add chicken breast and red pepper and stir to combine.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and black pepper to make a sauce.
- Pour sauce over pasta mixture and stir until well combined.
- Stir in mozzarella cheese (it is best to add this while the pasta is still warm so that the cheese mostly melts).
- Top with chives and serve*
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
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