Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Crockpot Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pasta

If you came here today hoping for a healthy recipe, you're going to be disappointed. If, however, you were hoping for something simple, spicy, and delicious, you've come to the right place.

I love buffalo chicken, and have for many years. The obsession began when I was in college. I lived on campus all 4 years, and our dining hall had (surprisingly) good food ... Most of the time, anyway. The most popular station in the dining hall was the one that allowed you to get a "made to order" meal. On Saturday mornings, that meant omelets. Sometimes during the week it meant pasta skillets with whatever toppings you wanted. And, on the very best days, it meant buffalo chicken wraps.

I'm not even joking when I say that the line for the buffalo chicken wraps was always insane. It would snake through the entire dining hall, and if you really wanted one, you knew you had to give yourself at least 25-30 extra minutes for lunch in order to wait in line. But they were always completely worth the wait.

Even though I graduated college in 2006 (which makes me feel really old sometimes, by the way), my love for buffalo chicken is still just as strong. So when I found a recipe for buffalo chicken pasta (which is, as most of you know, one of my other favorite foods), I knew I had to make it immediately.

And the best part (besides the fact that it was amazingly creamy and delicious, of course)? You can make it in the crockpot!

Crockpot Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pasta

I'd suggest not throwing this in in the morning on a work day (unless you're only working for half the day or happen to work from home), though. It only required 5.5 hours of total cook time for the chicken and sauce, and you do need to be nearby to add the noodles (and stir regularly to make sure they don't stick!) during the last 30 minutes. 

Although it does require slightly more effort than the average "set it and forget it" crockpot recipe, I promise that it's completely worth it (especially if, like me, you love buffalo chicken and pasta)! This is a rich, creamy, cheesy dish ideal for a chilly fall or winter evening. And while it's not something I'd recommend making all the time (because calories), it's the perfect meal if you want to indulge a bit.

Crockpot Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Adapted ever so slightly from a recipe on Crockpot Gourmet.

Ingredient List:
  • 1 box linguine noodles (I used whole wheat pasta.)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce, divided (I used Frank's Red Hot.)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp + 1/4 cup water (You may not need the additional 1/4 cup, but I felt like I needed to add the additional liquid to properly cook the pasta. You will, however, definitely need the tablespoon of water!)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • Diced green onions for serving (optional)


1.  Spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray.

2.  Add the chicken, chicken broth, packet of dry ranch dressing mix, black pepper, garlic salt, and 1/4 cup of the hot sauce to the crockpot.

3.  Top with both the cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese.

4.  Cook on low for 5 hours.

5.  After the 5 hours of cook time is up, remove the chicken to a plate and shred with two forks.

6.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1 tbsp water.  Pour the mixture into the crockpot, and whisk everything together until the sauce is completely smooth and combined.

7.  Break the noodles in half, and add them to the crockpot. Stir to cover them with the sauce.

8.  Add the chicken back to the crockpot, and pour in the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce. Stir several times to combine.

9.  Cook the noodles with the chicken and sauce for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent any sticking. Add the additional 1/4 cup water if you feel the noodles need more liquid in order to cook properly. (I thought the noodles turned out perfectly with this additional liquid, but you may not need it.)

10.  Serve with diced green onions, if desired.

As I said earlier, this isn't the typical "set it and forget it" crockpot recipe, but it's still very simple. (And you don't have to do anything for the first 5 hours once you've added the initial ingredients!) It's also totally worth the extra calories. It's probably my favorite thing I've made recently, and we will definitely be having this as often as we can (i.e. as often as we can without gaining tons of weight)!


  1. Should not have read this before I ate something for breakfast! Looks so good!

  2. I love love love buffalo chicken pasta. Smart to do it all in the crockpot!

  3. this looks amazing! not even kidding, i was looking for buffalo chicken recipes yesterday. i like that this is creamy, because that might mean less spicy, right? i can't handle a lot of spice. my husband hates super creamy stuff but i think i might be able to get away with this. i'd cook the pasta separately though, GF pasta is so stupid sometimes that I wouldn't want to risk it in the crockpot. I don't mind though. Pinned and printing!