Do you ever get stuck in a food rut? I know I do but my family is of little to no help. Whenever I ask them what I should make, it never fails. The answer is ALWAYS spaghetti! I really shouldn’t complain as their request is a simple one. But I just don’t feel like having spaghetti two or more times a week either. So every once in awhile, I try to branch out and make something new. While some meals end up in disappointment, other times we find a new favorite. Recently, I made a Buffalo Chicken & Pasta Bake that left most of the family requesting I make again. So I thought it would be fun to share in case anyone else is looking for some inspiration.
Overall, this recipe is quite easy. The steps do take a little time as the chicken needs to be baked and shredded before the dish can be assembled but, overall, it’s very simple to make.
1:) Spread raw chicken breasts into a baking dish. Add an inch of water as well as sprinkle with seasoning salt, garlic salt, onion salt, and pepper. Bake chicken breasts (enough to equal 2 cups once shredded) at 350 degrees for about an hour. Once done, use two forks and shred.
2:) During the last minutes of the chicken baking, go ahead and boil 16 ounces of penne pasta according to the package directions. Drain but do not rinse.
3:) In a separate bowl, beat together a package of cream cheese, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce. I prefer to use my hand mixer to get it nice and smooth.
4:) Add sauce to the shredded chicken and mix.
5:) Next stir in some cheese.
6:) Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Add the noodles and sauce mixture and stir together to coat. Spread evenly in pan.
7:) Top with additional cheese and parsley.
9:) Drizzle with additional BBQ sauce.
10:) And enjoy!
- Chicken Breasts
- 16 Ounces Penne Pasta
- 8 Ounces Cream Cheese
- 1 Cup Ranch Dressing
- 2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
- ½ Cup Barbecue Sauce
- 1½ Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese
- Additional BBQ Sauce For Drizzling
- Garlic Salt
- *Optional: Parsley
- Place raw chicken in baking dish with about an inch of water and sprinkle with seasoning salt, garlic salt, onion salt, and pepper.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
- During the last few minutes of baking, boil the pasta according to box instructions. When finished, drain but do NOT rinse. Then set aside.
- Once chicken is done, use two forks to shred. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce until smooth.
- Mix in shredded chicken and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Add the noodles and sauce mixture. Mix together well and spread flat.
- Top with remaining mozzarella cheese as well as the sharp cheddar cheese.
- Sprinkle with garlic salt and a little parsley for garnish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or till the cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with additional BBQ sauce.
- Serve and enjoy!
A Few Notes And Tips:
Our family enjoys this dish at least once or twice a month. It’s not too spicy, but you can always add additional hot sauce if your family prefers a hotter dish. Using sharp cheddar cheese is important as it adds a lot more flavor than mild. I also highly suggest that you follow the recipe by adding the garlic salt and parsley over the top. Those two additions really round out the taste. Of course, if you have fresh parsley, it’s best to use that. However, I often find myself having to use my parsley from my spice jar set and it is suffice. And finally, I find that buying the chicken fresh delivers the best possible flavor but frozen chicken works in a pinch.
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