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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake For Meal Prep

If you want a delicious recipe that you can easily meal prep for the week, you’re going to want to make this Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake right away.

This dish is incredibly creamy and decadent, but we’re giving it a little twist to make it a little bit healthier.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Most buffalo chicken recipes out there will utilize ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing, but we’re going to accomplish the same tangy flavors by using Greek yogurt and some ranch seasoning instead!

Along with some other simple changes like using reduced fat cream cheese and lean chicken breast, this main dish becomes absolutely packed with protein without being too high in calories.

 

Ingredients Needed for This Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This buffalo chicken casserole contains three components: shredded chicken, penne pasta, and buffalo cheese sauce.

For the chicken, I made a very simple pulled chicken using my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker. I had always been very intimidated by the idea of pressure cooking, but I’ve found that it could not be any easier.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken

Simply add 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts to the pressure cooker, add a little bit of salt and pepper, and then pour in 1 cup of chicken broth. Pressure cook for 10 minutes, and then once all the steam releases, you will have fully cooked chicken!

Use 2 forks to shred the chicken and you’ll be ready to rock. This buffalo chicken pasta recipe is very customizable, so if you do not want to make pressure cooker chicken, you can use any other variety of chicken. Whether you prefer chicken thighs, want to dice up leftover grilled chicken you have in the fridge, or prefer pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, it will all work in this pasta dish.

For the pasta, you can use any pasta noodle you like. Personally, I love using Banza chickpea pasta in my recipes because it’s a simple way to add more protein to recipes, but you don’t have to go that route.

Banza pasta nutrition facts

I love the taste of this chickpea penne pasta, but regular pasta will work just the same.

The star of this dish is the buffalo cheese sauce, and the ingredients needed should be very easy to find:

Buffalo cheese sauce ingredients

  • Reduced Fat Cream Cheese (any type of cream cheese works)
  • Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Frank’s RedHot (or any buffalo wing sauce)
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Ranch Seasoning
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (not pictured)

This is a pretty forgiving recipe, so you can certainly make substitutions if needed. Here’s a quick list of possible substitutions you can make for this dish.

1) Substitute the Greek yogurt for sour cream.

2) Swap the cream cheese for cottage cheese (this will give you even more protein per serving, too).

3) Replace the hot sauce with your favorite local buffalo sauce.

4) Use different ratios of shredded cheese, swap cheddar for Monterey jack cheese, or use fat-free cheese to save some calories.

As you can see, there are plenty of substitutions you can make, so don’t be afraid to experiment with this one if it’s absolutely necessary. Like all my recipes, I recommend you stick with the way it’s written, but I know that sometimes that just isn’t realistic.

 

Assembling The Buffalo Chicken Casserole

When we assemble our pasta bake, we’re using cooked chicken and cooked pasta, so we don’t have to worry about any raw ingredients cooking through.

However, we do still need to bake this dish to allow the cheese to fully melt and for the flavors to combine into one incredible dish.

First, mix up all of the ingredients for the buffalo cheese sauce. We’re going to leave off half of the shredded mozzarella to add as a topping, but everything else will go into the bowl.

Buffalo cheese sauce

The cream cheese may need to soften at room temperature before mixing, but it’s okay if it doesn’t mix 100% with the rest of the ingredients. Since we’re baking this dish, the cream cheese will all melt along with the other ingredients.

Add the cooked pasta into the bowl of cheese sauce and give it a good mix.

buffalo sauce with cooked pasta

Add the cooked chicken breast to the bowl and give everything one more mix.

Buffalo cheese sauce with cooked chicken

Spray a 9×16 casserole dish with cooking spray, then add the contents of the bowl to the dish. Use a spatula to evenly spread the mixture to cover the entire dish, then top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Buffalo chicken casserole before baking

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven to let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Rather than pairing this dish with Ranch dressing, I mixed some nonfat Greek yogurt with ranch dressing to drizzle on top, and it ended up being the perfect finishing touch! I highly recommend adding some green onion on top as well, I just happened to run out when I made this recipe.

Buffalo chicken pasta bake with greek yogurt topping

For meal prep purposes, this recipe can easily be pe portioned out to enjoy throughout the week.

The entire casserole should yield 6 servings, but that obviously depends on how large (or small) you’d like each serving to be. When I portioned it out, 6 servings made the most sense to me.

Buffalo chicken pasta bake scoop

Portion your servings out into separate containers and keep the leftovers stored in the fridge for up to one week.

When ready to enjoy, reheat in the microwave or oven and you’ll have a quick & easy protein-packed meal!

 

More Protein-Packed Chicken Recipes

I love cooking with chicken breast because it makes for a high-protein, incredibly filling main dish. If you’re looking for some related recipes to help you get your protein in, here are some great ones for you:

 

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe

Protein-Packed Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This buffalo chicken pasta bake is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or for meal prep lunches throughout the week! With 34g of protein per serving, this is an extremely filling (and delicious) meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts (about 16oz total) OR the same amount of rotisserie chicken
  • 8oz (1 Box) Banza Chickpea Pasa, or any penne pasta you like. I just use Banza for the extra protein.
  • 8oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese (any cream cheese will work great)
  • 1/2 Cup Frank's RedHot or comparable hot sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Ranch Seasoning
  • 56g (1/2 Cup) Lite Shredded Mozzarella
  • 28g (1/4 Cup) Shredded Cheddar

Instructions

  1. If you want to make a quick shredded chicken, here's how I make mine: add 2 chicken breasts to a pressure cooker with 1 cup of chicken broth and a little bit of salt and pepper, then pressure cook for 10 minutes. Once it's done, you should be able to easily shred the chicken and you'll be good to go! Otherwise, you can shred any leftover chicken you have or use rotisserie chicken to save some time.
  2. Bring water to a boil and cook your pasta al dente (the directions call for 7-9 minutes on my pasta, so I went with 7 minutes). If you're making your own quick shredded chicken, I recommend making it while the pasta cooks to make the most of your time!
  3. While the pasta cooks, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Prep your buffalo cheese sauce. Combine the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, ranch seasoning, cheddar cheese, and HALF of the mozzarella (the rest will be added on top). You may need to allow the cream cheese to soften a little bit before mixing, or use an electric mixer to easily break it up.
  5. Drain your pasta and mix directly into the cheese mixture, then mix in your shredded chicken.
  6. Lightly spray a 9x16 casserole dish with cooking spray and empty the contents of the bowl into the dish. Top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  8. Let cook for a few minutes, then enjoy! If you want to make a healthier ranch sauce for a topping, mix some nonfat Greek yogurt with a little bit of ranch seasoning and drizzle on top.
  9. For meal prep, portion out your servings and leave in a sealed container in the fridge, then reheat in the oven or microwave when ready to eat.

Notes

  • You can bring the calories & fat down by using fat-free cheese, but I prefer the flavor and meltiness you get from regular shredded cheese.
  • I did not try this recipe with fat-free cream cheese, but it should work just the same.
  • Since all of the elements in this are pre-cooked before adding to the oven, you have plenty of room to experiment. Adjust the amount of chicken, add more cheese, throw some veggies in, etc.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1/6 of Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 375Total Fat 14.5gCarbohydrates 27gProtein 34g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tina Armstrong

Wednesday 19th of October 2022

I made this for my meal prep and it was SO GOOD! I will definitely be making it again. Also, Day 5 was just as delicious as Day !

Patricia Martin

Monday 17th of October 2022

I made this for myself and was going to have some and divide for meal prep. But then my family ate it! Normally they aren’t fans of food I prep for myself … so I’m not sure if I should be mad at you or say thank you…. Because I still have to meal prep!! Great delicious yummy Buffalo chicken pasta :-)

Alissa Dolan

Sunday 16th of October 2022

I love Buffalo chicken dip & eating buffalo chicken dip for dinner made me soooo happy. Rich flavor & made great leftovers. 10/10! Thank you for sharing!!

Matt

Monday 17th of October 2022

Thank you so much!! I'm very glad you enjoyed it :)

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