Every year I think to myself, “Self, how many different iterations of Buffalo chicken-X can there be? Surely you and the rest of the world of run out of ways to make Buffalo chicken? There are dips, there are wontons, there are pierogies, there are wraps. Sure, you have at least a dozen other hot-sauce-chicken-and-blue-cheese combinations still on the idea list, but do people still really want new ways to enjoy spicy chicken during football?”

Then I have to say back to myself, “Self, of course people still want other ways to make spicy chicken and cool dressing together! Buffalo chicken and football go together like Captain and Tennille, baseball and PEDs, Tony Romo and interceptions and Kevin Olgetree. The combination is timeless! Now why not post a recipe that combines buffalo chicken and a pasta salad so fans can have their favorite football food as a hearty pasta salad. Something with the spicy goodness, the pasta helping spread the blue cheese across the palate, the crunch of the celery and carrots rounding out the dish. Something you can make ahead of time and not worry about wing bones falling under your sofa.” 

“Okay, self. You’re right. But after we post this recipe we should work on this weekend’s menu. It’s already Thursday. The email reminding us to make our CFB picks has already arrived in the inbox.”

“Sure. We going to keep doing this bit?”

“No, this should be it.”

“Whatever you say, you’re the boss. A rather smart and witty boss at that.”

“Why thank you. You’re looking rather well today self, if I don’t mind saying so myself.”

“Thought we were stopping this bit?”

“Right.”

“How do we get out of this? It’s starting to be a tad embarrassing.”

“Hm, well we don’t use the page break any more, so how about a nice ‘YOU WILL NEED’ line here.”

“Perfectly smart, self.”

YOU WILL NEED:

Dressing:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
6 ounces blue cheese
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white wine vinegar

Combine ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and refrigerate, allowing the flavors open up for at least 1-2 hours before assembling the pasta salad.

Now, you can use a thick pre-made dressing such as Marzetti’s Chunky Blue Cheese if you are pressed for time, but I recommend against it if at all possible. Homemade blue cheese dressing — really all salad dressing –  just tastes better and has fewer additives than manufactured dressing.  It’s so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start making your own sooner.

The dressing above is also a a little thicker than normal dressing by design as not to make the pasta salad too runny or just generally gloppy.

2-2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, oven roasted or sauteed (5 cups chopped after cooking)
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-3/4 cup hot sauce, Frank’s Original or preferred hot sauce
pinch of ground cayenne pepper for extra hot chicken (optional)

Season the chicken with dash of salt and pepper, lightly coat with olive oil and then cook either in a 350º oven for 20-25 minutes or saute on the stove top with a small bit more of olive oil over medium high heat, 4-5 minutes a side. Allow the meat to cool slightly and then chop.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the garlic for a minute or two. Toss in the chicken to coat and then mix in the hot sauce.

Drain any excess hot sauce mixture from the chicken and chill while making the pasta.

1 pound short pasta such as farfalla or rigatoni
olive oil and salt

Cook the pasta al dente with salted water dash of olive oil as per package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, shaking out all the excess water as thoroughly as possible.

1 cup diced celery, about three stalks
1 cup thinly sliced carrots, about two medium-sized carrots
1 cup scallions chopped plus a small handful for garnish, about 3-4 scallions.

In a very large bowl, toss together the pasta, dressing, celery, carrots and scallions. Fold in the hot sauced chicken.

Garnish with remaining scallions. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Tip: Sometimes pasta salads or potato salads dry out a small bit when left in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Stir in a tablespoon or so of sour cream to add back moisture and return to desired consistency.

Serves 6-8

Still time to join the Football Foodies annual NFL pick’em league. You’ve only missed one game!

You might also like: Orzo Pasta Salad, Buffalo Chicken Dip Buffalo Chicken Wontons, Blue Cheese Pierogies with Buffalo Sauce, Shredded Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

Google Voice number available for emergency recipe questions and texts (323) 963-4756, 9 AM PT – 10 PM PT, Saturday and Sundays.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad: Football Foodie Kickoff
Print
Recipe type: Main or side
Author: sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 3 hours 30 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 ounces blue cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Buffalo Chicken
  • 2-2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, oven roasted or sauteed (5 cups chopped after cooking)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup hot sauce, Frank’s Original or preferred hot sauce
  • pinch of ground cayenne pepper for extra hot chicken (optional)
  • 1 pound short pasta such as farfalla or rigatoni (olive oil and salt)
  • 1 cup diced celery, about three stalks
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots, about two medium-sized carrots
  • 1 cup scallions chopped plus a small handful for garnish, about 3-4 scallions.
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and refrigerate, allowing the flavors open up for at least 1-2 hours before assembling the pasta salad.
  2. Season the chicken with a dash of salt and pepper, lightly coat with olive oil and then cook either in a 350º oven for 20-25 minutes or saute on the stove top with a small bit more of olive oil over medium high heat, 4-5 minutes a side.
  3. Allow the meat to cool slightly and then chop.
  4. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the garlic for a minute or two.
  5. Toss in the chicken to coat and then mix in the hot sauce.
  6. Drain any excess hot sauce mixture from the chicken and chill while making the pasta.
  7. Cook the pasta al dente with salted water dash of olive oil as per package directions.
  8. Drain and rinse with cold water, shaking out all the excess water as thoroughly as possible.
  9. In a very large bowl, toss together the pasta, dressing, celery, carrots and scallions.
  10. Fold in the hot sauced chicken.
  11. Garnish with remaining scallions.
  12. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.
Notes

Prep time includes resting the salad dressing before assembling.

Tip: Sometimes pasta salads or potato salads dry out a small bit when left in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Stir in a tablespoon or so of sour cream to add back moisture and return to desired consistency.

 

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