If you’re a fan of buffalo chicken dip, then this Chicken Baked Ziti is on point! It’s a hearty pasta casserole combined with delicious shredded chicken, in an addictive buffalo sauce, topped with cheese. What’s not to love?
Baked pasta casseroles are such an easy and filling meal, it’s comfort food pure and simple. This Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti marries up all kinds of tastiness! Buffalo, ranch seasoning, cheese, chicken and pasta all combine for the most satisfying bite! This will become a weeknight staple.
Why this is so good
- An elevated mac n cheese!
- Easy to prep, with only a handful of ingredients.
- A deliciously creamy, tangy and spicy Buffalo sauce.
- A hearty pasta casserole that’ll satisfy a hungry crowd.
- Made with ziti, tube shaped pasta, which takes on all the flavors of the bake.
Be sure to try this Honey Pepper Mac and Cheese for another great meal!
Can I use other pasta?
If you can’t find ziti then you can use any pasta really. But ideally you want a pasta that catches all that lovely Buffalo sauce.
Penne is good and bow tie pasta would be awesome too. Make sure to cook and drain the noodles before stirring them into the buffalo chicken dip mixture.
For a low carb option, substitute cooked cauliflower for the noodles.
What’s the best cheese for this Pasta Bake?
Pasta bakes LOVE cheese! Some work better than others, for this Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti I went for mozzarella. A classic cheese that goes with buffalo chicken is blue cheese, but not everyone is a fan.
Add it to the top or into the cream cheese mixture. Other cheeses that work well with buffalo chicken are regular cheddar or white cheddar.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this dish ahead of time. Once you have all the ingredients in the casserole dish let it cool off and place saran wrap over the dish. When ready to bake take it out of the fridge and sprinkle the cheese on top. Then bake it in the oven.
- If you are cooking a bigger batch, use your mixer to shred the chicken, it’s so easy and takes only 30 seconds.
- Top with green onions or chives and crumbled blue cheese.
- You can add a little more or less hot sauce to adjust it to your own preference.
Avoid Overcooked Pasta
Cook the pasta just to al dente, as it will continue to cook in the bake. This will avoid your pasta being too soft.
Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti
- 10 ounces ziti pasta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 tbsp ranch seasoning
- 1/4 cup hot sauce recommended: Frank’s RedHot
- 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Cook the ziti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside the pasta.
- In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk together with the butter. Add milk and whisk until combined and no clumps remain. Simmer until the sauce becomes thick, about 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese to the skillet and stir it into the mixture. You may need to use a spoon or spatula to break up your cream cheese.
- Add the ranch seasoning and hot sauce to the skillet and stir.
- Mix the chicken and then the noodles into the sauce in the skillet. Stir until coated.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13” baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly golden brown. Serve immediately and optionally top with parsley.
- You can substitute your favorite cheese on top of this recipe: sharp cheddar or white cheddar cheese are tasty alternatives.
- This recipe has a medium spice level – if you prefer, you can add a little more or less hot sauce to adjust it to your own preference.