Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad has leftover chicken, cheddar cheese, carrots + celery, and bowtie pasta all in a creamy, zippy sauce! It’s a perfect side dish for a summer picnic or potluck, and it can also be a full meal if you add a big green salad.
Being a native Buffalonian means anything related to Buffalo chicken is pure comfort food for me.
During high school I worked in a pizzeria, which was without a doubt the most fun job I’ve ever had before my transition to becoming a full-time blogger. We were always busy, always running around juggling orders, customers, and food prep. But most shifts went by in a snap!
And not to mention, break time always involved good food. Greek chicken salad. Chicken finger subs slathered with blue cheese sauce and a side of BBQ for dipping. Steak bombers with extra onion and a drizzle of hot sauce. White pizza with tomatoes and spinach. YUM. But back to Buffalo chicken.
It seems like the Buffalo chicken craze has taken over the food world. In terms of “Buffalo” flavor, you can find everything from dip, to grilled cheese sandwiches, to casseroles. You can’t go wrong with just about anything related to Buffalo chicken, pasta salad included.
Buffalo Sauce – What is Buffalo Sauce Made Of?
For me, my pizzeria job during high school in Buffalo demystified “Buffalo” sauce. Real Buffalo sauce (i.e., the original version that you’ll find in Buffalo!) is just a combo of Frank’s Redhot sauce and melted butter. Those two ingredients are combined in varying ratios to make it hot, medium, or mild.
Authentic Buffalo sauce doesn’t contain seasonings, such as garlic powder or Worcestershire sauce.
At the pizzeria where I worked, mild and medium sauces also had a touch of ketchup added in for a hint of sweetness to help mellow out the hot sauce, which additionally contributes a touch of a vinegary tang that I love.
They also offered what they called “suicidal” wings, which were wings tossed with straight hot sauce doused in cayenne pepper. I was too chicken – pardon the pun – to even try them, lol!
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe
Of course this pasta salad makes a fabulous side dish for all your summertime parties. And also, leftovers make a pretty good meal on their own!
Chicken and cheese add protein, and let’s not forget the addition of veggies to help round out the meal.
Pro Tip: If you want to go all out and make this an even more balanced meal, serve this pasta salad on a bed of salad greens.
More Pasta Salad Recipes to Try:
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Creamy Sweet Macaroni Salad
- Warm Caramelized Leek Pasta Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese
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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons Frank’s RedHot sauce more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups cooked chopped chicken rotisserie chicken works great here
- 3 scallions green and white parts, thinly sliced
- 2 medium celery ribs diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese cubed
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions; rinse and drain.
- Stir together the mayo, hot sauce to taste, ketchup, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the chicken, scallion, celery, carrot, and cheese.
- Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve or keep covered in the fridge for up to 2 days before serving.
- Easily make this pasta salad a full meal by serving it along with a big green salad!
- Make this salad up to 2 days in advance and store it covered in the fridge.
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