Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta

The buffalo + chicken + cheese combination is a real winner in my house. Those three in combination with about anything else is almost guaranteed to be a hit with my husband. It's his own personal trifecta, if you will. When I asked if this buffalo chicken pasta sounded good for dinner, I'm pretty sure he responded with something along the lines of "Good God, yes."

There is a bit of prep for this dinner, but it could actually be broken down a bit or done in advance. I had some leftover chicken breast that I was able to use, and I cooked both my pasta and the cheese sauce at the same time. I believe everything was ready to be put in the oven about 25 minutes after I started. While it was baking into a spicy, cheese-laden pan of deliciousness, my lovely husband cleaned up the pre-dinner dishes. I think it was his little way of telling me he would support the making of this dish whenever I decided to make it. I {heart} teamwork. ;)

The finished product was delicious, but was lacking that little extra oomph that we were hoping to have from the buffalo sauce. It may have been that I was just short of the 1/3 c. needed, but next time, I'll go a little more heavy handed on it. We added some extra to the leftovers and it was delicious. The cilantro, green onions, and blue cheese really finished the dish beautifully. Even our youngest enjoyed eating the "spicy macaroni and cheese." Maybe she's just a girl after her daddy's heart.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Serves: 4-6 main dish portions
  • 1 lb. pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 4 oz. grated monterey jack cheese (I used half a brick) + more for topping
  • 1/3 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese + more for topping
  • 1/3 c. buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/3 c. panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For garnish: 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, additional buffalo wing sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until milk thickens. Add in grated cheeses and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in buffalo wing sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Spray a baking dish (9 x 13 is fine) with non-stick spray. Add pasta and chicken, then pour cheese sauce over and mix throughly until everything is coated. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve with gorgonzola, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with buffalo wing sauce.

Source: How Sweet Eats

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds great! Can't wait to give the recipe a try for dinner this week :)