Penne pasta and grilled chicken tossed in a creamy, spicy alfredo sauce, loaded with buffalo flavor? I can’t think of anything that sounds better! This is the perfect pasta dinner recipe when you’re craving tons of flavor!
🍗 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- The flavors in this buffalo chicken alfredo are absolutely irresistible! This dish has a perfect balance of creamy and bold thanks to the buffalo-enhanced alfredo sauce. It’s such a great way to change up your usual pasta night or wing night!
- Most pasta dishes are super easy to make, and this one’s no exception. Especially since you don’t have to cook any chicken specifically for this alfredo! Just make the sauce, cook your noodles, warm up the pre-grilled chicken, then toss it all together and serve. That’s it! You’ll have a tasty meal on the table in less than an hour.
- Buffalo chicken alfredo is hearty and satisfying, with a healthy helping of protein, fat, and carbs to fill you up and a delicious combo of flavors to make you happy. Even your pickiest eaters will enjoy this variation on classic buffalo wings.
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- For the best buffalo chicken alfredo, don’t use pre-grated or pre-shredded cheese. The pre-packaged stuff has fillers and starches added to keep the cheese from clumping in the package. Those additives keep the cheese from melting like it should and can make your sauce grainy and gritty. Avoid it altogether and use freshly grated cheese instead. It’s worth the couple extra minutes, I promise!
- Don’t have already-grilled chicken on hand? No worries! Grab a rotisserie chicken from the store and chop or shred it up. You can also use last night’s leftover chicken (as long as the seasonings don’t clash with the buffalo alfredo sauce!) or just cook chicken fresh for this recipe. I recommend using grilled chicken, but any cooked chicken will work just fine.
- Make sure all your dairy products are at room temperature before you get started! If the cream cheese, milk, or shredded cheese are heated too quickly, or they’re cold when they’re added to the hot pans, they can seize and curdle. If your sauce looks like it separated or it clumps at all, this is most likely where things went wrong.
🔥 Bring on Those Buffalo Recipes!
- Buffalo Chicken Fries
- Buffalo Chicken Sliders
- Oven-Baked Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
- Buffalo Hummus
- Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Crispy Baked Buffalo Tofu
- Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings in Buffalo Sauce
- Buffalo Shrimp
- Buffalo Chicken Ranch Whole30 Meal Prep (Paleo, Keto)
For the Pasta
- 16 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound uncooked penne
For the Buffalo Alfredo Sauce
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 8-ounce package full-fat cream cheese at room temperature, cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups whole milk at room temperature
- ¼ cup buffalo sauce store-bought or make your own
- 6 ounces grated fresh Monterey Jack cheese at room temperature; approximately 1 ½ cups
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste, see Notes
For the Chicken
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 medium grilled chicken breasts approximately 6 ounces each, chopped into bite-sized pieces; approximately 2 cups chopped grilled chicken
- additional buffalo sauce optional
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese divided
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions divided
- Large pot with lid
- Large wooden spoon
- medium saucepan
For the Pasta
- Fill large pot with 16 cups water and place pot on stovetop over medium-high heat. Bring water to rolling boil.
- When water begins to boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and stir to incorporate. Continue heating until water resumes rolling boil.
- Once salted water begins to boil, add 1 pound uncooked penne and stir to incorporate. Boil penne according for time indicated on package instructions, until pasta is al dente.
- When pasta is cooked to al dente, pour water and pasta into colander. Drain pasta well and set aside.
For the Buffalo Alfredo Sauce (Made Simultaneously)
- While pasta cooks, add ½ cup unsalted butter to medium saucepan and place saucepan on stovetop over medium heat. Heat pan until butter has melted, swirling and tilting pan occasionally to distribute butter across entire surface.
- Once butter has melted, remove saucepan from heat and add 1 8-ounce package full-fat cream cheese and 2 teaspoons garlic powder. Whisk ingredients together until fully incorporated into smooth mixture.
- Slowly add 1 ½ cups whole milk in small increments, whisking constantly to smooth out any lumps before adding more milk.
- After adding all milk, add ¼ cup buffalo sauce and 6 ounces grated fresh Monterey Jack cheese. Whisk to incorporate, then return saucepan to heat. Add freshly cracked black pepper and continue whisking until cheese has completely melted and ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Continue whisking until sauce thickens to desired consistency, then remove saucepan from heat and set aside. Stir sauce often to keep sauce from separating or cooling too much. If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in small amounts of milk until desired consistency is achieved.
For the Chicken
- Return pot used for pasta to stovetop over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to pot and heat until butter is melted, swirling and tilting pot occasionally to distribute butter across entire surface.
- When butter is melted, add 2 medium grilled chicken breasts (chopped into bite-sized pieces) to pot and stir to incorporate into melted butter. Cover pot with lid and warm chicken in pot until chicken is heated through completely, approximately 6 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning. Be careful not to warm chicken too long or chicken may become dry and tough.
- Once chicken is reheated, add prepared buffalo alfredo sauce to pot with chicken. Stir to incorporate, then add prepared penne pasta. Stir gently, making sure to coat pasta in sauce completely, then let chicken alfredo rest over low heat 3 minutes or until sauce is warmed as desired.
- Divide prepared buffalo chicken alfredo evenly into serving bowls. Drizzle additional buffalo sauce over top of pasta (optional), then top each serving with ½ cup crumbled blue cheese and ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, divided as desired. Serve warm.
- Pasta: Any type of pasta will work fine in this recipe, so feel free to use rotini, elbows, fettucini, etc.
- Chicken: If you don’t have grilled chicken handy, use any type of already-cooked chicken (rotisserie is great!) or you can cook chicken specifically for your alfredo. Grilled is recommended, but not a requirement.
- Dairy Products: Make sure all of your dairy products are at room temperature before starting this recipe. If not, the dairy products can curdle, seize, or separate, which will ruin your sauce.
- Monterey Jack: Grate your own Monterey Jack from a fresh block, rather than buying it already-grated. Pre-packaged shredded and grated cheese have added starches to keep them from clumping. Those additives also keep them from melting well, which can make your sauce grainy or gritty.
- Black Pepper: You’re welcome to use as much or as little as you like, but I strongly encourage you to use plenty of black pepper in the sauce. It really makes a difference to the overall flavor!
- Make it Gluten Free: Use gluten-free pasta. Double check that none of your other ingredients contain any hidden glutens or at risk of cross-contamination, depending on your sensitivity levels.
- Make it Vegetarian: Replace the chicken with plain tofu or buffalo tofu, or omit the protein component entirely and enjoy the sauce and pasta on their own.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.