This buffalo chicken pasta is super easy to make thanks to pre-cooked chicken breast chunks and a simple DIY buffalo pasta sauce. And since we focus on kinda healthy cookin’ around here, the chicken is lightly breaded and the pasta is a higher protein chickpea pasta.
When it’s all said and done, you’ll each serving of this buffalo chicken pasta has 24 grams of protein with just 29 grams of carbs and 320 calories!
Ingredients for Buffalo Chicken Pasta
The ingredients are pretty straightforward, but I’ll cover a few things to know below. But first, here’s a look at everything you’ll need:
- 2 sweet onions, 4 garlic cloves, black pepper, and olive oil
- buffalo sauce and your choice of milk
- chickpea pasta (any pasta works)
- Perdue Simply Smart Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks (Disclaimer: I’m a paid Perdue Farms ambassador. Read more about my partnership with Perdue Farms.)
If you’ve never tried the Perdue frozen chicken breast chunks, you’re in for a treat. They get super crispy and taste just like popcorn chicken or nuggets you’d make at home. And look at the nutrition facts in the middle photo above—just 6 grams of fat compared to 15 grams of protein!
Where to buy: Target is probably your best bet, but Perdue has a store locator on the product page.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta
The easy parts: Bake or air fry the chicken according to the packaging and cook the pasta. (I love how Perdue puts air fryer instructions on its packaging.) That’s it!
Aside from the chicken and pasta, all that’s left is the buffalo sauce. Start out by dicing two sweet onions and mincing some garlic. Then heat the olive oil in a large skillet (large enough to hold the sauce, cooked pasta, and chicken) and quickly sauté the onions.
Then you’ll throw the garlic in, cook for about 30-60 seconds, and add the milk and buffalo sauce.
Continue cooking until you have a sauce. This should take about 4-6 minutes, though different skillets and stovetops will affect the cook time. See the two photos above for a reference of what the sauce should look like.
Skillet note: If you’re using a stainless steel or cast iron skillet, add the milk and buffalo sauce slowly and use it to deglaze the pan (scrape any crispy bits off the bottom of the pan).
Once you’ve got the sauce ready to rock, add the cooked pasta and chicken. Toss and serve!
Recipe Modification Notes
During testing, I used everywhere between 1/4 cup and 1 cup of buffalo sauce. I felt the higher end was too salty but if you really love buffalo sauce, you can increase the ratio of buffalo to milk in the sauce. You might even try leaving the milk at its current level and cooking the sauce longer to reduce.
This buffalo chicken pasta is on the milder side of the spice spectrum. If you’re super sensitive, you can reduce the amount of buffalo sauce used or go for full fat milk to balance the heat.
And if you end up with a spicy finished product, you could create a drizzle with blue cheese crumbles and a bit of fat free Greek yogurt. A source of sugar could help neutralize the heat as well.
If you hate blue cheese, you could go with another cheese like feta or freshly grated mozzarella, gruyère, or gouda. You could even pop it in the oven for a buffalo chicken pasta bake. Other options might include a low fat ranch drizzle or no cheese at all.
And that’s a wrap. If you have a question about this buffalo chicken pasta, leave a comment below or join my Facebook group with 14,000 other healthy home cooks that would love to help you out!
Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Baked-from-frozen crispy chicken chunks paired with chickpea pasta, a simple but delicious buffalo pasta sauce, and blue cheese crumbles.
- 24 oz bag Perdue Simply Smart Lightly Breaded Chicken Chunks
- 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
- 2 Sweet Onions, diced
- 4 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 C (360g) Cashew Milk, or your choice of milk
- 3/4 C (180g) Buffalo Sauce, I used Frank's RedHot
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 8 oz (dry) Chickpea Pasta, or your choice of pasta
- 1/2 C (56g) Blue Cheese Crumbles, optional
- Bake or air fry the chicken according to its packaging and bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.**
For the Buffalo Pasta Sauce
- Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften and slightly brown.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the milk, buffalo sauce, and black pepper to the skillet and continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring often, to reduce the mixture to a thick sauce. This should take around 4-6 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat.
- Drain the cooked pasta and add to the sauce, tossing everything together, before adding the chicken. Fold everything together until the chicken is fully coated in the sauce.
- Top with blue cheese crumbles and fresh green onion, if desired.
**Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than instructed on its packaging. And I like the chicken extra crunchy so I air fry for a few extra minutes.
- Each serving of buffalo chicken pasta with blue cheese crumbles has 8 Smart Points.
- Without blue cheese, each serving has 295 calories, 23g protein, 29g carbs, 10g fat, and 7 Smart Points.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 servings Serving Size: 175 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 12gCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 24g
More Recipe Ideas for the Perdue Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks
You could easily replace the homemade chicken “nuggets” in my General Tso Chicken, Orange Chicken, Copycat KFC Bowls, or Chicken and Protein Waffles with the Perdue chicken chunks.
Wednesday 15th of April 2020
SO EASY SO GOOD, with pre made chicken breast I cooked them in the air fryer for extra crispy as sauce normally makes breading soft. Reheats well for leftovers!
Wednesday 29th of January 2020
Love this recipe! The grocery stores near me don’t have the plain chicken breast chunks, but instead fun Dino shaped ones. So it makes the recipe a little more fun. 😜
Wednesday 27th of November 2019
I thought this recipe was just meh, which I was bummed about everything of Mason's is a slam dunk. The plus though was that it introduced me to the perdue strips and these bad bays were super tasty by themselves!
Tuesday 26th of November 2019
Literally have eaten every day for three weeks.......it's THAT GOOD. I usually whip it up super quick too, and make enough to take for lunch the next day. Even the next day it reheats perfectly and is just as good as the day before. I have been serving with rice instead of the pasta. I just use Uncle Ben's ready rice and its delicious! When I track it, I just logged the recipe without the pasta. I also had to cut down on the amount of hot sauce. Only about 1/4 of the sauce is needed without the pasta. I weighed out the original serving and my lips were literally on fire (unless you like that, than go for it!).
Sunday 24th of November 2019
Tasted really good, tons of flavor and spice. The sauce was too thin for my liking and wouldn’t thicken up, not sure if I did something wrong. Other than that I would definitely make it again!