Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Once again, my love of Buffalo chicken should not shock anyone on this blog. It's probably my favorite thing in the world, and I can't stop making different dishes inspired by Buffalo chicken. I've created everything from quiche to macaroni and cheese, dumplings to enchiladas and so much more. Today, I'm sharing yet another dish which is perfect for everything from picnicking to tailgating.

This Buffalo chicken pasta salad is crazy easy to make. Even the homemade blue cheese dressing that I use is a cinch, and therefore I highly recommend it to store-bought. You can use any short pasta shape. I used gemelli here because it's such a playful shape that maintains a lovely chewy texture. Rotini, shells, elbows, penne, or even farfalle would be excellent choices as well.

Using leftover chicken (from a roasted chicken) is the perfect way to extend the life of your leftovers while creating a crowd-pleasing dish. Finishing up with some crunch from sliced celery, this pasta salad is spicy, blue cheesy, and the perfect plate of comfort for any Buffalo chicken-loving occasion.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
Serves 8 to 10 as a side

1 pound short pasta (such as gemelli, rotini, shells, elbows, penne, or farfalle)
2 1/2 cups cubed, roasted chicken breast
3 stalks celery, sliced thinly on the bias
3/4 cup blue cheese dressing, preferably homemade
1/2 cup hot sauce, preferably Frank's Red Hot
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse well with cold water to shock the cooking process and cool the pasta.

Add the drained pasta to a mixing bowl and add the chicken, celery, blue cheese dressing, hot sauce, and about two-thirds of the scallions. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a serving dish. Top with the remaining scallions and serve.

The pasta salad is best the day it is made, before it begins to absorb too much of the dressing.


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