How to make buffalo chicken pasta casserole

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My favorite thing about football season is chicken wings. We make them every Sunday to enjoy during the football game, their spice building with every bite. Everything about the chicken wing is perfect: tender chicken, spicy buffalo sauce, creamy ranch, and crunchy celery. So why limit my enjoyment of chicken wings to only Sunday afternoons, why not make it a quick and easy weeknight dinner?
This casserole is not only easy to put together, but it will satisfy the whole family’s craving for cheesy pasta as well. I have brought this dish to many a potluck gathering, only to hear rave reviews and requests for recipes from all my friends.
Why this recipe works: Spicy hot sauce is tamed by creamy ranch dressing, and the celery bites add a nice crunchy relief, delivering everything you love about chicken wings in a one-pot, cheesy package.
Lindsay Mattison
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Casserole
Butter or olive oil for greasing casserole pan
8 ounces penne pasta
1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Franks Red Hot)
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 cup celery, small diced
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease an 8-inch casserole dish with butter or olive oil.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente.
Whisk together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, and hot sauce until well combined and creamy.
Add the shredded chicken, diced celery, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, and the cooked noodles.
Place in the greased casserole dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese topping is melted.
Top individual servings with parmesan cheese.
Pro Tip: To make this dish vegetarian, substitute roasted cauliflower for the chicken.
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