There are a handful buffalo chicken pastas out there, but this one is different. For starters this recipe doesn’t take the exact ingredients for the beloved dip and throw pasta in. It is not thick and chunky and very clear that you are eating a block of cream cheese and a cup of hot sauce. Instead this buffalo chicken pasta is velvety and smooth. It leans on the flavor of hot sauce bringing more flavor than heat, but isn’t overly sour. Considering that it doesn’t involve throwing 8oz of cream cheese and a block of cheddar cheese it is remarkably light. If you are looking for the classic in your face buffalo sauce pasta then this is not the recipe to try. However, if you are looking for a sauce inspired by and reminiscent of the classic and you have 30 minutes then you need to try this.
Have you ever mixed vinegar or lemon juice into dairy? Or even have you ever had buffalo chicken dip straight from the oven and it’s… kind of chunky? Yes, if you don’t know already acid and milk don’t get along and if not incorporated properly the acid will curdle the dairy, leaving a not so great texture. Dont get me wrong in some cases you want to curdle dairy ie. when making cheese or homemade buttermilk. While we do not add milk to this dish there is milk and cream in Boursin. Have no fear, there are ways to get around it, in fact if you have made my Lemon Caper Pasta then you have already encountered this.
If you take anything from what I said above it’s follow the directions below.
Boil the Pasta – This seems obvious, but if you don’t already know, pasta needs to be boiled in salty water. Not only does it give the pasta flavor, but that salty water will be added to the sauce. If you are ever wondering why I don’t say salt the sauce it is because we added in starchy salty pasta water. Always save more water than you need. I always advise in the recipe how much to add and save in case you want to thin the sauce out or if it reduced too much and need to add more to loosen it up.
Sauté + Build the Sauce Foundation – In a pot over medium to low heat melt the butter. Once melted and bubbly add in the garlic and paprika and sauté until soft and fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Add in the flour and cook for 3-5 minutes mixing every 10-20 seconds to ensure the flour doesn’t burn. We aren’t making a thick roux here 2 tbsp to 3 tbsp of butter. Not only are we cooking the raw flour, but cooking down the roux allows for a smoother sauce when the broth is added. No lumps here! Add the broth and cook until it starts to thicken (approx 1-2 minutes). Add the pasta water, this is why we started to cook the pasta before starting the sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes allowing the sauce to come to a simmer.
Make it Buffalo – TURN OFF THE HEAT. Sorry for the caps, but this is the step that stops the sauce from curdling. Wait 2-3 minutes until the sauce no longer bubbles and add in the Franks Hot Sauce. Mix to combine and add in the Boursin, crushing it with the back of a spoon and mixing to combine. This will take a minute to melt into the sauce. Add in the pasta and serve!
While there is no chicken added directly to this buffalo chicken pasta, feel free to add precooked chicken. Grilled chicken or even shredded rotisserie chicken are great, easy adds.
As I say in a lot of my posts, because of the creamy nature of this dish it is best eaten immediately. This pasta can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Once it goes in the fridge however the cream sauce congeals and its really hard to get that velvety smooth texture back. My best hack for a pasta like this, save some pasta water and freeze it. When you are ready to reheat add the pasta to a pan and add one ice cube at a time until it is warm and at the desired consistency. I like using THIS ice cube tray (if using this add a few at a time).
Looking for more pasta recipes? Check out the below!