Everyone loves a one pot meal; even better, how about a one pot meal that features pasta and some added protein for a complete meal? This one pot skinny buffalo chicken pasta is creamy, full of flavor, and indulgent tasting. It’s a crowd pleaser of a dish, but is also lightened-up (although you’d never know it). Flavorful pasta is tossed with hot sauce, shredded cheddar, and cream cheese to create a decadent sauce. Juicy chicken breast bulks this pasta up for a complete meal the whole family will enjoy. Get this one pot skinny buffalo chicken pasta on your meal plan!
Making a one-pot meal
Everyone loves and appreciates a one-pot meal. And I am not talking a meal that uses one pot, and then a skillet, and a microwave, and the oven. I mean a true meal where everything is built in the same pot. There is something so satisfying about building a meal in one vessel. Not only does it make dinner easy to throw together (and quick) but it makes cleanup a breeze. It also makes a great make-ahead meal, since it can be reheated in the same pot you cooked it in.
What always intimidated me about making one-pot pasta dishes was the ratio of liquid to pasta. I was always nervous to experiment with this kind of recipe, because I really didn’t know where to begin, and I didn’t want to ruin a box of perfectly good pasta! Hey, can you blame me?
After some research I learned that the appropriate measurement of liquid to pasta in a one-pot meal is 1:2 (similar to that of rice). Simple enough! After learning that, I felt like the rest would be easy. I was right!
What will I need to make this one pot skinny buffalo chicken pasta?
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make this recipe:
- shredded carrots
- kosher salt
- olive oil spray
- I used this shape from Barilla because it holds onto the sauce really well.
- reduced sodium chicken broth
- unsweetened cashew milk (or almond milk)
- This recipe is not dairy-free, but I use plant-based milk because they are low in calories while still providing that creamy taste and texture. You can use any milk of your choice.
- Frank’s Red Hot sauce
- reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
- reduced fat cream cheese
- cooked chicken breast
- I used two rotisserie chicken breasts.
How to make this one pot pasta dish
To make this pasta dish, start out with a big pot. I used a Dutch oven for this recipe, which was just perfect. If you don’t have one, no worries. Just use a large pot.
Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and measure out the shredded carrots. Add the onion and carrots to the pot with some olive oil spray and the kosher salt, and cook them over medium heat until they are tender and translucent. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Then, add the minced garlic and cook it for another minute or so until fragrant.
Next, add the pasta, the chicken broth, and the milk. Stir the ingredients together and bring them to a boil. After the liquid boils, cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook the pasta for about 10-12 minutes or until it is cooked and tender (to your liking).
Once the pasta is cooked, uncover the pot and add in the shredded cheddar, cream cheese, and hot sauce. Chop the chives and chicken breast, and add that in as well. Combine the ingredients well, and cook for another few minutes for all of the flavors to meld.
This recipe makes 8 servings, at a heaping 1.5 cups each. Top with extra scallions, shredded cheese, shredded carrots, buffalo sauce, ranch, or blue cheese. The options are endless! Have fun with it!
Reheating this meal
As stated earlier, one pot meals make great make-ahead meals. But, let’s face it, after a meal sits for a while, it doesn’t taste as fresh as when you first made it. If you make this meal in advance, you will need to “bring it back to life” as I call it.
To do this, I recommend storing the pasta in the same pot you cooked it in. In order to reheat this before serving, you’ll simply need to add more liquid to the pasta dish. To reheat the entire batch of pasta, start off with another 1/4 cup broth and 1/4 cup milk, and add it to the pasta. Reheat the pasta over medium heat. If you need more liquid, add more as you go. If you are reheating individual portions, scale back the extra liquid.
This will add moisture to the dish, and it will take on the same consistency as when it was first made.
This pasta can also be frozen. Portion out individual servings into freezer bags. When you are ready to reheat the pasta, you can defrost it in the microwave or stove top. Be sure to add extra liquid as needed, similar to as noted above.
One Pot Skinny Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- dutch oven or large pot
- 1 cup onion
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- olive oil spray
- 1 lb pasta, I used the Cellentani shape
- 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups unsweetened cashew milk, or almond milk
- 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 3 scallions
- 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
- 3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- 3 cups chicken breast, cooked, shredded or chopped (about 2 rotisserie chicken breasts)
- Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
- Add olive oil spray to the bottom of a Dutch oven or large pot, and add the onion and shredded carrots. Season with the kosher salt.
- Cook the onion and carrots over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until tender. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the entire box of pasta to the pot, followed by the chicken broth and milk.
- Stir everything to combine, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer.
- Simmer covered for about 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. There will still be some liquid left in the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the cheddar, cream cheese, and hot sauce.
- Chop the scallions and the chicken breast and add them in.
- Stir to combine all ingredients over a low flame to ensure all flavors combine thoroughly.
- 8 WW points (blue plan)
- 9 WW points (green plan)
- 3 WW points (purple plan, if you use whole wheat pasta)
You might also enjoy these one-pot meals: