Buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese – Bex’s Kitchen

Last Updated on January 29, 2024

Buffalo chicken pasta is a popular dish that combines the bold flavors of buffalo sauce, tender chunks of chicken, and creamy cheese sauce. 

However, if you’re looking for a lighter and healthier version of this dish that doesn’t include cream cheese but still delivers on taste, look no further. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain how to make buffalo chicken pasta without cream cheese, so you can enjoy a guilt-free and flavorful meal.

Best Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese

What is Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese?

Buffalo chicken pasta without cream cheese is a variation of the traditional buffalo chicken pasta that omits the rich and dense cream cheese sauce. 

Instead, this recipe relies on the tangy and spicy flavors of buffalo sauce combined with a creamy ranch dressing to give the dish a delicious kick. 

The absence of cream cheese not only reduces the calorie and fat content but also highlights the flavors of the other ingredients.

Why You’ll Love this Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese?

There are several reasons why you’ll fall in love with this buffalo chicken pasta recipe that doesn’t include cream cheese. 

Firstly, it is a healthier alternative to the original dish, making it suitable for those watching their calorie intake or following a specific diet plan. Secondly, the removal of cream cheese allows the flavors of the buffalo sauce, chicken, and ranch dressing to shine through, creating a delightful harmony of tastes. 

Lastly, it is a simple and easy-to-make recipe that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect option for busy weeknight dinners.

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Ingredients You Will Need To Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese:

To make this buffalo chicken pasta recipe without cream cheese, you will need the following ingredients:

The Ingredients

Penne pasta, cooked al dente: Serves as the base ingredient, providing a satisfying texture and absorbing the flavors of the sauce and seasonings.

Sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly shredded: Adds a rich, tangy flavor to the dish, melting into the pasta and contributing to the overall creaminess without the use of cream cheese.

Buffalo Sauce (Frank’s Buffalo Sauce): Provides the signature tangy and spicy flavor essential for Buffalo-style dishes, giving the pasta its distinctive zing.

Creamy ranch dressing: Offers a creamy and herbaceous element to the dish, complementing the spicy Buffalo sauce while adding a cool contrast.

Organic chicken breasts, diced into delectable bite-sized pieces: Acts as the primary protein, bringing texture and substance to the pasta while absorbing the flavors of the sauce and seasonings.

Extra-virgin olive oil: Used for sautéing the chicken and enhancing the dish with its rich, fruity notes and added depth.

Garlic powder and hand-ground onion powder: Infuses the dish with aromatic flavors, adding depth and enhancing the overall taste profile of the pasta.

Italian seasoning blend: Provides a harmonious blend of herbs and spices, bringing out the Italian-inspired flavors and complementing the other ingredients.

Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground peppercorns: Used to season the dish, enhancing the flavors of the ingredients while adding a touch of sophistication with their unique taste and texture.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese

Directions

Step 1: Cook Pasta

Prepare the artisanal penne pasta according to the package instructions until it reaches an al dente texture. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside.

Step 2: Season and Cook Chicken

In a mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients with diced free-range organic chicken breast pieces:

  • Organic garlic powder
  • Hand-ground onion powder
  • Premium Italian seasoning blend
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Freshly ground peppercorns
  • Coat the chicken pieces evenly with the seasoning mixture.

Step 3: Cook Chicken

Heat cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink inside, usually taking about 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Prepare Buffalo Sauce

In a separate bowl, mix zesty Buffalo Sauce (such as Frank’s Buffalo Sauce) with homemade creamy ranch dressing. Adjust the ratio of Buffalo sauce to ranch dressing according to your preferred level of spiciness and creaminess.

Step 5: Combine Ingredients

In a large pot or skillet, add the cooked penne pasta. Pour the prepared Buffalo ranch sauce over the pasta and thoroughly coat the pasta with the sauce.

Step 6: Add Chicken and Cheese

Combine the cooked seasoned chicken pieces with the pasta and sauce mixture. Sprinkle the freshly shredded sharp white cheddar cheese over the top.

Step 7: Heat and Serve

Gently heat the Buffalo Chicken Pasta over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheese melts and the entire dish is heated through.

Step 8: Garnish and Serve

For an optional finishing touch, garnish the Buffalo Chicken Pasta with additional freshly ground peppercorns or chopped herbs such as parsley to enhance the presentation and flavors.

Step 9: Enjoy

Serve the Buffalo Chicken Pasta – No Cream Cheese immediately while it’s hot, relishing the harmonious blend of flavors and textures that make this dish a delightful meal.

Notes:

Here are some additional tips to enhance your buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese experience:

– For a spicier kick, add a few dashes of hot sauce or increase the amount of buffalo sauce used.
– To make it a complete meal, consider adding some vegetables like diced bell peppers, onions, or mushrooms to the skillet along with the chicken.
– Adjust the seasoning according to your preference. You can add more or less salt, pepper, or other spices to suit your taste buds.
– If you prefer a smoother texture, use a blender or food processor to puree the buffalo sauce and ranch dressing together before adding them to the dish.
– To reduce the cooking time, you can use pre-cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken and simply heat it through in the skillet before adding the other ingredients.

Storage Tips:

If you have leftovers, store the buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply microwave or reheat in a skillet on the stovetop until warmed through, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent the dish from drying out.

Easy Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese

Nutrition Information:

The nutritional content of this buffalo chicken pasta without cream cheese may vary depending on the specific ingredients used. However, here is a general overview of the approximate nutritional values:

– Calories: 450-500 per serving
– Protein: 35-40 grams
– Fat: 10-12 grams
– Carbohydrates: 50-55 grams
– Fiber: 3-5 grams

Serving Suggestions:

Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese experience:

1. Serve it with a side of garlic bread for a complete meal.
2. Pair it with a fresh green salad topped with ranch dressing for a refreshing contrast.
3. Add a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles over the top for extra tanginess.
4. Serve it with celery sticks and carrots to complement the buffalo sauce flavors.
5. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro for added freshness.

What Other Substitutes Can I Use in Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese?

Although this buffalo chicken pasta recipe without cream cheese is already a fantastic alternative to the traditional version, you can still experiment with other substitutes to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Greek yogurt: Replace the creamy ranch dressing with Greek yogurt for a tangy and protein-packed twist.
2. Cashew cream: Create a dairy-free creamy sauce by blending soaked cashews with water or vegetable broth until smooth, then mix it with the buffalo sauce.
3. Avocado: Mash a ripe avocado and mix it with the buffalo sauce to create a creamy and healthy dressing.
4. Coconut milk: Use full-fat coconut milk instead of cream cheese to add a creamy texture and hint of sweetness to the dish.
5. Hummus: Stir in a dollop of hummus to add a creamy element to the buffalo chicken pasta.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese

Buffalo chicken pasta is a popular dish that combines the bold flavors of buffalo sauce, tender chunks of chicken, and creamy cheese sauce. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese
Servings: 3 People
Calories: 665kcal
Author: Bex Smith

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Skillet for cooking
  • Bowl for mixing
  • Large pot or skillet
  • Utensils for stirring and mixing
  • Optional garnishing tools like a grinder

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz penne pasta cooked al dente
  • 1-2 organic chicken breasts diced into delectable bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/8 cup Buffalo Sauce Frank’s Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese freshly shredded
  • Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground peppercorns to elevate the flavors
  • 1/2 cup creamy ranch dressing

Instructions

Cook Pasta:

  • Prepare the artisanal penne pasta according to the package instructions until it reaches an al dente texture. Drain and set aside.

Season Chicken:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the diced free-range organic chicken breast pieces with organic garlic powder, hand-ground onion powder, premium Italian seasoning blend, and a sprinkle of Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground peppercorns. Toss the chicken to coat evenly with the seasonings.

Cook Chicken:

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken pieces to the skillet. Cook and stir until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, usually for about 5-7 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.

Prepare Buffalo Sauce:

  • In a separate bowl, mix the zesty Buffalo Sauce (such as Frank’s Buffalo Sauce) with the homemade creamy ranch dressing. Adjust the ratio of Buffalo sauce to ranch dressing to achieve your preferred level of spiciness and creaminess.

Combine Ingredients:

  • In a large pot or skillet, add the cooked penne pasta. Pour the prepared Buffalo ranch sauce over the pasta and toss to coat evenly.

Add Chicken and Cheese:

  • Add the cooked seasoned chicken pieces to the pasta and sauce mixture. Sprinkle the freshly shredded sharp white cheddar cheese over the top.

Heat and Serve:

  • Gently heat the Buffalo Chicken Pasta over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheese melts and the dish is heated through.

Garnish and Serve:

  • Optionally, garnish the Buffalo Chicken Pasta with additional freshly ground peppercorns or chopped herbs like parsley for added freshness.

Enjoy:

  • Serve the Buffalo Chicken Pasta No Cream Cheese immediately while hot and savor the delicious combination of flavors!

Notes

Here are some additional tips to enhance your buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese experience:
– For a spicier kick, add a few dashes of hot sauce or increase the amount of buffalo sauce used.
– To make it a complete meal, consider adding some vegetables like diced bell peppers, onions, or mushrooms to the skillet along with the chicken.
– Adjust the seasoning according to your preference. You can add more or less salt, pepper, or other spices to suit your taste buds.
– If you prefer a smoother texture, use a blender or food processor to puree the buffalo sauce and ranch dressing together before adding them to the dish.
– To reduce the cooking time, you can use pre-cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken and simply heat it through in the skillet before adding the other ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 665kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I use a different type of pasta?
Absolutely! While this recipe calls for penne pasta, feel free to use any type of pasta that you prefer or have on hand. Rigatoni, fusilli, or even spaghetti can work well with the buffalo chicken and sauce.

2. Can I make this vegetarian?
Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of this dish by replacing the chicken with your favorite meat alternative, such as tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Simply cook the meat substitute according to its package instructions before adding it to the skillet.

3. How can I make it gluten-free?
To make this buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta such as rice or corn-based varieties. Ensure that the buffalo sauce and ranch dressing you choose are also labeled gluten-free or make your own using gluten-free ingredients.

4. Can I make a larger batch for a crowd?
Certainly! To make a larger batch of this dish to serve a crowd, simply double or triple the ingredients accordingly. You may need to use a larger skillet or cook the chicken in batches to ensure proper cooking and flavor distribution.

5. Can I freeze the leftovers?
It is not recommended to freeze the leftovers of this buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese as it may affect the texture and taste of the dish. It is best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for a few days.

6. How can I make it spicier?
If you prefer a spicier version of this dish, you can increase the amount of buffalo sauce or add a few dashes of hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes to amp up the heat. Adjust the spiciness according to your personal preference.

Conclusion:

Buffalo chicken pasta no cream cheese offers a delectable twist on the classic dish by omitting the heavy cream cheese sauce. 

By using buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, and a handful of flavorful ingredients, you can create a lighter and healthier version of this beloved recipe that doesn’t compromise on taste.

Whether you’re following a specific dietary plan or simply looking for a delicious weeknight dinner option, this buffalo chicken pasta will surely satisfy your cravings. Give it a try and experience the perfect marriage of tangy, spicy, and creamy flavors in every bite!

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