There’s nothing more satisfying than a well executed baked pasta. I can’t help but dive right in, as it’s the ultimate comfort food. This recipe makes an excellent make-ahead meal, and it can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd!
Our son just finished his last week of his preschool classes, so I guess it’s officially summer! Typically during the warmer weather months I’m craving unique vegetable dishes and swimsuit-friendly meals… however this year is quite different.
I want carbs. Lots of them. Covered in cheese and served with a side of bread. Who’s with me?
This Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower Casserole is one of my most popular recipes to date. I posted the feature two years ago, so please don’t judge my baby-blogging skills. It’s a superb dish, but the post (and photography) definitely needs an update. It recently occurred to me that I never introduced it’s carb-o-licious original – so here we are.
I’m a huge fan of buffalo chicken anything. Though, now I’m realizing that I’ve never shared my recipe for Buffalo Chicken Salad Sandwiches. My bad. I’ll change that fact soon, I promise.
Now let’s get back to this Baked Pasta Bliss.
With so many brands of hot sauce out there, I definitely encourage you to try a few and find your favorite. My particular preference for this recipe is Frank’s RedHot Original, but you can substitute with whatever one you prefer.
I also like to add massive amounts of chicken to this recipe. Have you ever filled-up on a pasta dish and just felt… well… heavy afterwards? In order to avoid the puffiness in my baked pasta ensembles, I add tons of protein. It’s a great way to fill up without the guilt. Try my crockpot chicken method when you get a chance, it’s super easy works well in a variety of recipes.
Healthy Note: If you’re trying to sneak vegetables into your family’s diet… I suggest tossing in a cooked bag of frozen cauliflower rice at step 4. It’s a great way to get your children to devour their veggies without even knowing it! I swear, don’t tell the dinner table that you added it in and no one will ask! We’ll keep that our little secret.
- 16 ounce box of pasta (any variety works)
- 4 cups shredded chicken
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- ½ cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
- 1 cup Frank's RedHot Sauce
- 2 cups shredded Colby Jack
- ½ cup pickled jalapeños, drained
- 10 oz. frozen cauliflower rice, cooked
- Fresh Cilantro or Chives
- Extra Frank's RedHot Sauce
- Cook crockpot chicken. Shred with two forks and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Boil pasta in a large stockpot according to packaged directions. Drain and place back into the pot.
- Add the chicken, cream cheese, dressing, hot sauce, 1 cup of cheese, and any optional mix-ins. Stir well until combined.
- Spray a large 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Pour pasta-chicken mixture in the casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is starting to bubble and brown.
- Serve immediately.
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