Cajun spiced chicken with pasta and peppers in a tangy, creamy hot sauce. An easy 20 minute dinner, packed with loads of flavour.
This is one of my family favourites, I must make this at least once every 2 weeks!
I love a dish with a bit of a kick to it, and this buffalo pasta has just that.
If you're not too sure on spice level, you can always leave out the jalapeños, and just add a little hot sauce, then add more at the end to taste.
There's some heat to the Cajun spice too. Yes, spice on three levels. Perfect! A mild Cajun spice will work as well though.
We love this for a quick weekend dinner.
📋 What do we need?
- We're looking for lots of tang in this recipe, to provide balance with the cream, so we're using Hot Pepper Sauce. I like Franks Hot Sauce, but any similar type of hot pepper sauce will do. Don't be tempted to swap it out for Sriracha or sweet chilli sauce or similar. The hot sauce is what gives this dish its signature flavour.
- Worcestershire sauce and cider vinegar also add a bit of tang too.
- Stock cube - this is optional (I know some people don't like to use stock cubes), but it does give the pasta an added oomph!
📺 Watch how to make it
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Most of this recipe is put together while the pasta is cooking. So first put your pasta onto cook, then coat chicken pieces in Cajun spice and black pepper and fry it off.
- Next we add in a crumbled stock cube (more flavour!), garlic, onions, peppers and sliced chilli and fry them off too.
- Once the vegetables have softened slightly, add in spring onions, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, cream and parmesan cheese. This is where all of those flavours amalgamate to make a rich, complex sauce.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, then sprinkle on a few more sliced chillies before serving.
👩🍳PRO TIP When cooking pasta, it's always a good idea to reserve some of the pasta cooking water, when you drain the pasta. You can then use a few splashes of the pasta cooking water to make your pasta sauce go a little further.
Look at that!! Creamy, hot, tangy, rich, a bit of crunch too. It's got it ALL!!
The inspiration for this recipe comes from Mike's Buffalo Pasta recipe at Chili Pepper Madness.
I made it a couple of years ago (the first time I'd ever tried Buffalo Pasta) and was totally hooked.
Mike's version is a lot hotter than mine - so if you like it REALLY spicy, give that one a go too. Totally recommended, Mike is the king of spicy food!
🍲 More fantastic Pasta recipes
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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 300 g (10.5oz) pasta shapes - , such as penne
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 chicken breasts - chopped into bitesize pieces (this is about 525g or 18.5oz)
- 1 tbsp Cajun spice mix
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 chicken stock cube - crumbled
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 onion - peeled and sliced
- 1 red pepper - sliced
- 1 yellow pepper - sliced
- 2 jalapenos (or medium heat green chillies) - ,sliced
- Small bunch spring onions - roughly chopped
- 60 ml hot pepper sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 100 ml ⅓ cup + 1tbsp) double (heavy) cream
- 50 g (½ cup) parmesan cheese - grated
- 1 jalapeno (or medium heat green chilli) - sliced
- Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of of the pasta cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken to the pan and sprinkle over the Cajun spice and black pepper.
- Stir to coat the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is sealed and nearly cooked through.
- Sprinkle over the crumbled stock cube and stir together.
- Add the garlic, onion, red and yellow pepper and the sliced jalapenos.
- Stir together and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens slightly.
- Add in the spring onions, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, cream and parmesan cheese.
- Stir together and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked through.
- By now the pasta should be ready. Add the pasta to the pan with the chicken and stir together.
- Add in splashes of the pasta cooking water if you would like to loosen the sauce a little.
- Divide the pasta between bowls and top with sliced jalapeno before serving.
Reheating pasta in a creamy sauce can sometimes cause any oils in the sauce to separate, leading to a slightly more oily, rather than creamy taste. However! you can liven it up again on reheating, by adding in an extra splash of cream and an extra sprinkling of parmesan. I also LOVE this dish served cold for lunch the next day as the basis for a GREAT pasta salad. Just throw in some baby salad leaves and chopped tomatoes and you're done. If you are looking to make ahead, or reheat leftovers, then make the dish, quickly cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat (with extra cream and parmesan) in a microwave for 3-4 minutes, or in a lidded saucepan, over a low heat, for about 6-7 minutes, until the chicken and pasta are piping hot throughout. You'll need to stir a couple of times during reheating too. Can I freeze it? Same rules apply as above. Cook, quickly cool, cover and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat as per the instructions above. Ingredient swaps
- I sometimes like to halve the parmesan, and just before serving, sprinkle over crumbled Lancashire or aged Cheddar cheese. Trust me, those little nuggets of cheese with that spice chicken are amazing! If you're a fan of blue cheese, then crumbled Stilton is a great (and more traditional) option too.
- Chris recently made this for him and the kids while I was away, and he sprinkled crispy bacon on top at the end. I've been told it was even better than my version (aren't kids lovely!). So I guess bacon is also the way to go!
- This dish can easily take an extra couple of vegetables. Peas, courgette and mange tout work great.
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