This creamy Buffalo chicken casserole combines spicy hot sauce and ranch-style flavor with chicken, cheese, and pasta for a hearty meal that’s so much easier than making chicken wings.
Combining the chicken, cream cheese, sauce, and ranch together feels a bit like making a Buffalo chicken dip. But then, the cheesy mixture gets mixed with ziti before baking — it’s the ultimate spicy, creamy comfort food.
The next time you’re looking for an easy dinner recipe, or a casserole to feed a crowd on game day, check out this creamy casserole.
Why You’ll Love Buffalo Chicken Casserole
If you’re a fan of fast and flavorful casseroles you’ll love this one.
- Easy – If you love Buffalo chicken wings, you’ll love this recipe that’s way easier to make than frying up wings.
- Convenient – It’s not nearly as messy as eating handheld wings and the leftovers are perfect to take to work or school the next day.
- Customizable – You can make this as spicy or mild as you like.
- Affordable – You may have many of the ingredients already and most are fairly inexpensive.
These simple ingredients come together quickly to make this delicious casserole.
- Ziti pasta – This tube-shaped pasta is the perfect size for this dish and will also capture the sauce and ingredients inside of it.
- Cream cheese – Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature so that it is easier to mix with the other ingredients.
- Ranch seasoning – You can buy a packet at the store or you can make your own homemade ranch dressing mix.
- Milk – We prefer to use full fat milk because that makes it creamy but you can use a lower fat variety if you prefer.
- Celery – Finely chop the celery into uniform sized pieces.
- Onion – Dice the onion into pieces similar in size to the celery so that they cook evenly.
- Hot sauce – You can choose your favorite brand (like Frank’s Red hot Sauce) and make it as spicy or milk as you like.
- Chicken – Use cooked chicken for this recipe — it can be any cut from chicken breasts to chicken thighs. You can make it yourself or get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store — just make sure to shred it (or you can use diced chicken).
- Monterey Jack cheese – Grate it yourself for the best flavor or purchase it shredded already.
- Green onions – Slice these and sprinkle on top for garnish.
How To Make Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole
This easy recipe comes together in a matter of minutes once the pasta has been cooked.
- Prepare the pasta by cooking it al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Add the cream cheese, milk, and ranch seasoning to a large bowl.
- Using a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula, mix the ingredients together to completely combine.
- Pour sauce, celery, onion, and half of the cheese into the cream cheese mixture.
- Stir again until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Add the shredded chicken and pasta to the cheese mixture and fold it in until all ingredients are evenly dispersed.
- Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray (or coated with olive oil)
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the casserole.
- Bake the casserole until it is bubbly and the cheese has melted.
- After removing from the oven, sprinkle sliced green onions on top and serve immediately on its own or with a side salad.
You can use our suggestions or come up with your own creative swaps or add-ins for this basic casserole.
- Pasta shapes – You can use other tubular pastas like rigatoni or penne.
- Spices and herbs – Add any seasonings you like — garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper are just a few options.
- Heat – If you want even more spicy flavor, shake in some cayenne pepper or chili powder. You can also dice jalapenos or other hot peppers and mix those in as well.
- Cheese – Substitute pepper jack, mozzarella cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, or your favorite shredded cheese. You can also sprinkle blue cheese over top after baking.
- Bacon – Add crumbled crispy bacon to the top of the casserole.
- Cauliflower – Replace the pasta with chopped cauliflower florets or cauliflower rice to make a low carb or keto buffalo chicken casserole.
- Sour cream – For a little tang, try adding a bit of sour cream to the mixture before baking.
- Buffalo wing sauce – Use this instead of hot sauce. But it at the store or make your own Buffalo sauce.
- Vegetables – If you’re looking to incorporate more veggies, add diced bell peppers, chopped broccoli florets, or corn.
Storage and Freezing
You can easily store leftover casserole which makes it as perfect for meal prep as it is an easy weeknight dinner.
Make-Ahead: You can cook and shred the chicken ahead of time. You can also make the entire casserole and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
Refrigerator: Store Buffalo chicken casserole for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Freezer: Buffalo chicken casserole can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
Other Easy Chicken Dishes
- French Onion Chicken Bake
- Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Pasta
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Buffalo Chicken Casserole
- Cook pasta al dente, drain, and cool. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, milk, and ranch seasoning. Stir to combine.
- Add in celery, onion, hot sauce, and half the cheese. Stir to combine.
- Fold in the chicken and cooked pasta.
- Spread into the prepared dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake at 375F for 25-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with sliced green onions. Serve warm.