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Macro-Friendly Buffalo Chicken Pasta With Cottage Cheese

published: April 5, 2023

updated: October 24, 2023

2 Comments

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Love the taste of Buffalo wings but want a healthier, delicious alternative for dinner? Then you're in the right place! This high-protein buffalo chicken pasta dish is packed with flavor and nutrition – tender chicken breast pieces coated in spicy-sweet sauce and stirred into an oozy mix of penne noodles. Bursting with those classic flavors we all love, this easy weeknight dinner will become a favorite among your family. Plus, it's ready to eat in under 30 minutes – so no long wait times, much like our high protein creamy buffalo chicken bowl recipe.

For ultimate convenience, you can even make it ahead of time and store it until later. With all its bold tastes, high nutritional value, and speedy cooking time – this is one meal that keeps everyone happy!

If you're a fan of buffalo chicken dip (aka the best game day dish), then you're in for a treat with this healthy buffalo chicken pasta. It's a fantastic twist on the classic dip that's sure to satisfy your cravings.

But what makes this recipe even better is that it has a secret ingredient to make the sauce extra creamy and high in protein! Drum roll please…… cottage cheese! The cottage cheese helps add creamy taste without excess calories and fat. Trust me, your taste buds won't be disappointed.

3 Reasons Why You Will Love This Macro-Friendly Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe

eating buffalo chicken pasta with cottage cheese
  1. Protein-packed and filling: We love a good protein-packed meal and this recipe is no exception! With almost 34g, this protein-packed buffalo chicken pasta dish will satisfy your cravings without weighing you down. 
  2. Easy to make: This recipe uses minimal ingredients and can be whipped up in just 30 minutes, leaving more time to unwind from a busy day! 
  3. Ultimate comfort food: Nothing says comfort food better than a warm bowl of pasta. The warm and cheesy dish makes for a satisfying dinner option, without the heaviness.

You may also love our macro-friendly buffalo chicken stuffed banana peppers recipe!

Ingredients

  • Pasta: I used classic penne pasta, but with 300 other varieties, use your preferred type!  You can use whole wheat pasta or chickpea pasta (gluten-free option) if you’re looking to pump up the fiber content! 
  • Shredded chicken: For a time-saving hack, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to make meal time even quicker! 
  • Cottage cheese: I used Daisy low-fat cottage cheese. This is blended to help create a smooth, delicious sauce! 
  • Plain greek yogurt – I used Chobani nonfat plain greek yogurt to add another protein pump to the sauce
  • Ranch seasoning mix: Buffalo + ranch is the classic combo. Ranch seasoning is such an underutilized seasoning to add flavor to literally anything like veggies, potatoes, and this recipe!
  • Hot sauce: Can’t have buffalo chicken without the buffalo sauce. I used Frank’s hot sauce. 
  • Cheese: This recipe uses a combo of both mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese. Although this recipe doesn’t call for it, you can add in bleu cheese for the extra flavor.
  • Green onions – These are my #1 garnish I like to use for a light onion flavor, plus a pop of color!

Kitchen Tools Required

  • Medium pot
  • Blender
  • Medium bowl
  • Spoon
  • 9×9 Casserole dish

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Pasta

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9 x 9 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Cook your pasta as directed, preferably al dente. While the pasta cooks, blend your cottage cheese, greek yogurt, hot sauce, and ranch seasoning in a blender until smooth. 
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the blended mixture and half of both cheeses. Mix until combined.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and shredded chicken to the sauce mixture. Stir until combined well. 
  6. Pour the pasta mixture into the casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top of the pasta.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  8. After cooking, top with green onions. Serve and enjoy!
ingredients portioned out
pulled chicken and pasta in bowl
buffalo chicken pasta in pan

Swaps or Alternatives

If following a gluten-free diet, swap the pasta for a chickpea variety such as Banza. Chickpea pasta breaks apart when overcooked, so make sure to watch it closely. 

This recipe is a medium spice, so if you prefer a milder taste, you may use less buffalo sauce, a mild hot sauce, or add additional greek yogurt or cottage cheese to mellow the sauce a bit. 

If you are a vegetarian, simply omit the chicken or use a meat alternative “chicken”. You may also use a lentil or chickpea-based pasta to increase the protein content. 

Quick Tip(s)

When preparing this, I like to use all my time-saving hacks. I opt for using store bought rotisserie chicken so that I don’t have to cook it myself. Simply shred the chicken as the pasta cooks and toss it into your bowl to mix when ready! Also, while the pasta cooks, blend up your sauce so it is ready to go when the pasta is done! 

You can prepare this dish ahead of time. Store casserole in the fridge and just pop it in the oven when ready to bake!

FAQ’s

What can I pair with buffalo chicken pasta?

Since this dish is lacking in veggies and color, I like to serve a side salad, roasted green beans, or sauteed zucchini as a light side option!

How do I make this dish more saucy?

If you prefer a bit more sauce with your pasta (I don’t blame you), you can either double the sauce ingredients or use slightly less pasta. 

Macros & Nutrition Information

Serving size: ¼ serving of casserole 

MacrosNutrition
Calories471
Protein32.7g
Carbs50g
Fat15.1g

Buffalo Chicken Pasta With Cottage Cheese

Jessie Hulsey
Ready in 30 minutes, this take on the classic game day dish is sure to leave you satisfied! Buffalo Chicken Pasta is packed with spicy buffalo flavor and high in protein for the ultimate comfort food.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 471 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Medium pot
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Medium bowl
  • 1 Spoon
  • 1 9×9 Casserole dish

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups penne pasta cooked
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • ½ cup light cottage cheese
  • ½ cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp ranch seasoning (equivalent to 1 packet ranch seasoning mix)
  • cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • green onions for topping (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spray a 9 x 9 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook your pasta as directed, preferably al dente. While the pasta cooks, blend your cottage cheese, greek yogurt, hot sauce, and ranch seasoning in a blender until smooth.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the blended mixture and half of both cheeses. Mix until combined.
  • Add the cooked pasta and shredded chicken to the sauce mixture. Stir until combined well.
  • Pour the pasta mixture into the casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top of the pasta.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • After cooking, top with green onions. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

For a gluten-free option, use chickpea pasta. Make sure to not overcook the pasta, as it will break apart when preparing the casserole.
If making your own chicken breast, cook this first and shred prior to cooking the pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 32.7gFat: 15.1g
Keyword cottage cheese, high protein, macro friendly
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About the author, Jessie Hulsey

Jessie is a recipe creator and registered dietitian consultant, specializing in weight management, healthy aging, and behavioral nutrition in Atlanta, GA. To lean into her creative side, she loves all aspects of recipe development and food photography. When not working, you can find Jessie at the dog park with her husband and pup, playing in her garden, and scoping out new restaurants!

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  • 5 stars
    Run, don’t walk, to make this one. So delicious and really hit the spot. We used chef’s kiss lupin pasta and it was perfect. This will definitely be added to our rotation.

    • Hi Bri! I’m so happy you loved this one! It’s a favorite for sure. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review ❤️

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