SLOW COOKER BUFFALO CHICKEN RIGATONI — Chicken is slow cooked in a creamy buffalo sauce, then paired with rigatoni pasta and topped with blue cheese crumbles and chopped green onion in this hearty dinner favorite.
I have a couple of Buffalo chicken fanatics living at my house, so I knew this Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Rigatoni would be a hit.
And just has I expected, my teenage boys devoured this spicy chicken and pasta dish.
Best of all, this meal couldn’t be any easier to put together. Just throw some chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce and seasonings in a slow cooker and let it simmer for a few hours.
When it’s time for dinner, stir in some cooked rigatoni and you have a delicious, creamy pasta dish the whole family will love.
I was kind of hoping for leftovers, but there wasn’t a bite left.
We like to top ours off with blue cheese and green onions, but a drizzle of ranch dressing is also a nice garnish.
Note that you do cook the pasta separately on the stove top for this dish. Which I honestly prefer. In my opinion, most pasta cooked in the slow cooker comes out mushy, and I’m just not a fan.
So technically, this is a Buffalo chicken sauce that’s made in the slow cooker. But the pasta itself is cooked in the traditional way.
Of course, you could substitute almost any kind of pasta for the rigatoni, but a large, tubular pasta really pairs well with the thick, creamy sauce.
Needless to say, the Buffalo chicken fans at my house couldn’t stop raving about this dish. It will definitely be making another appearance on my dinner menu!
Be sure to save this Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Rigatoni recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Rigatoni
- Chicken breasts
- Spices: celery salt, salt and pepper
- Buffalo wing sauce
- Produce: garlic, green onions
- Cream cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Heavy cream
- Blue cheese
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
- 16 ounces rigatoni
- 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
- Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with celery salt, salt and pepper and add to slow cooker.
- Pour Buffalo sauce over chicken. Stir in garlic. Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Cover and keep warm.
- Whisk cream cheese into sauce in slow cooker until mostly smooth. Stir in cheddar cheese and 1/4-1/2 cup cream, until sauce reaches desired consistency. Cover and cook sauce for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook rigatoni according to package directions. Return chicken to slow cooker, along with cooked rigatoni. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook another 5-7 minutes until everything is heated through. Garnish with blue cheese and green onions.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 552 Total Fat: 33g Saturated Fat: 18g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 162mg Sodium: 931mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Protein: 42g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Betty Crocker