It’s hard to beat this One Pot Buffalo Chicken “Helper”. Think spicy buffalo chicken meets cozy weeknight casserole. It’s made entirely in one pot and comes together in less than an hour. Made with chicken, spices, buffalo sauce, short-cut pasta, herbs, and plenty of broccoli. Cook everything together in a big skillet, add cheese, and finish this off in the oven. Simple, but so delicious. This is the perfect weeknight casserole that’s fun for game night too.
OK, so this casserole or hamburger “helper” style dinner is very different, but so delicious. This time of year I really love to incorporate cozier, more homestyle family dishes. It’s the beginning of fall, back-to-school season, and football just kicked off a new season. There are many nights of staying in ahead!
Creighton, my oldest brother, loves a hamburger helper-style dinner situation. I recreated the store-bought favorite a couple of years ago. He now asks me to make that dish on a regular basis. It’s one of his favorites.
With that in mind, I wanted to share a new spin on this old-school retro recipe.
As mentioned, it’s football season, and another favorite family dinner is buffalo chicken. Therefore, I thought it could be delicious to bring the two recipes together.
I wanted to add a vegetable to this version so I threw in some broccoli. I also added cheese on top and baked the whole dish in the oven until it was nice and melty. It then became more casserole-like.
It’s different, fun, easy to create, and a meal that everyone really does enjoy!
Details for you
Step 1: find the right size pan
First of all, find yourself a nice big pot or braiser to cook this in. I love this one and think it’s the perfect size for this recipe.
Don’t use anything too small or it’s just going to be a mess.
Step 2: cook the chicken
Now, start cooking! Simply add the onion and chicken to your pot and brown it all over. Next, add some spices, and then the pasta and broccoli.
I love adding broccoli to pasta dishes like this, especially one with cheddar cheese. It’s a favorite combination. Not only does the broccoli incorporate a vegetable into the recipe, but it also adds great flavor. I love it with the spicy buffalo sauce too.
Step 3: Let the pasta cook
Once the pasta and broccoli are both added, pour over a mix of water and milk. Add a squeeze of ketchup (sounds weird, but trust me), then cook everything together until the pasta is al dente.
It’s important to stir the pasta frequently to ensure that nothing is sticking. But other than that, everything is EASY.
Step 4: add the buffalo sauce
When the pasta has cooked, mix in the hot sauce, butter, and pickled jalalpeños. Hot sauce + butter equals homemade buffalo sauce.
The final step is to stir in a handful of cheddar cheese, then bake until the cheese is melted. Serve topped with fresh green onions or parsley (it needs a little color!). Then enjoy!
As I always like to say – homemade is best!
I’m excited to have this recipe on hand for cozy fall and winter dinners to come. As expected, Creighton loved every bite. If you like buffalo mac and cheese, you can’t beat this!
Looking for other easy family dinners? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make this One Pot Buffalo Chicken “Helper” be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
One Pot Buffalo Chicken “Helper”
Calories Per Serving: 649 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 chicken breast or thighs, cubed
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound short cut pasta
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups milk (use what you drink)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1/3 cup salsa verde
- 1 1/2-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- green onion and cilantro, for serving
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly seared all over, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder, cook for another minute.2. Add the pasta and broccoli. Mix gently, then pour over 1/2 cup water and the milk. Add the ketchup and stir to combine. Season with salt.3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pasta is al dente, stirring often. Stir in the jalapeños, salsa, hot sauce, and butter. 4. Stir in the 1 1/2-2 cups cheese. Cook another few minutes until very creamy. Remove from the heat, top with 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 425 for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. 5. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with green onions and cilantro.