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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.

One Pot Buffalo Chicken Helper | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

One Pot Buffalo Chicken Helper | halfbakedharvest.com

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!

One Pot Buffalo Chicken Helper | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

One Pot Buffalo Chicken Helper | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

One Pot Buffalo Chicken Helper | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

One Pot Buffalo Chicken Helper | halfbakedharvest.com

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!

One Pot Buffalo Chicken Helper | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy family dinners? Here are a few ideas: 

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole

One Pan Autumn Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin Cheese Stuffed Pasta Bolognese Bake

One Skillet Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Orzo Bake

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”

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
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.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.
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Comments

  1. 2 stars
    Poorly written and flavors are just ok. Like others said, I also added a lot of extra water, a few cups probably. Nowhere does this recipe say to use an oven safe pot, nor does it direct you to preheat your oven–so I did neither. It wasn’t until I read reviews after I’d made it did I even realize it did say to bake for 5-10 min. Mine is fine without baking it, but again, flavors are nothing to write home about. I won’t be making this again.

  2. 4 stars
    Really delicious. Similar to other reviews, I needed a lot more water/milk than the recipe calls for. I started with 1 cup water and because my pasta took 12 minutes to cook I ended up using even more. Easy to modify thoug…just make sure you keep stirring frequently. Putting a lid on the pot helped make sure the pasta was cooked well enough. Other than the challenges cooking the pasta the flavors were 10/10. Perfect amount of spice and the broccoli surprisingly works very well. Will definitely make it again but it might be easier if I cook the pasta ahead of time and modify the recipe accordingly.

    1. I like the idea of this recipe but I am just not a fan of one pot recipes. I always seem to need more liquid and the pasta sticks to the pan. I don’t like the texture of the pasta and the meat gets over cooked too. Sometimes shortcuts are not a good thing

  3. Video shows water but recipe doesn’t have water on it? Maybe why people are struggling with enough liquid for the pasta?

  4. 3 stars
    Cons:
    – Agree with another poster, definitely not enough liquid for mini penne noodles at least.

    -Seemed like a lot of ingredients that didn’t really have an impact on the overall dish too but maybe that’s because I had to add a lot liquid to cook the noodles.

    Pros:
    -My 5 year old actually ate it. I used mild jalapeños and a mild hot sauce.

  5. 5 stars
    This is so good. All I did differently was cooked bacon then removed and cooked the chicken and onion in the grease with olive oil and then added bacon to the top. As well as instead of ketchup I used gochujang paste because we love the spicy here. This was all very good though. Love.

  6. 3 stars
    I made this tonight and it was yummy! I don’t think the recipe states what temperature to bake it at. I also felt like it was too little liquid for a pound of pasta. I used elbow macaroni and ended up adding about more water and some heavy cream.

  7. 4 stars
    This dish looks amazing, and yummy but I don’t trust myself to follow the direction and get the same results. Also, we have not been having pasta with our meals. Staving off for a while it seems like. Thank you for sharing.

      1. I used cavatappi- I had added about 3-4 cups of water (in addition to milk) to cover and cook thoroughly. I added chicken bouillon to enhance flavor. I doubled the spice portion. Since there was a good deal more fluid, I removed all but about 1.5 c of fluid before baking (I used 425 F for 8 min, could consider longer for more fluid evaporation). Recipe came out great! My partner added some ranch dressing to the top of his and loved it.

  8. 5 stars
    I am so excited you made this. After putting hot sauce on your one pot mac n cheese w broccoli only 2 days ago and thinking “ooh I think a Buffalo version of this would be really good”, here it is! Yay!

    1. You can’t get Frank’s? If you can get it where I live I’m surprised you can’t get it in blighty. But peri peri should be fine. Bon appetit.