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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. 5 stars
    My son plays college football and lives in an apartment. He asked me to make a one dish meal that he just needed to heat to eat. I brought this to him and he loved it. Easy to make. I cooked the pasta an additional 5 minutes to get to al dente.

  2. 4 stars
    This was a delicious recipe! I would definitely make it again, but would probably cook the broccoli and pasta first. I followed the recipe, but those were still too al dente for us. But an absolutely delicious recipe! My husband loved it, too!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious!!!! I added smoked Gouda for the cheese- added the perfect combo to the flavor. I used protein pasta. I had to add 1/2 milk and 1 cup water in addition- turned out creamy/perfect

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my this was delicious! And as a frequent wing-eating person from Buffalo, I approve of this recipe! LOL
    Like others said, I added considerable more amount of liquid for the pasta. Other than that, didn’t and wouldn’t change a thing! I always love trying out your recipes! My family loves it when I do too!

  5. Just made this! Thank you for all of the suggestion of adding more liquid so the pasta can get tender. I stirred a lot, added mushrooms and spinach to it too. I did double the spices. It was wonderful. Thanks

  6. 4 stars
    So. I made the recipe and liked it, but didn’t love.

    The next afternoon, I got the idea to roll Mac and cheese balls, coat with panko, and air fry. OMG. Those are dying to be served during a football game. Perfection. The extra bit of texture puts it over the top. Thank you for the recipe and inspiration!

  7. 4 stars
    It must be stressed (as in step one here) that choosing the right pan is crucial. I printed the recipe and read “pot”, then chose my usual pot I use to boil pasta….not a good choice. I should have used my large pan/skillet. I ended up adding more milk as others had suggested and you really need to stir frequently while the pasta is cooking. The flavors did come out good.

  8. 5 stars
    This turned out well in the end, with some adjustments based on quite a few other reviewers’ comments. I simply couldn’t understand how you could cook an entire pound of pasta in only 2 cups of liquid, so I used 2 cups of milk and about 2 cups of water, and it turned out perfectly. I thought the addition of the hot sauce and salsa verde was a great idea, making it pleasantly spicy. Will be making my amended version of this one again!

  9. 5 stars
    I was in a rush when I first read the recipe and decided to double it for lunch leftovers. I was pretty far in before I realized what I had thought read 1c of pasta was 1lb of pasta 😂 I was committed, so I got a bigger bowl and made a huge batch. I found 3 neighborhood teenage boys to help eat, in addition to my fam of 4. Another 5 star recipe! We all loved it. Great amount of heat. Cozy fall meal. Like the other reviews, I did add more liquid as the pasta was cooking.

  10. 5 stars
    This was very yummy! I also had to add extra milk, sorry I didn’t measure. I just added more until the pasta cooked and it was creamy. I did sub in gluten free pasta, and it still came out great! I also added more hot sauce, which it needed probably because I had added milk. Thanks for another great recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    This was very good! I added an extra 1/2 cup milk (so 2 cups milk total), and an extra 1/2 cup water (so 1 cup water total). I just added the extra liquid when it seemed to be drying out while the pasta cooked, but honestly I think the key is to just keep stirring constantly so all the pasta stays wet. Delicious recipe, definitely felt just like a “helper” dish except actually really flavorful. I think next time I’ll add an extra cup or two of broccoli, I thought that part was really great!

  12. 5 stars
    Amazing! Added about 1/2 cup more milk and stirred half way through baking. Perfect! We put blue cheese on it when serving and was a delicious addition! Will definitely make again.