Nothing is better than tailgating season. And nothing is better than buffalo-flavored anything at a tailgate. Which would then suggest that this Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad is the best food of tailgate season. At least that’s how our math works.
It’s that big, bold buffalo flavor that you love, in a less fatty serving.
We’ve taken everything you love about a big platter of wings, blue cheese dip, and fresh veggie sticks and tossed it all with whole grain penne pasta. Think of it as the buffalo chicken platter deconstructed.
Frank’s Red Hot is kind of the definitive sauce for buffalo-flavored dishes, but we also like the new buffalo flavor from Tabasco. Any hot sauce will work, and you can use as little or as much as your fierce taste buds can handle.
Loaded with crisp, fresh veggies, you aren’t as likely to pass these over when they are tossed with the pasta. And rather than an endless bowl of blue cheese dip, which can run more than 500 calories alone, we give you a generous 1/2-cup shake of the crumbles. All the flavor for around 50 calories!
Finally, we ditch the deep-fried breading but feed your carb craving with a more wholesome whole grain pasta. So that’s 200 calories just for the noodles, or around 1000 calories for 10 wings, traditional or boneless, at Buffalo Wild Wings.
So what does an entire serving of pasta, chicken, buffalo sauce, veggies, AND blue cheese add up to? Only 422 calories.
You can have this entire bowl of pasta, or 4.4 BBW boneless buffalo wings, for the same calories. Which would you choose?
We’re taking the pasta!
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
16 oz whole grain penne pasta
16 oz. cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles (or reduced-fat feta)
1/2-1 cup hot sauce (based on your own preference)
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1. Prepare the pasta per package instructions, then drain, rinse and set aside.
2. Shred the cooked chicken (use a rotisserie chicken from the deli, skin removed, to save time) and set aside in a large mixing bowl. To this add the carrots, celery, tomatoes, and cheese.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the hot sauce through onion powder until the dressing is well combined.
4. To the chicken and vegetables, add the pasta and the dressing, tossing liberally until everything is well coated.
5. Serve warm or chilled.
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October 20th, 2013