Buffalo Chicken Casserole


The Southern Living Test Kitchen has a gift for turning some of our favorite foods into casseroles. Case in point: This recipe turns hot and spicy chicken wings into a warm and comforting meal that serves six hungry guests or family members. Simply combine buffalo chicken, loads of cheese (we like the flavorful combination of shredded Cheddar and crumbled blue), sour cream, and hearty pasta (penne is our pick). Then comes the heat with buffalo-style hot sauce. We added in chopped carrots and sliced celery for crunch and topped it off with a buttery panko breadcrumb seasoning. It's a versatile dish that is perfect for a game day appetizer, weekend lunch, or weeknight supper. Besides being delicious, this casserole can also be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole
Photo: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)


  • Cooking spray

  • 12 ounces uncooked penne

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups half-and-half

  • 12 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups), divided

  • cup buffalo-style hot sauce (such as Frank's RedHot)

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)

  • ½ cup finely chopped carrots (from 2 medium carrots)

  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery (from 2 stalks), plus celery leaves for garnish

  • ¾ cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Prepare pasta in a large stockpot according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta; return to stockpot, and set aside.

  2. While pasta cooks, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Gradually add half-and-half, whisking constantly; cook, whisking often, until mixture is thickened and coats back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; gradually add 2 cups of the Cheddar 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until melted and smooth after each addition. Remove from heat; whisk in hot sauce, sour cream, Worcestershire, and salt. Pour sauce over drained pasta in stockpot; add chicken, carrots, and celery, and toss gently to evenly combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.

  3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over low. Stir together melted butter and panko in a small bowl. Sprinkle casserole evenly with remaining 1 cup Cheddar and panko mixture. Bake in preheated oven until casserole is golden brown and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with blue cheese, and garnish with celery leaves. Serve hot.

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