The Country Cook: Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

One of the top questions I get here at The Country Cook are for more slow cooker recipes. I happen to love using a slow cooker so I'm always excited when I get my hands on a crazy-good new recipe to make in it!  And this next recipe is a winner, winner, chicken dinner!!
It comes from this cookbook, Slow Cooker Recipes: 10 Ingredients or Less and Gluten-Free by my talented friend Hope Comerford of the popular blog, A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures. Yep, every recipe in here has less than 10 ingredients.  Hope really wanted this to be a cookbook where you can easily make every single recipe in this cookbook with easy-to-find ingredients and without a lot of fuss! Also, if you are on a gluten free diet but still want great (but still easy) slow cooker meals, this is your cookbook. 
Hope shows you how to make these recipes using regular, non-gluten free ingredients and also how to make them gluten-free.  I do not follow a gluten-free diet but I found all of the recipes to be not only easy, but ones that my family would easily enjoy.  She even shows you how to make your own seasonings and homemade "Cream of" soups!
This is really a comprehensive cookbook. Hope give lists of pantry staples that are always good to have on hand. She even talks a lot about the types of slow cookers that are out there and what would be suitable for you to own.  She also gives tips on how to get the most out of your slow cooker as well as answering questions she is frequently asked on her blog.
There's even a slow cooker Mac n' Cheese recipe in here! I can't wait to try that one!  
Every single recipe (there are 38) in here has a photo included (except for the seasoning recipes)!
What I really enjoyed too about this cookbook is Hope writes and gives directions as if she were right in your kitchen with you. She is expressive and real and you can really hear her voice in this entire cookbook.  And you might recognize a name or two on the back cover of her cookbook.  Folks in the slow cooker community are really loving Hope's debut cookbook.
Special thank you to Hope for allowing me to share one of her recipes today.  I really wish my photos did the taste of this meal justice. Seriously, the flavor in this Buffalo Chicken Pasta was absolutely amazing!  I was worried it would be too spicy. With my acid reflux these days, anything spicy sets off my body's internal fire alarms.  But it was hardly spicy at all. It had just a light kick. Now, if you wanted that super spice, you could use a hotter sauce than I did.  the chicken comes out so tender and the sauce is so creamy and it is a whole meal in one.  The leftovers reheated wonderfully the next day too. Make this - you will not be disappointed!
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs), cut into chunks
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
3/4 cup (6 oz.) buffalo wing sauce
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 lb. penne pasta, cooked
In a 5 quart (or larger) slow cooker, mix the cream of chicken soup, buffalo wing sauce and red onion.  Note: Some folks like to use the new slow cooker liners. I don't usually use those. I just spray the inside of my crock pot with a little nonstick spray and it always cleans up beautifully. Plus, the liners make it a little hard for me to get clear photos. But use whatever you enjoy to make it easy on you!
 Season your chicken chunks with salt and garlic powder (I sprinkled a bit of pepper on there too). 
 Add the chicken to the sauce and stir well.
 Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours (until chicken is thoroughly cooked).
Note: About a half hour before serving, start the water for your pasta. While you're waiting for the water to boil, turn your slow cooker to low (if it isn't there already).  Add in sour cream and ranch dressing.  This will cool down the spicy flavors a bit and really add incredible creaminess!
 Stir in shredded mozzarella.
 Stir until well-mixed. It tastes amazing at this point!
 When your noodles are cooked and well-drained, add them to the buffalo chicken 
mixture in your slow cooker.
 Mix well.
Note: I sprinkled some fresh, chopped parsley on mine. It is not necessary to the flavor of this dish. I just like to add a bit of green to pasta dishes cause I think it looks pretty. But don't go out and buy parsley just for this dish.