During the week, I always pick one night for a quick and easy one-pot pasta recipe. This week, I thought I would try vegan buffalo chicken pasta. Since my family loves buffalo sauce and pasta, what better way to combine the two than in a one-pot, simple recipe with little to no cleanup. So, let’s make a delicious vegan buffalo chicken pasta recipe your family will beg you to make again!
First, and foremost, as usual, you have choices for your vegan chicken or you can skip it altogether. Similar to my Vegan Tortilla Soup, Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip, and my Vegan Enchiladas, shredded jackfruit is one option for the “chicken” in the pasta recipe.
Another suggestion, if you enjoy faux meat is Alpha Strips Grilled Chik’n Strips, which my kids love.
Or, to be honest, it tastes just as good omitting the vegan chicken, making naked buffalo chicken pasta. But, I will still explain how to prepare all options in case you prefer one choice over the others.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE NEEDED FOR BUFFALO “CHICKEN” PASTA?
- Shredded Jackfruit, Alpha Grilled Chik’n Strips, or skip
- Vegetable Broth
- Pasta of Choice (I used Rigatoni)
- Vegan Buffalo Sauce
- Garlic Powder
- Almond Milk
- Arrowroot Powder (or sub cornstarch or flour)
- Nutritional Yeast
Since everything cooks on one pan together, in under 30 minutes, I like to add items in stages, so as not to overcook the vegetables. To keep in line with buffalo dishes my family likes, I added carrots and celery, traditionally dipped when serving buffalo wings. When eating buffalo chicken pasta, those veggie dippers are a must. But, for this recipe, I’ll add them to the pot.
THE JACKFRUIT OPTION FOR BUFFALO “CHICKEN” PASTA RECIPE
Jackfruit, when drained and removed from a can, looks like triangles of chicken. If you taste it, as it comes from the can, it is tasteless. In fact, jackfruit’s bland flavor makes it the perfect sponge for absorbing flavors.
The fun, for me, is transforming a can of jackfruit into incredible vegan enchilada meat that would fool any meat-eater. First, it is important to buy the jackfruit in water or brine.
One of the biggest mistakes people make, however, is buying jackfruit in syrup. Unfortunately, I have made this mistake, and I ended up throwing my whole meal away. And I hate wasting food. So, avoid that pitfall and buy jackfruit in water or brine.
Then, you simply rinse the jackfruit, put it in your food processor, and pulse until shredded.
Although many recipes suggest using the jackfruit as is, I disagree. Instead, I like to cook it first. Similar to my Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip, cooking the jackfruit first, gives it a different texture and flavor.
In order for the jackfruit to get the right flavor and texture, my goal is for the jackfruit to absorb the flavors of the onions, and garlic, before adding the other ingredients.
Sauteeing the onions and garlic, first, brings the flavors together before adding the celery.
USING ALPHA GRILLED CHIK’N STRIPS FOR BUFFALO “CHICKEN” PASTA
Because the Alpha Grilled Chik’n Strips are pre-cooked and frozen, they cook quickly in the pan with the onions and garlic. Again, cooking the faux chicken in the first layer in the cooking process is an option.
Additionally, skipping both the jackfruit and the faux chicken tastes just as fabulous, so feel free to skip the “meat” component. I call this version naked buffalo chicken pasta.
WHAT’S VEGAN BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA WITHOUT VEGAN RANCH?
My kids are classic ranch dressing fans, so when the family went plant-based, they required I figure out how to master Vegan Ranch Dressing. And, I did it! Of course, the kids asked where the Vegan Ranch Dressing was for drizzling over their buffalo chicken pasta. So, drizzle I did, and my crew went wild!
WARNING: BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA IS HOT: BE ADVISED
Although you can pick the type of vegan buffalo sauce you use, remember there are three different levels of hot. My family, for instance, likes it HOT; nose running hot. But, you do have choices, so choose your happy spicy level.
- New Primal Mild Buffalo Sauce is for the faint at heart. If you enjoy a little spicy, this level is for you.
- The New Primal Medium Buffalo Sauce is for the adventurous. You love a little heat with a tiny kick.
- Noble Made by Primal Hot Buffalo Sauce is for those who like a challenge; this sauce is for the fire-breathing dragon(yes; my family!
- Frank’s Red Hot is also for the brave and bold, but an old-time favorite to many who once ate wings in a previous life.
THE STEPS TO QUICK AND EASY ONE-POT BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA
First, saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Then, add the chosen “meat,” or skip the meat for the naked option. Next, add the celery and cook for a few minutes, followed by the noodles, vegetable broth, and buffalo sauce.
Once the mixture boils, cover, and reduce to low heat. 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the carrots and cover again until the timer rings. Now, add the milk mixture and stir uncovered with the heat on low for 10 minutes, so the sauce can thicken.
And, for a little extra spicy love, garnish with additional buffalo sauce, and cool it down with some Vegan Ranch Dressing! Isn’t that pretty?
EASY ONE-POT RECIPE IDEAS TO PLEASE THE WHOLE FAMILY
- Enchilada Pasta
- Vegan Jambalaya Recipe Quick, Easy and Spicy
- Chicken Pot Pie Noodles
- Vegan Goulash
- One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Recipe
- Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms