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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kourie

Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti: Flavor Fusion

Updated: Dec 4, 2023



This Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti is a true taste explosion. Imagine tender ziti, sautéed until golden, mixed with crispy Buffalo wing pieces, & showered with bold Buffalo sauce.


To nail it, we cook ziti in two stages - boil, then sauté for that silky interior and crispy exterior. Boiling with salt & vinegar jumpstarts tenderness and adds tang, a secret from Kristina Razon at Serious Eats.


As the ziti cooks, the Buffalo sauce marries all the flavors, delivering a sweet & spicy punch. This fusion is all about balance - sweet, spicy, savory, & satisfying. Perfect as a side or a treat for buttery Buffalo wing cravings!

 

Active Time: Approximately 30-40 minutes Total Time: Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes

 

Tools Needed:

- Large Pot

- Saucepan

- Wooden Spoon

- Large Mixing Bowl

- Baking Dish

- Cutting Board


Ingredients (serves 4) :


- 12 Ounces (340g) Dry Ziti Pasta


- 2 Cups of Homemade or Jarred Tomato Sauce (made from ripe, fresh tomatoes)


- 1/2 Cup Fresh Mozzarella, Diced


- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


- 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Torn


- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil


- 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced


- Salt & Black Pepper To Taste


- 1/2 Cup Crispy Buffalo Wing Meat, Chopped Into Bite-Sized Pieces


- 1/2 Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese


- 1/2 Cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (adjust to your desired spiciness)


*For the Sautéed Vegetables:

- 1/2 Cup Diced Celery


- 1/2 Cup Diced Carrots


- 1/2 Cup Diced Onion


- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


Method:

 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.


2. Cook the ziti pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until it's al dente, usually about 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain & set aside.


3. In a saucepan, warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add diced carrots, celery, & onion. Sauté until they turn golden brown & tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan & set aside.


4. In the saucepan, warm the 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic & sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Be careful not to brown the garlic.


5. Stir in the tomato sauce & let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt & black pepper to taste.


6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti pasta, diced mozzarella, grated parmesan, torn basil leaves, sautéed vegetables, crispy Buffalo wing meat, & crumbled blue cheese unit evenly combined


7. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased baking dish.


8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until it's bubbling & the cheese is golden brown.


9. Remove from the oven & allow to rest for a few minutes. Serve with an extra drizzle of Buffalo wing sauce for added kick.

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