Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti: Flavor Fusion
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
- Large Pot
- 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
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.
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.