Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese combines buffalo chicken and the cheesiness of Macaroni and Cheese to create a perfect and satisfying meal.
Macaroni and cheese is no longer just for kids, and there is no need to buy the boxed mac and cheese ever again! Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese will be a meal that your whole family will ask for time and time again. When I think of macaroni and cheese, I think of a side dish that doesn’t fill me up at all. In fact, I never really considered it a meal until I started making my own macaroni and cheese. Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese brings my homemade macaroni and cheese to a new level. Adding rotisserie chicken gives you the protein that is important to satisfy your hunger and keep you feeling full longer.
There are three main parts to the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. You need to prepare the chicken, make the macaroni and cheese, and add the topping.
Buffalo Chicken Ingredients
- Shredded Chicken: I am a huge fan of rotisserie chicken, but sometimes I don’t want to shred it myself. I may be the last person to find out that rotisserie chicken is sometimes prepared, already shredded, in the deli! Bonus!
- Buffalo Sauce: Be sure to buy buffalo sauce, not simply hot sauce for this recipe. If you want to make your own buffalo sauce, I have the perfect recipe for you! The nice thing about my Buffalo Sauce is it can be made a little hotter or not as hot, depending on your tolerance.
- Ranch Dressing: I used ranch dressing for this recipe, and I just happen to have a homemade ranch dressing recipe you could try! Although I used ranch dressing with this recipe, blue cheese dressing is another dressing that pairs well with buffalo sauce.
All you need to do at this point is to combine the chicken, buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing in a medium bowl. Set it aside while you make the macaroni and cheese.
Macaroni and cheese recipes have been around a lot longer than the 1937 Kraft boxed variety that every kid grew up on. In fact, there are recipes dating back to the late thirteenth century from southern Italy. This macaroni and cheese recipe will be the foundation to the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
- Cavatappi noodles – can use any noodle that you prefer, but I chose this ‘corkscrew’ noodle, which is commonly used with macaroni and cheese
- Unsalted Butter – salted butter also works, you just may want to add less salt
- Whole milk – skim or 2% can work in a pinch
- Ground mustard
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Cheddar cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F. This will be for the final melting of the cheeses on the top of your Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.
Once you cook your noodles, get out your saucepan and start heating up and mixing all the cheeses and spices together. There are a couple of times where you will be taking the pan on and off the heat, so be aware of that.
Start by heating the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for a couple of minutes. Alright, it’s time to remove the pan from the heat for the first time. Gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan back on the heat and keep whisking! After 3-5 minutes, add the salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Remove from the heat for the second and final time. This is the point where you add the cheeses and buffalo chicken and melt them with all the other ingredients. Add the noodles.
How to Get Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
I am on a mission to make sure no one has grainy homemade mac n cheese ever again… and in my research discovered this awesome tip. Do NOT put the pan back over the heat to melt the cheese. The ingredients in the pan are already hot enough to do the job of melting the cheeses. If you get cheese too hot that is when you will end up with a grainy texture. After you have stirred in the cheese, pour the mixture over the cooked noodles and serve.
Topping off the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
- Mozerella cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Buffalo sauce
- Ranch dressing
For the topping of the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, add the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses to the top of your chicken and noodles mixture. Bake at 350°F for about 5 minutes, just to melt the cheese topping. Remove the dish and drizzle on the buffalo sauce and ranch dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the dish with parsley, and be ready to wow your family and friends with this ‘winner, winner, Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese dinner’!
- 1 cup shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
- 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
MAC AND CHEESE
- 8 ounces cavatappi noodles, cooked al dente and drained
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk, warmed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon buffalo sauce
- 1 Tablespoon ranch dressing
- Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Mix chicken, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing in a medium bowl, set aside.
MAC AND CHEESE
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes (or until the mixture turns light brown).
- Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
- Return the pan to the heat, whisk another 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
- Add the salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.
- Add the cheeses and chicken, stirring to melt.
- Add the noodles. Stir to combine.
- Top with the mozzarella and cheddar cheese and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with ranch and buffalo sauce.
- Garnish with parsley before serving.