Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese – a flavorful twist on classic mac & cheese with a crunchy panko topping.
Come to mama.
Are you sitting down?
‘Cause you’ll want to grab your fork & large bowl & consume this entire casserole dish..by yourself.
So, true story: I can’t handle spicy food. But you say, “wait, but you cook spicy a lot AND this dish is buffalo mac and cheese.”
Yes, I’m weird. As much as I can’t handle spicy food (meaning, I’m very weak. A little spice makes my mouth on fire), I LOVE cooking it and I LOVE having it. Whenever we go out to eat, I’ll order a spicy dish or I’ll cook a dish that has a lot of spice to it and then be profusely sweating at the dinner table and chugging milk. I’m so attractive.
Back to this amazing dish. Jason and I polished 3/4 of this casserole in the course of our 20 minute dinner. I’m not surprised. It was AMAZING. Literally scarfed this dish down. It’s a great comfort dish and it’s also got amazing flavors. I mean, really, buffalo chicken with mac and cheese. Just stop.
Everything about this dish is just perfect. The panko breadcrumbs with the bleu cheese crumbles floating on top of the buffalo chicken and macaroni. It gives the dish a great texture and the bleu cheese just melts in your mouth along with the other ingredients of this dish and it forms a perfect melody in your mouth. Talk about partay in my mouth!
Oh yeah, so the original recipe makes a casserole for an army. I decided to halve it and I still ended up with a huge casserole dish of it. So, dually noted: if you are having a large party, double the recipe below, if you’re just making it for a family of 4, this should be enough..unless you’re pigs like Jason & I, then it’ll only make for 2 + next day lunch leftovers.
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- Salt, to taste
- ½ pound elbow macaroni
- 1½ cups shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¾ cup Frank’s hot sauce, divided
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. dry mustard powder
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup crumbled bleu cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large casserole dish.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tbsp. of butter and stir in the chicken and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes then add ¼ cup of the hot sauce and mix it all together until well combined. Put the chicken mixture in a bowl and set aside. Quickly rinse out your skillet and return to stove.
- Melt 2 tbsp. butter in the skillet over medium heat and whisk in the flour and mustard powder until smooth. Then whisk in the milk and cream and add the remaining ½ cup of hot sauce and stir until thick. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheese until melted and smooth then whisk in the sour cream until all combined.
- In the prepared baking dish, spread half of the macaroni in the bottom of the dish then top with the buffalo chicken mixture and then the remaining macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.
- Put the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter in a small bowl in the microwave to melt. Stir in the panko and bleu cheese then sprinkle over the macaroni.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.