I have a basic macaroni and cheese recipe that I make for every party or potluck, tweaking it based on what time of year it is or what the occasion is. For game day, it's fun to take two favorites -- buffalo wings and mac and cheese -- and put them together for buffalo chicken mac and cheese. Adults and kids both love it because it's cheesy and filling and really just the best kind of comfort food (perfect if your team is having a bad game). And since you start with a rotisserie chicken, you're taking a lot of the work and time out of this dish.

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

To get started, butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put a large pot of water on to boil on the stovetop. While the water is heating, start your cheese sauce by melting butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the melted butter and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown and smells nutty. Add the pasta (use elbow macaroni, penne, or a small shell pasta) to the boiling water and cook to the package directions for al dente and drain the pasta well.

Next, warm the milk (you're making a roux and you should always add warm milk to a warm roux) and then pour the milk into the roux, whisking the whole time. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, black pepper, and hot sauce and bring just to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about five minutes, or until it's thickened.

hot sauce
Amazon

To make the cheese sauce, use a mix of sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey jack, though if you want more heat, you can use pepper jack instead. Add the shredded cheese to the thickened milk and stir until it has melted. Stir in the shredded chicken and the cooked pasta; mix well. Put 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium bowl and microwave until just melted. Stir the panko breadcrumbs and blue cheese crumbles together. Sprinkle the mixture over the pasta.

Bake until the buffalo chicken mac and cheese gets all bubbly, which should take 30 to 40 minutes. Serve while it's hot, and if you want to really take it to the next level, garnish your mac and cheese with a sprinkle of green onions and a drizzle of sour cream and buffalo sauce.

Watch: Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

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What's Better Than Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese? 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes

servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 ounces pasta elbow macaroni, penne, or a small shell pasta
  • 1 rotisserie chicken shredded
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's® Redhot® more or less to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated Can use pepper jack for more heat
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumps
  • chopped green onions optional garnish
  • sour cream optional garnish

Instructions

Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and put a large pot of water on to boil on the stovetop.

Melting butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the melted butter and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown and smells nutty. Add the pasta (use elbow macaroni, penne, or a small shell pasta) to the boiling water. Cook to the package directions for al dente and drain the pasta well.

Add warm milk to the roux, continually whisking. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, black pepper and hot sauce and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about five minutes, or until it's thickened.

Add the shredded cheese to the thickened milk and stir until it has melted. Stir in the shredded chicken and the cooked pasta; mix well. Pour into the baking dish.

Put 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium bowl and microwave until just melted. Stir the panko breadcrumbs and blue cheese crumbles together. Sprinkle the mixture over the pasta.

Bake until the buffalo chicken mac and cheese gets all bubbly, which should take 30 to 40 minutes. Garnish with green onions and sour cream, if you like.

Nutrition Facts
What's Better Than Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese?
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1218 Calories from Fat 612
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 68g 105%
Saturated Fat 38g 190%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 242mg 81%
Sodium 2871mg 120%
Potassium 272mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 54g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 8g
Protein 96g 192%
Vitamin A 22%
Vitamin C 0.4%
Calcium 50%
Iron 9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.