Buffalo Chicken Mac And Cheese

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Do you have a dish you’ve been meaning to try forever, but just never got around to? I have. This one: Buffalo Chicken Mac And Cheese.

I love buffalo chicken. On pizza. In dip (recipe coming soon). In burger form. And of course in wing form, with a cold pint of beer. I’m pretty much a fan of anything with some heat to it, but there is a special place in my heart for buffalo chicken.  So when I saw this recipe from Jessica over at How Sweet It Is, the combining of Buffalo Chicken and Mac and Cheese, I knew I had to make it.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

But I couldn’t just make it. For all my love of buffalo chicken, this dish had me going up against a die hard mac and cheese lover; Rachel. The thought of adulterating her beloved Velveeta mac and cheese was inconceivable!

To be fair, Rachel is typically very open minded about food. When she visited me in Japan she bravely tried many dishes I or our hosts shoved in front of her. Dishes containing ingredients she had never even heard or seen before (like mentaiko – a spicy fish egg). And shes always very supportive and encouraging when I’m wavering on trying something new (like this arugla, watermelon and feta salad I ended up loving). But when it came to mac and cheese, Rachel couldn’t understand why I wanted to mess with a good thing.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

In the spirit of Taste Test Thursday, our weekly adventure where we try a new dish from fellow food bloggers and feature it here, Rachel graciously agreed to look past my “messing with a good thing” and agreed to Buffalo Chicken Mac And Cheese. And the results? Rachel went back for seconds. Success! She isn’t ready to shelve the original dish, but agreed it was a nice change up. I grilled whole chicken breasts first, so they were nice and moist in the mac and cheese. And the buffalo sauce added just enough heat to make me happy while not adding so much it was inedible to others.

If you like Buffalo Chicken, or are just looking to change things up with your usual mac and cheese, we recommend giving one pot dish a try. Super simple to make, and so tasty even a mac and cheese purist had second helpings.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta (I used whole wheat orecchiette)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 ounces grated monterey jack cheese (I used half a brick) + more for topping
  • 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese + more for topping
  • 1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • for garnish: 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, additional buffalo wing sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until milk thickens. Add in grated cheeses and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in buffalo wing sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Spray a baking dish (9 x 13 is fine, I used a round 4-inch deep dish) with non-stick spray. Add pasta and chicken, then pour cheese sauce over and mix throughly until everything is coated. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with gorgonzola, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with buffalo wing sauce.

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Recipe from: How Sweet It Is

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

 

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