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Overhead view of buffalo chicken mac and cheese in a cast iron skillet
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Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Rich and creamy buffalo chicken mac and cheese is comfort food perfection. With just enough heat, balanced beautifully by an incredible cheese sauce, this tender pasta dish is the perfect side for BBQs, potlucks, or your next family dinner.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword comfort food, easy to make, family-friendly
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 454kcal

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Baking dish
  • Cooking spray
  • Small bowl
  • Large pot (for cooking pasta)
  • Large skillet

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 1 ½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken approximately ¾ pound
  • ¼ cup buffalo sauce plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing

For the Mac & Cheese

  • 8 ounces cavatappi or preferred pasta
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour see Notes
  • 2 cups milk see Notes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese plus more for topping
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella plus more for topping
  • ranch or blue cheese dressing optional, for topping
  • chives optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In small bowl, mix together shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing. Set aside.
    Buffalo chicken mixture in small glass mixing bowl
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions until just al dente. Drain water but do not rinse pasta.
    Al dente cavatappi pasta in large bowl
  • In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until roux becomes light brown.
    Roux in large skillet
  • Reduce heat to low. Gradually whisk in milk, then let mixture simmer 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Roux and milk in large skillet
  • Remove skillet from heat. Whisk in dried mustard, garlic powder, salt, shredded cheddar, and shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted, then return skillet to heat.
    Mac and cheese sauce in large skillet
  • Add al dente pasta and shredded chicken to cheese sauce, stirring until well distributed. Transfer mixture to greased baking dish and top with additional cheese if desired.
    Buffalo chicken mac and cheese in large skillet
  • Bake buffalo chicken mac and cheese 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven, top with a drizzle of buffalo sauce, ranch or blue cheese dressing, and chives. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Milk: For an even creamier sauce, use heavy cream or half-and-half. If you want to use a non-dairy milk, be sure it's unsweetened!
  • Make it Gluten Free: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour and gluten-free pasta.
 
Recipe yields approximately 6 servings. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including toppings. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by 6. Result will be the weight of one serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 797mg | Potassium: 308mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 281mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 35g