Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Jalapenos, hot sauce, bacon, and chicken come together to make delicious Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. A perfect mash-up of Macaroni and Cheese and my Buffalo Chicken Dip!

close up top dobuffalo chicken mac and cheese in a baking dish

Let’s Talk Cheese

Believe it or not, I had all five of these cheeses on hand in my fridge to make this. I don’t know if I should be embarrassed by that or not. I’m a girl who likes cheese, what can I say. Here’s what I used: mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, blue cheese, and cream cheese! You can replace blue cheese with goat cheese or just leave it out if you’d like.

Making it Spicy!

The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it as spicy or as mild as you’d like. And it all comes down to two ingredients, jalapenos, and hot sauce. Add as many jalapenos as you can handle! I cut mine down for the kids. As for the hot sauce, I used Frank’s Red Hot. It’s a classic when it comes to Buffalo Chicken anything but you can use whatever hot sauce you like best. Especially if you like things spicier. Keep in mind this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is creamy and that does help moderate the spice.

Topping Options

I topped my Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese with a combination of corn flakes, bacon, and more blue cheese. If you don’t want to use corn flakes consider these alternatives: ritz crackers, panko breadcrumbs, crunchy fried onions or even leaving it plain!

Love Macaroni and Cheese? Try these other favorites: Smoked Sausage Mac and Cheese, Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, Camping Mac and Cheese, Pimento Mac and Cheese, Broccoli Mac and Cheese, Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.

close up top down view of buffalo chicken mac and cheese in a baking dish

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Besides this meal taking a little more time to prepare than usual, it’s really straightforward. Saute some veggies, cook pasta, make the sauce, mix it all together and bake. Really not intimidating in the least, but super cheesy and divine in every sense of the word. For full details on how to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Cook Bacon + Saute Onion and Jalapenos

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels and crumble. Pour off excess bacon drippings, keeping some in the pan. Place skillet back on the heat and saute onion and jalapenos until soft. Set aside.

Cook Pasta

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water generously and cook pasta 2 minutes short of package directions. You want the macaroni to be very al dente, but not still crunchy. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take out and butter a 9×9 or a 9×13 baking dish, set aside.

Make Sauce

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. whisk in flour and cook. Whisk in milk, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium-high and continue mixing until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Stir in cream cheese and hot sauce until melted smoothly into the sauce. Pour cooked pasta, sauteed onions, and jalapenos into the sauce. Stir to coat. Stir in cheeses and chicken.

Top + Bake

Pour into a buttered baking dish and spread out evenly. Top with blue cheese, corn flakes, and crumbled bacon.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until the top of the macaroni has browned. Remove from oven, top with parsley and serve hot.

Garnish Options

If you are wanting to experiment a little, feel free to do so! I topped this dish with bacon, blue cheese, parsley, and corn flakes. Try shaking some more hot sauce on this baby or even a drizzle of your favorite ranch dressing.

scooping buffalo chicken mac and cheese out of baking dish

Storing + Reheating

Store any leftovers you have either right in the casserole dish with its accompanying lid or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for up to 3 days! Then when you’re ready to eat again bake until heated through. Or you could always nuke a serving in the microwave.

Can you Freeze Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese?

You could freeze this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese however just note, thawed and reheated mac and cheese tends to have some texture issues (grittiness and not as creamy). I’d recommend making this in a disposable tin casserole dish then covering and freezing for up to three months! To reheat bake from frozen until heated through.

  • casserole dish of buffalo chicken mac and cheese
  • buffalo chicken mac and cheese on a white plate with a fork next to it

Love Buffalo Chicken Anything? Me Too!

Be sure to check out my other buffalo-flavored recipes down below! These got me through my third pregnancy!

Ladies: make this for that special someone in your life! They will want to marry you. Or marry you again. You’re welcome in advance.

The printable recipe card is down below!

scooping buffalo chicken mac and cheese out of baking dish
Print

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Jalapenos, hot sauce, bacon, and chicken come together to make delicious Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. An extra special dinner!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 965kcal
Author Lauren

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease reserved from said bacon
  • 1/2 large onion diced, about 1 1/4 cups
  • 2 jalapenos sliced, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

for the sauce-

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk whole or 2% please
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup provolone grated
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup precooked and shredded chicken optional

for the topping-

  • 1 cup corn flakes crushed
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • cooked bacon as listed above
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels and crumble. Pour off excess bacon drippings, keeping 2 tablespoons in the pan. Place skillet back on heat and saute onion and jalapenos until soft, about 6 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.
  • Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water generously and cook pasta 2 minutes short of package directions. You want the macaroni to be very al dente, but not still crunchy. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium high and continue mixing until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in cream cheese and hot sauce until melted smoothly into the sauce. Pour cooked pasta and sauteed onions and jalapenos into the sauce. Stir to coat. Stir in cheeses and chicken.
  • Pour into a buttered baking dish {9×9, 9×13, or somewhere in between should be good} and spread out evenly. Top with blue cheese, corn flakes and crumbled bacon.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes until top of macaroni has browned. Remove from oven, top with parsley and serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 965kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 990mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1544IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 675mg | Iron: 3mg

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