Home Dinner Chicken Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese (Easy Recipe)

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese (Easy Recipe)

Buffalo chicken mac and cheese is homemade comfort food at its best.

It features tender pasta and buffalo chicken smothered in a rich, super cheesy sauce.

It’s surprisingly easy to whip up, too. So it’s perfect for busy weeknights and Friday night dinners with the family.

Buffalo Mac and cheese on a plate.
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Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Warning: this buffalo chicken mac and cheese recipe is 100% addictive! It combines two pub food favorites into one mouthwatering dish.

You get the comforting goodness of old fashioned mac and cheese plus the finger-licking deliciousness of buffalo chicken.

Perfectly spicy, uber cheesy, and sensationaly savory, it’s an explosion of flavor.

Cook it all on the stove or bake it with extra sauce and cheese. Either way, buffalo chicken mac and cheese is irresistible!

Ingredients

This fun pasta dinner calls for homemade mac and cheese. Which means you’ll need to stock up on queso!

Other than cheese, here’s the full list:

  • Cooked Chicken – Use shredded, cooked chicken to keep the prep short. I recommend leftover rotisserie chicken (or fresh, of course) for maximum flavor.
  • Buffalo Sauce – I like Frank’s Red Wing Sauce, but you can use any brand you like. Or try making it yourself! This buffalo sauce recipe is my go-to.
  • Pasta – You can’t have mac and cheese without the macaroni! And while elbow macaroni is standard, you can use other pasta shapes like cavatappi or penne.
  • Butter, Flour, and Milk – For making a roux. It’s how you thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Spices – Season with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add more or less to taste if needed.
  • Cheese – Cream cheese, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan are the secret to irresistible ooey-gooey mac. And remember, freshly grated is best. (I also add bleu cheese for more bite, but it’s optional.)no
  • Green Onions or Chives (Optional) – Top with fresh green onions or chives to make the dish pop!
Fork scooping a serving of buffalo chicken mac and cheese from a baking dish.

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Believe it or not, you can have this on the table in just 45 minutes. Unless you bake it – but then it’s only an hour or so!

Here are the steps:

1. Cook the pasta and coat the chicken. Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside. Then, mix the shredded chicken with 1/2 cup of Buffalo sauce. Set aside.

2. Make the sauce. Cook the butter and flour in a large pot, then whisk in the milk to make the roux. When it’s smooth, add the seasonings, cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Stir until melted.

3. Make and bake the mac and cheese. Mix the cooked pasta and buffalo chicken into the cheese sauce. Add the bleu cheese if using, then bake for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, mix it all together and serve right away.

Buffalo Mac and cheese on a plate with fork garnished with chopped parsley.

Tips for Success

Buffalo chicken mac and cheese is an easy, family-friendly meal. That said, there are several components to this dish.

So follow these tips to ensure success:

  • Bake it in the oven. Add extra cheese and sauce over the top, then bake it in the oven. This step is optional but creates another layer of flavor. (If baking, undercook the pasta by 1-2 minutes.)
  • Avoid grainy cheese. Remove the pot from the burner, then add the cheese slowly. If you add it too quickly while it’s on the heat, it might curdle or turn grainy.
  • Use blocks of cheese. I think I say this every day – shred the cheese yourself. I know the bags are convenient, but the coating stops the cheese from melting smoothly.
  • Salt to taste. The buffalo sauce contains a decent amount of salt. So I recommend using unsalted butter and salting to taste at the end.
  • Add veggies. Want to sneak in some extra veggies? I say go for it! Bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, or onions will add more flavor and sustenance.
Buffalo chicken mac and cheese in a white rectangular baking dish.

How to Store and Reheat

Buffalo chicken mac and cheese is so good that I could eat the leftovers all week!

But to avoid temptation, I store some in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. That way, I have it on hand whenever a craving strikes.

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Fridge or freezer, here’s how to store and reheat:

To Store: Place the room temperature leftovers into an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

To Freeze: Let the leftovers cool to room temperature. Place them in a freezer-friendly airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

To Reheat: Reheat on the stove or microwave until thoroughly warm. Add a tablespoon of milk if needed. For multiple servings, place in a baking dish, cover with foil, and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until warm.

More Mac and Cheese Recipes

Upgraded Kraft Mac and Cheese
Paula Deen Crockpot Mac and Cheese
Velveeta Mac and Cheese
Sweetie Pie’s Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

45

minutes

Buffalo chicken mac and cheese is the ultimate homemade comfort food. From the tender pasta and buffalo chicken to the cheesy sauce, it’s drool-worthy.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (about 2 medium breasts)

  • 1/2 cup buffalo hot sauce (such as Frank’s® Redhot®)

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup crumbled Bleu cheese, optional

  • Extra Buffalo sauce for drizzling, optional

  • Chopped green onions or chives for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the elbow macaroni per the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken with 1/2 cup of Buffalo sauce until well coated. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute until golden. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth.
  • Add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat and stir in the cream cheese. Mix until smooth, then add the shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan in small handfuls, mixing until it’s melted and smooth.
  • Add the cooked macaroni, buffalo chicken, and bleu cheese (if using). Stir until everything is well coated in the sauce.
  • Serve the mac and cheese with an extra drizzle of buffalo sauce and chopped green onions or chives. Enjoy!
  • To Bake In Oven
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200°C) before making the cheese sauce.
  • Make the pasta, chicken and sauce as instructed, then transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish. Drizzle with extra Buffalo sauce and sprinkle with more cheese.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If baking the dish, undercook the pasta by 1-2 minutes. It will finish cooking in the oven.
  • Add the shredded cheese slowly so it has time to melt in the residual heat.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese (Easy Recipe)”

  1. Please tell me what buffalo sauce is. I'm guessing it could be a mixture of liquid ranch dressing (which I have) and hot sauce. I do not have nor have I ever seen “buffalo sauce” in a market. I'd like to make this.

    Reply

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