Here it is – the best, creamy, zesty, full of flavor recipe for Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese – perfect for entertaining and tailgating.
People eat a whole lot of chicken wings during Super Bowl weekend. 1.42 billion chicken wings in 2021 to be exact. My Crispy Baked Chicken Wings are a fan favorite, and a terrific choice when you are craving buffalo wings at home. As much as I love making homemade wings, I love my Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Recipe even more. This buffalo mac and cheese is a very simple, yet impressive recipe. Its taste and texture are amazing! And its bright orange hue makes it perfect for serving to my fellow Cincinnati Bengals fans.
What makes Buffalo Mac and Cheese so great?
We are combining two absolute favorites here, buffalo chicken and mac n cheese. Seriously, what is not to love?
Easy to Make – This baked buffalo chicken mac and cheese comes together so quickly. Cook and drain the pasta, make a simple roux with butter and flour, whisk in the cheese and hot sauce, stir in pre-cooked chicken, top with blue cheese and more hot sauce and bake.
Feeds a Crowd – This recipe is a real crowd-pleaser and makes a ton. Perfect for serving at your next tailgate or football watch party at home.
Ultimate Comfort Food – I just love tucking into a big bowl of mac and cheese. The addition of zesty buffalo tender chicken makes this recipe a complete and very satisfying meal instead of just a side dish.
Ingredients needed for Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Elbow Macaroni Noodles – this is traditional for macaroni and cheese, but other shaped pasta will work, like Penne or Farfalle.
- Rotisserie Chicken – one chicken should yield about 4 cups of shredded white and dark meat.
- Butter – use salted or unsalted, whichever you have on-hand.
- All-Purpose Flour – cooked together with the butter to make a roux, the flour helps to thicken the cheese sauce
- Whole Milk – I have not tried to substitute with a lower fat milk. I like the ultra creamy texture the whole milk provides.
- Salt and Pepper
- Parrano Cheese – Parrano is a Dutch cheese that has the creamy texture of a Gouda and the nutty, sweet, buttery flavors of an aged Parmesan. It pairs so well with the zesty buffalo chicken. If you can’t find this brand, substitute it with a mix of your favorites – mozzarella cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, sharp cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheeses.
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce – there is a full cup of this sauce in the macaroni and cheese, which provides the truly authentic and zesty buffalo chicken flavor.
- Blue Cheese – I found a smoked, crumbled blue cheese at my Kroger the most recent time I made this recipe and loved it. But any type of crumbled blue cheese will work.
How to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Homemade macaroni and cheese requires little effort to make the cheese sauce and is so much better than the boxed, refrigerated or frozen varieties!
- Boil some salted water and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat to medium high heat and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Continue whisking and cook the butter and flour together until it is smooth and becomes a nice blonde to light brown color, about 3 – 4 minutes.
- Whisk in the milk, salt and pepper. Continue whisking until the milk begins to simmer and starts to thicken. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the shredded Parrano (or other type) of shredded cheese until the cheese is completely melted.
- Drain the pasta and transfer it back to the pot. Add the cheese sauce, buffalo sauce and chicken to the cooked pasta and stir until completely combined. Transfer the mac and cheese to a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top evenly with the crumbled blue cheese.
- Bake the buffalo chicken mac and cheese at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Drizzle some more hot sauce over the top after it’s out of the oven. Serve it with celery, carrots and blue cheese or ranch dressing.
What’s the best hot sauce for buffalo mac and cheese?
How do I store leftovers?
For storage of this leftover mac and cheese, put the room temperature mac and cheese in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to one month.
What should I serve with buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese?
Baby carrots, cut celery sticks and Ranch or blue cheese dressing are the obvious choice for this zesty mac and cheese. Here’s some more recipe ideas (especially for tailgating – with a nod to my hometown Cincinnati Bengals) to serve with my Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese:
- Bake this in a 9×13 casserole dish that can go from oven to table
- This my absolute favorite brand for Ranch and blue cheese dressing – I love to drizzle some dressing on top of my mac and cheese to eat
- Cut celery and then store it soaking in water (in an airtight container) in the refrigerator until ready to serve – this keeps it fresh longer, makes it ultra-crispy and less bitter
More Buffalo Chicken Recipes
- Best Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Celery Dip
- Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- 1 (16 oz) box Macaroni Pasta
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 3 cups (12 oz) Parrano Cheese Mozzarella, Cheddar or Monterey Jack are good substitutes, but shred your own cheese instead of using pre-shredded cheeses
- 1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 3/4 cup Blue Cheese crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cook the macaroni pasta according to package directions until it's al dente or just tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the three tablespoons of butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking frequently for about 3 - 4 minutes, or until the flour and butter mixture becomes a blond to light brown color.
- Warm your milk in the microwave for a minute or two.
- Whisk in the warmed milk to the butter and flour roux. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly, until it thickens.
- Take the milk mixture off the heat and stir in the shredded cheese until the cheese is melted.
- Drain the pasta and stir in the cheese sauce. Then stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken meat and the Frank's Red Hot Sauce.
- Pour the macaroni and cheese into a 9x13 casserole dish that has been greased with an additional tablespoon butter and top with the crumbled blue cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until nice and bubbly.
- Drizzle some additional hot sauce over the top. Serve the buffalo chicken mac and cheese with celery, carrots and Ranch or blue cheese dressing.
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