Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Easy, creamy, spicy Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe ~ lightly seasoned with ranch, blended with 3 kinds of cheese for maximum creaminess and cooks all in one pot.Buffalo chicken, meet macaroni and cheese. It really is a match made in heaven. This is one recipe my kids both love. The last time I made it when they were over, one daughter stood at the stove and ate it right out of the pot with barely a breath between bites.
The other has been “encouraging” me to make it again but only a weekend so she can come by and have some, too. I can’t argue with that logic.
Bottom line, if you love classic spicy buffalo wings and creamy mac and cheese, this is your recipe. But don’t wait for someone to make it for you ~ learn how to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese yourself. Cheesy, creamy and spicy. A must for mac lovers.
This Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is not only delicious but the entire dish cooks in just one pot. No boiling the pasta separately. Bonus: bites of blue cheese and crispy bacon on top.
About the cheese:
I recommend freshly grating the cheese. Bagged, pre-shredded cheese has ingredients added to it so the cheese doesn’t clump in the bag and affects the creamy, silkiness of the cheese sauce. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can still have a really good cheese sauce with pre-bagged cheese.
What do I need to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese?
- dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing/Seasoning Mix
- elbow macaroni
- cream cheese
- Frank’s Buffalo Wing sauce
- cooked chicken (leftover or rotisserie)
- mozzarella cheese
- sharp cheese
- blue cheese crumbles
- bacon bits (real bacon precooked bits)
How to make stove top Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese:
In a deep melt the butter over medium heat then whisk in the flour, cooking 1 minute. This is a roux.
Next pour in the milk and water, blending completely with the roux (butter/flour mixture) then sprinkle in the dry ranch seasoning and (uncooked) elbow macaroni, stirring to combine.
Cover, bring to a boil the reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add the cream cheese, buffalo sauce and cooked, shredded (or cubed) chicken stirring until the cream cheese is melted then add shredded sharp and mozzarella cheeses stirring gently to combine.
Garnish with additional buffalo sauce, crumbled bacon and blue cheese the serve right away. Optional: transfer to serving dish.
Tip: Microwaving the bacon bits for 10-12 seconds crisps it, giving it a ‘just fried’ taste and texture.
Other fall football and tailgating favorites:
Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings: Marinated in a spicy buttermilk-ranch blend, then “oven fried” until crispy and bursting with bold flavor.
Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix: Chex cereal, Cheez-It crackers, peanuts and more crunchy-salty goodness with bold buffalo-ranch flavor.
Cowboy Queso: Warm, spicy dip loaded with two kinds of cheese, chorizo sausage, black beans, corn, tomatoes and fresh cilantro with a squeeze of lime for that extra burst of flavor. Serve it up with tortilla chips.
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili: Creamy with tender chicken, white beans, corn and green chilies in every bite. Topped off with sliced avocado, extra cheese, tortilla strips and sour cream.
Classic Spicy Ground Beef Chili: Packed with ground beef, beans and bold, spicy flavor. Quick stove top and slow cooker recipe options.
If you tried this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk 2% used (full fat ok; skim not recommended)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning
- 2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce or more to taste + 2 T extra for drizzling on top
- 2 cups cooked chicken rotisserie or leftover, shredded/cubed
- 3/4 cup mozzarella
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles or more to taste
- 1/4 cup bacon crumbles (real bacon precooked) - or more to taste
- In a deep melt the butter over medium heat then whisk in the flour, cooking 1 minute. This is what's called a roux.
- Pour in the milk and water, blending completely with the roux (butter/flour mixture).
- Sprinkle in the dry ranch seasoning and (uncooked) elbow macaroni, stirring to combine.
- Cover, bring to a boil the reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the cream cheese, buffalo sauce and cooked, shredded (or cubed) chicken stirring until the cream cheese is melted then add shredded sharp and mozzarella cheeses stirring gently to combine.
- Garnish with additional buffalo sauce, crumbled bacon and blue cheese. Serve right away. Optional: transfer to serving dish.
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