Are you looking for an easy, make-ahead, Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese casserole that your family will love? Would you like to learn how to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese? How about which cheeses make the best Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese? And, do you know which American President is credited with bringing Mac and Cheese to America? You have come to the right place! Read on.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is deliciously spicy, simple to make, and the ultimate comfort food! It’s perfect for game days, along with all things Buffalo including Buffalo Chicken Salad, Buffalo Chicken Dip, Buffalo Shrimp and, of course, probably the most famous, Buffalo Wings. The origins of all things Buffalo are pretty murky, but these spicy dishes probably had their start in, where else, Buffalo, New York. If you like Mac and Cheese also known as Macaroni and Cheese, you have President Thomas Jefferson to thank. He is credited with introducing Macaroni and Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Ice Cream, Champagne and French Fries to America. President Jefferson first served Mac and Cheese at a state dinner in 18o2 and even drew plans to make a “macaroni” machine.
This recipe for Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is versatile. You can use pretty much any pasta you like or have on hand. I happen to like bowtie pasta or farfalle, and that’s what I used, but you could use penne, rotini, shells, elbow macaroni, fusilli; the list goes on and on. You could even use spaghetti or fettuccini, but I wouldn’t recommend angel hair pasta as it’s too delicate. If you would like to make it a little healthier, feel free to add some broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes or other vegetables. As for cheese, this recipe calls for three cups of shredded cheese, and this is a great opportunity to use all of those half-full packages of shredded cheese in your cheese drawer. Cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Colby, or a Mexican or Italian blend would all work well.
You can also make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese ahead and divide it up before baking so that you have enough for a tasty meal plus some to freeze for later. This recipe serves eight, so you could easily have enough for 3-4 meals depending on how many you are feeding. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese also reheats well, and leftovers can be stored safely in your refrigerator, if covered, for up to three days. I usually serve Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese with a simple salad, but roasted vegetables or sliced fresh tomatoes would work just as well!
As you might imagine, this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is rich and high in calories. A single serving comes in at 699 calories. The good news is a single serving also provides 28% of your Vitamin A daily requirement, 36% of your calcium requirement and 53% of your Vitamin C requirement. You can save about 50 calories by using low-fat blue cheese dressing, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese, but I haven’t tested this version so I can’t comment on whether this would affect the taste.
The ingredients for Easy Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese include bowtie pasta, a rotisserie chicken, bell pepper, green onions or scallions, garlic cloves, cream cheese, blue cheese or ranch dressing, Buffalo Wings Hot Wing Sauce, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and panko bread crumbs.
If you are ready to make this tasty Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole gather your ingredients and let’s get started.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the pasta box. When finished cooking reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before placing the pasta in a colander to drain.
While the pasta is cooking, combine the chicken, bell pepper, 1/4 cup of the chopped scallions, and 2 cups shredded cheese. Set aside.
Place the cream cheese, garlic, blue cheese or ranch dressing and the hot wing sauce in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. If you like your food spicy you can add up to 1/4 cup more hot wing sauce. Mix well.
Place the drained pasta in a 9×13 baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chicken mixture, reserved pasta water, and cream cheese mixture and combine.
Top with the crumbled blue cheese, remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese, panko bread crumbs, and scallions.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the panko is crispy. Let sit for a few minutes and serve hot. Enjoy!
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