Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

June 24, 2010

37

Ever since my dinner at Max & Dylan’s a few weeks ago, I’ve had buffalo chicken mac and cheese on my mind. Like, way more than is normal. I decided I needed to re-create my own version. I did a little bit of research, added my own touches, and was on my way to heaven. I’ll tell you right here this dish is NOT good for you. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the opposite of nutritious. I did do a few things to try to make it a little bit better than most recipes were telling me. Like I used whole wheat macaroni, 2% milk instead of whole, and 50% reduced fat Cabot Cheddar. Yes, I said a little.

However, this dish is SO worth it. Perfect if you’re going to a party or have a lot of people to feed (it makes A LOT). I made it last Thursday evening when I knew I had a busy weekend where I wasn’t going to have time to cook, but wanted some quick leftovers that would last. I also ended up freezing a lot of it.

Don’t be intimidated by this mega-ingredient list. You’ll have a lot of the ingredients already. And like I said, it’s worth it.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese:

    • 2 C unseasoned breadcrumbs
    • 11/2 T cayenne pepper
    • 1 1/2 T ground cumin
    • Sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 lb. chicken cutlets
    • 6 T canola oil
    • 1 lb. elbow macaroni (whole wheat if you want)
    • 8 T (1 stick) butter, divided (6 T and 2 T)
    • 3 C chopped onions
    • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
    • 4 C 2% milk
    • 1 C reduced fat cheddar cheese
    • 1 C crumbly blue cheese
    • 1 C buffalo spice cheese (use Monterey jack if you can’t find)
    • 2 T paprika
    • 1 C Frank’s RedHot Original (I used the extra hot variety)

 

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Chris happens to be obsessed with this cheese that he randomly found in Star Market. You don’t need it to make this mac and cheese, but if you can find a buffalo spicy cheese to add to the dish, it will definitely enhance it. If not, just use Monterey Jack (or maybe even a pepper jack).

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I, of course, chopped all my onions up with my VeggiChop. I saved about a million hours and a million tears (I ended up using 2 onions to get the 3 cups).

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Mix together the breadcrumbs, salt, cumin, cayenne, and pepper in one bowl.

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And beat the eggs together in a separate bowl.

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And you’re ready to make the chicken! Coat chicken cutlets with breadcrumbs, dip in eggs, and then coat again with more breadcrumbs. Put on a plate and repeat with all the cutlets.

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Now, in a large skillet, heat 1/4 C of canola oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken tenders and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.

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Repeat with all the chicken and move to paper towels to drain. When it cools a bit, you’ll need to cut into 1-inch pieces.

Yay chicken fingers!

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Now you’re ready to cook your macaroni. Boil it in a large pot until tender, but not cooked through (super al dente, if you will). Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

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Melt 6 T of butter in same pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, covered, for about 6 minutes. Onions should be soft, but not browned. Make sure you keep stirring.

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Now, add the flour and stir for 2 minutes.

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Then whisk in milk and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 2 minutes. Add all the cheeses, paprika, 1 t salt, and 1 t pepper. Whisk until all the cheeses melt and sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes.

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Remove from heat and mix cheese sauce in bowl with macaroni. Also, mix in half the chicken pieces.

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Now transfer the macaroni mixture into a 13x9x2 glass baking dish. I told you this is a lot of mac and cheese.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake macaroni uncovered until heated through, for about 25 minutes.

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Now, stir the Frank’s RedHot and remaining 2 T of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter milks. Take macaroni out of oven, top with remaining chicken, and pout ReHot/butter mixture over the top (about 4 tablespoons).

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Bake 5-7 minutes more. And serve!

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We love things super spicy around here, so the buffalo spice cheese really helped amp up the spice. If you want the mac and cheese to be super spicy but don’t have the cheese, I would definitely add some Frank’s RedHot (or whatever you’re using) to the cheese mixture instead of just pouring it over the top. If you just want the subtle buffalo spice, just pouring it over the top as indicated should be fine.

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Really though, this was legitimately heaven. SO awesomely amazing. You’re basically combining 2 of Americans all-time favorite foods into one delicious dish. Like I said, bring this to the next party you go to and you’ll be a very popular person.

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Or just make it for yourself and have a big bowl when you’re having a sort of down day. It will cheer you right up. Not that I’m encouraging you to eat your emotions. Just try not to eat the whole thing at once, OK?

What’s your dream mac and cheese combination?

[Sues]

37 Responses to "Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese"

  1. This would seriously be my husbands dream meal!

  2. sweetersalt says:

    I love buffalo sauce – this sounds so good! Yesterday I (sort of) made made mac and cheese, ok it was mac and beans, but it satisfied the craving! Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/aOKtfO

    I’m a newbie blogger, just wanted to pop in and say hi!

  3. Julie Q says:

    This should be banned in 24 states because of how good it looks

  4. Sharlene says:

    Oh my goodness you sold me on this one! First of all, I can’t seem to leave Panera wihout getting mac and cheese there now I’m so in love with it. And then you add all this extra stuff? I’m in. Must make soon!

  5. CookiePie says:

    No, no, NO — that looks too good!!!!! I would like a big helping, please, with an ice-cold beer. Right now. Please!

  6. I want to be friends with it. <3

  7. Lizzie says:

    This looks soooo good. Even though my apartment is currently 85 degress I think it would be worth breaing a sweat to cook this beauty!

  8. Annie says:

    Oh sweet lord that looks AMAZING! I have it bookmarked!

  9. Michelle says:

    My kids are HUGE mac and cheese fans. We’ll have to try this one.

    One of our favs is Cheeseburger Mac. Just add a cup of ketchup, cooked ground beef, and onion powder to taste to a regular Mac and cheese recipe.

  10. MichellePC says:

    Wow – this looks incredible! I am not usually a huge fan of buffalo wings, but I could definitely get used to eating this dish.

  11. Shannon says:

    oh, heck yeah 🙂 fabulous!

  12. Jeri says:

    Oh My Gosh… I can not WAIT to make this… yum yum yum yum yum!! Two of my very favorite things… Thanks for the recipe 😀

  13. The YUM FACTOR is very high for this dish, I can tell just by looking at it!

  14. Lexi says:

    Despite my not liking mac & cheese (yes, how un-American of me), I’ve been thinking about this recipe all day long…..it may need to be made Saturday night…and, I know the Yancey’s Fancy cheese, and can find it here… 🙂

  15. Oh my gosh that looks incredible! My husband would love it and he isn’t a fan of mac-n-cheese. He’d have to add bacon to it too though haha 🙂

  16. Simply Life says:

    wow! I am so impressed! Anything that has smoked gouda cheese is something I want to eat all the time!

  17. Between the Frank’s Red Hot and the Yancey’s Fancy cheese, this really brings back memories of living in Rochester, NY 🙂 I’m slowly starting to like cheese, but it has to be hard and light-colored, so my dream mac & cheese would have to be some sort of asiago/white cheddar/gruyere combo with spicy sausage and maybe something green and leafy, like spinach.

  18. Kelly P says:

    Oh. My. Goodness.

  19. katelin says:

    seriously this is making me drool. you ladies are torturing my taste buds and my waistline, haha.

  20. DianaHayes says:

    I might have to tone down the heat a little, but it sounds delicious. I never thought of adding chicken planks to the macaroni, but I think I’d like it.

  21. It has protein, calcium and healthy carbs all in one. This should fit the bill for everyone! Put bacon, gouda and/or lobster in any mac & cheese, and it’s a party. Love mac & cheeses with different ingredients.

  22. Mary says:

    I know several people who will follow you anywhere you go ;-). It looks and sounds delicious. My favorite is a Mexican-style with pepper jack cheese. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  23. This may be the most amazing thing ever. Buffalo sauce on everything!!!

  24. brandi says:

    Can this be mailed to me? 🙂 It looks amazing!

  25. looks SO good!!!! i bet it would be so interseting to make a mac and cheese with goat cheese-my fav!!!

  26. Oh my, I had buffalo bleu mac and cheese once and it was seriously TO DIE FOR!! We had a place in Cleveland called Cheddars which was all different kinds of mac and cheese combos and seriously amazing. I’d say the buffalo bleu topped my list though 🙂

  27. Karena says:

    omg that looks AMAZING. Brilliant creation!

  28. Arielle says:

    Made it tonight for my husband (Libby Merrill’s brother)… If we weren’t already married I think this could have led to a proposal. Thanks, ladies!

  29. Kerstin says:

    Mmm, this looks fantastic! So the 50% reduced fat cheese is still pretty good? I’m always scared to try low fat products but I love Cabot.

  30. Sana's Mom says:

    I had been eye-ing this recipe for a week before finally caving in and giving it a go. It is soooooooo Good! I scaled it down by half, since it is only two of us, but I’m wishing I didn’t as the Hubby ate up most of it today. This recipe is better than the one from Food Network. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Suzanne says:

    Just had some Buffalo Bleu Mac & Cheese in San Francisco. It was the most awesome mac & cheese I have ever put in my mouth. Went looking today for a recipe and stumbled on this…I am making it tonite! It look delicious.

  32. Caroline says:

    I can’t wait to make this. I LOVED Max & Dylans while I lived in Boston and have been craving their buffalo chicken mac and cheese since I moved away 6 months ago. Thanks so much!

  33. Becky says:

    I tried this recipe last night and it was amazing! I love your blog and your recipes!

  34. Sues says:

    @Becky Thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed the mac and cheese 🙂

  35. Gardner says:

    Wow! Perfect for the superbowl party!

  36. Jessica says:

    This looks amazing! However my boyfriend does not love onions. Will it ruin the dish to eliminate or maybe even reduce the amount? Often I can get away with chopping them fine and hiding them and he doesn’t know but I’m not sure that will work with this amount.

  37. Sues says:

    HI @Jessica! I think this dish would be just fine without onions! Shouldn’t be a big deal at all 🙂

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