A creamy, spicy buffalo chicken mac and cheese topped off with a buttery toasted panko. Be sure to check out the video just above the recipe for a super quick and easy visual how-to guide!
Because I literally just shared a savory recipe with you exactly one week ago, I was extremely hesitant to share this Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese recipe with you today.
This is still a dessert blog, and I promise you that there are plenty more cookies in the very near future and lots, lots more sugar. Just, sometimes a recipe is too darn good not to share right away, and this buffalo chicken mac & cheese definitely fits the bill.
And, honestly, if I wasn’t sharing this one with you, it probably would have been my Halloween recipe that I mentioned in my last post, and I’m not sure that everyone else is quite as ready as I am to jump into full-blown Halloween prep (or are you? I hope so because I can’t wait much longer!).
This Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese recipe started out as a just-for-fun experiment. Those happen a lot around here, especially with savory recipes, and most of them don’t make it onto the blog (because we do sugar here, right? Hard to tell recently!).
This one wasn’t originally destined for the blog, but then it happened…
That first mind-blowing bite where I knew that I had to share it with you because it was just so perfect, so decadently rich, so creamy, so cheesy, so mind bogglingly addictive that my hands were absolutely tied on the subject.
It’s actually so creamy and richly delicious that I really consider it to be more of a “party food” rather than a true dinner. It’s absolutely addictive and sure it has protein (chicken) and calcium (cheese and milk), but it’s a stretch to consider this as a nutritious dinner. It’s more of a comfort food, the kind that you pile on your plate at a party and keep going back to for seconds, and thirds. However, if you want it for dinner, who am I to tell you how to live your life?
To make this buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese so creamy, I went beyond your standard shredded cheeses, and in addition to shredded mozzarella and cheddar, and I also used cream cheese and sour cream. These two ingredients are possibly the most critical in developing such a creamy and richly flavored dish.
Everything is topped off with a buttery, crispy, crown of toasted panko that gives way beneath your spoon to the best dang mac and cheese of your life.
It carries some heat, as all buffalo-flavored things do, but it’s not overwhelmingly hot (though you heat-seekers out there can feel free to up the ante with a few extra tablespoons if you dare), and is nicely tempered by all of that cheese.
Alright, that’s all for today and I promise there will be a lot more sugar in my next post 😉
Be sure to check out my easy mac & cheese recipe if you’re looking for something more classic and simple!
If you make this Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese in the meantime, though, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag it #sugarspunrun so I can see your work and we can obsess together over how amazing this dish really is!!
Enjoy! The printable recipe is just below the video.
Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
- 8 oz dry macaroni noodles I used Cellentani noodles (230g)
- 3 Tablespoons butter (42g)
- 3 Tablespoons flour (24g)
- 2 cups milk (475ml)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 4 oz cream cheese (115g)
- 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese , I use low-moisture part skim (170g)
- 1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese (115g)
- ⅓ cup sour cream (80g)
- ½ cup buffalo hot sauce (120ml)
- 1 ½ cups shredded chicken (200g)
For Panko Topping:
- 1 Tablespoon butter (14g)
- ½ Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup seasoned panko crumbs (30g)
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and lightly grease a 1.5qt round baking dish or 9x9 square baking dish with butter.
- Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once it has melted, add flour and stir until smooth.
- Add milk and spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground mustard), stir well and bring to a boil.
- Once mixture begins to boil, reduce heat, bring to a simmer, and stir frequently until it is slightly thickened.
- Reduce heat to low and add cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Stir until cheeses are melted and mixture is smooth.
- Add hot sauce and stir.
- Add shredded chicken and cooked, drained pasta noodles and stir until well coated by the sauce.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and prepare your Panko topping.
- Combine butter and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
- Add panko and stir well until the butter and oil has been mostly absorbed. Continue to stir until panko is lightly toasted and turns a light-medium brown color
- Use a spoon to sprinkle over prepared buffalo chicken mac and cheese
- Transfer to oven and bake on 350F (175C) for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve.
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