This Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe is loaded with shredded chicken, pasta, two kinds of cheese, ranch dressing, and buffalo sauce, ready in under an hour!
This Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is a hearty, cheesy dish that’s overflowing with shredded chicken and pasta all while serving up a kick of heat! You have the freedom to make this recipe as spicy as you’d like just by simply controlling the amount of buffalo sauce that you use!
This recipe is the perfect cross between Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip and Best Ever Creamy Mac and Cheese! I happen to love BOTH things so I knew I’d instantly fall in love with this meal before I even made it!
I love that you pull a pan of this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese out of the oven after only 40 minutes of baking! Making it perfect to bring to potlucks, game days, or just to simply enjoy a quick, mouthwatering meal any day of the week!
This easy-to-make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe comes together quickly after only 10 minutes of prep! To start, you’ll grab your favorite pasta and cook it until it’s just al dente. I chose to use cavatappi pasta!
Next, you’ll need shredded chicken! For convenience, you could totally grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store that’s already cooked and just shred that. But keep in mind doing it this way will make the leftovers a bit dry.
When I need shredded chicken for a recipe my go-to method is putting boneless, skinless chicken breast in the crockpot for 3 to 4 hours on high with a can of chicken broth. Once it’s cooked I just toss the chicken in a stand mixer and use the paddle attachment, this shreds the chicken perfectly!
Then all I have to do is throw the shredded chicken into whatever recipe I’m whipping up! Super easy!
To finish making this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese you’ll need salted butter, all-purpose flour, whole milk, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded Monterey jack cheese, buffalo sauce, salt, ranch dressing, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and panko breadcrumbs.
There’s room to cater this recipe to exactly the way you like by choosing your favorite buffalo sauce and either using panko breadcrumbs or crushed-up ritz crackers!
How To Make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Cook the pasta until its al dente.
- Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Then whisk in the flour and allow the mixture to lightly bubble.
- Pour milk into the butter mixture slowly while constantly whisking. Continue to whisk until the mixture turns a lightl yellow and thickens up.
- Stir in both of the cheeses until fully melted.
- Whisk in the spices, buffalo sauce, and ranch until combined.
- Add the shredded chicken and cheese mixture into the cooked and drained al dente pasta. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish and spread it out evenly.
- Melt the remaining butter in a small bowl and then mix in the panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.
- Bake until the top is golden brown. Enoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Store
Keep any leftover Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy within 3 to 4 days!
How Can I Make This Less Spicy?
If you want to make this dish a little less spicy you can use 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce and 1/2 cup of ranch.
Can I Use Other Kinds Of Cheese In This Recipe?
You sure can, feel free to use any cheese combination that you like! My family and I just prefer the Monterey jack and cheddar cheese combination.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite ways to enjoy my childhood favorite dish! Whip up more mac and cheese variations that are just as good as this one by snagging another recipe from below!
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese – Pasta gets covered in a creamy, delicious butternut cheese sauce and topped with bacon crumbles, ready to eat in only 35 miuntes!
- Crock Pot Mac and Cheese – Loaded with cheddar and colby jack cheeses for an easy dinner thats cooked right in the crockpot!
- One-Pot Chili Mac and Cheese – This dish gives you the best of both comfort foods in one dish, ready to enjoy in just 30 minutes!
- One Dish Corn Mac and Cheese – Baked mac and cheese that’s filled with velveeta cheese and sweet corn then topped with breadcrumbs!
- Mac and Cheese In A Mug – Made with only a handful of ingredients and ready in just 5 minutes!
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Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound pasta I prefer cavatappi
- 2 cups shredded chicken homecooked or rotisserie
- 5 tablespoons salted butter divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- ½ cup buffalo sauce
- ⅓ cup ranch dressing
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13 pan, set aside.
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Place cooked pasta back in the pot when done.
- While pasta is cooking, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in the flour until fully combined. Allow the mixture to lightly bubble for 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour the milk into the butter and flour mixture while constantly whisking. Whisk until the mixture has turned light yellow and has slightly thickened into a roux, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in cheeses until fully melted. Whisk the spices, buffalo sauce, and ranch to the cheese mixture until combined.
- Add the cheese mixture and shredded chicken to the pasta, and mix until evenly coated.
- Pour the coated pasta into the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly.
- In a separate small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix together the melted butter and panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle panko over top of the pasta.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- I used rotisserie chicken, but you can also cook your own chicken beforehand. I used about 2 cups.
- If you use rotisserie chicken, it is better to eat it immediately. Reheating will cause the rotisserie chicken to dry out.
- I used cavatappi pasta, but you can use your favorite shaped pasta.
- I find that Monterey jack and cheddar are a good combination of cheeses that pair
- with the buffalo flavor but feel free to experiment with your favorite cheeses.
- For less spice, use ⅓ cup buffalo sauce and ½ cup ranch. I use Frank’s red hot, but any buffalo sauce will work.
- You can swap the panko topping for crushed Ritz crackers, or top with additional cheese.