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Close up photo of a bowl of buffalo chicken mac and cheese on a teal and white gingham napkin.
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5 from 1 vote

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

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!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 305kcal

Ingredients

  • 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
  • cup ranch dressing
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9x13 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 1305mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 818IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 301mg | Iron: 1mg