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Mac and Cheese: Buffalo Chicken Style

Mac and cheese is one of the quintessential comfort foods, and Buffalo chicken is a classic flavor profile — mix them together, and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

Macaroni and cheese might seem like a modern classic, but it actually dates back several centuries – all the way to cookbooks from the 14th century. These days you could simply make it from a box, but that’s not as fun as this twist on the classic recipe.

This spicy casserole (though you could use mild Buffalo sauce) serves about five or six people, making it the perfect centerpiece for any dinner. Paired with a salad or some veggies, there’d also be a nice cool-down component to the feast. Just pick your favorite pasta – rotini, rigatoni, penne, bowties, macaroni, etc. – and follow the recipe below!

Mac and Cheese: Buffalo Chicken Style

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

(Serves about 5-6 people)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces rotini
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt (or substitute sour cream)
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces of blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 tablespoons light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Buffalo wing sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a pot with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil and add the rotini. Cook the rotini until just al dente, drain, and set aside (you don’t want to overcook since it’ll cook a bit more in the oven).
  2. Grease a large skillet with cooking spray and set it to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and onion, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the chicken is longer pink. Then, set aside the chicken.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and melt the butter in the skillet. Then, add the garlic and saute it for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth, cooking for about a minute.
  4. Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture while whisking and let it thicken for about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the yogurt, cheddar, blue cheese, and cream cheese. Stir the mixture until smooth, and then mix in the 1/4 cup of Buffalo sauce.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and chicken to the skillet and stir everything together until evenly combined.
  6. Move the mixture into a greased 8×8 baking dish and top with the panko breadcrumbs and drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of wing sauce. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are a light golden-brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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