Calling all buffalo chicken lovers! Creamy, spicy and hearty, Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is a satisfying version of macaroni and cheese that’s delightful on cold days. Or anytime you’re craving the combination of buffalo sauce, chicken and cheddar cheese sauce.
And best of all, this is an easy dinner. It’s a one-pot pasta recipe!
It became a guilty pleasure last winter. A local restaurant specializing in wings had a creamy, slightly spicy, totally rich and delightful buffalo chicken mac and cheese. It was the perfect foil to the frigid, icy, snowy days of our Maine winter. So, despite the temperatures and weather, my colleagues and I would trek over there a little more often than I should admit to get our zesty fix.
A good, cheesy pasta with lots of flavor is so delightful on the coldest days. It’s comfort food with flare and attitude.
Naturally, I wanted to include an easy version in my latest cookbook, One-Pot Pasta. It is, after all, a favorite flavor combination of mine.
Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and cheese is delightful. The cheese and dairy in this pasta mellows the spiciness of the buffalo sauce while leaving it perfectly zesty. And the breaded boneless chicken breast pieces
When I serve this, I take a cue from how my local wing place serves wings and add a little blue cheese and chopped celery to the top. It takes this easy recipe completely over the top amazing.
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast, , cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz dried elbow macaroni or small shells
- 1 cup water
- 1 ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup cheddar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- ¼ cup buffalo sauce
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, (optional)
- 1 rib celery, , chopped (optional)
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the chicken, cornstarch and breadcrumbs. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken, discarding any excess breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring often, until browned and cooked through – about 8-10 minutes. Remove to a bowl.
- Add the pasta, water, milk, cheese, dried mustard and salt to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pasta is tender. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the chicken and the buffalo sauce. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese and chopped celery, if desired.
Recipe tip: For an even spicier experience, drizzle with a little additional buffalo sauce before serving.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.