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Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

I have a confession.
mac and cheese final 2
I may have gone insane.

And by insane, I mean overboard.

This recipe is bananas.
IMG_1860 If Jalapeno Poppers got together with Buffalo Chicken, this would be their love child. Their amazingly delicious love child.

I’m not gonna lie to your guys. This recipe rocks. It’s some of my favorite flavors all wrapped up into one awesome pan of macaroni heaven.

Macaroni and cheese on steroids, if you will.

It’s totally rufus. {Anyone else having Never Been Kissed flashbacks? “It’s totally rufus!!” Am I the only one who saw this movie like 14 times in the theater? C’mon people!}

This recipe calls for a lot of ingredients, but I had them ALL on hand, so odds are you will have the majority of these. Believe it or not, I had all five of these cheeses on hand in my fridge to make this yesterday. I don’t know if I should be embarrassed by that or not.

I’m a girl who like cheese, what can I say.
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Besides this meal taking a little more time to prepare than usual, it’s really straightforward. Saute some veggies, cook pasta, make sauce, mix it all together and bake. Really not intimidating in the least, but super cheesy and divine in every sense of the word.

Ladies: make this for that special someone in your lives! They will want to marry you.

Or marry you again.

You’re welcome in advance.
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Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
yield: 6-8 servings
Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Ingredients:
4 slices of bacon
2 tablespoons bacon grease {reserved from said bacon}
1/2 large onion, diced {about 1 1/4 cups}
2 jalapenos, sliced {ribs and seeds removed}
1 pound elbow macaroni

for the sauce-
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk {whole or 2% please}
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper, to taste
1 pinch nutmeg
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon hot sauce {such as Frank’s Red Hot}

2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated provolone
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 cup precooked and shredded chicken {optional}

for the topping-
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
{cooked bacon, as listed above}

parsley, for garnish

Directions:

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels and crumble. Pour off excess bacon drippings, keeping 2 tablespoons in the pan. Place skillet back on heat and saute onion and jalapenos until soft, about 6 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water generously and cook pasta 2 minutes short of package directions. You want the macaroni to be very al dente, but not still crunchy. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium high and continue mixing until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and hot sauce until melted smoothly into the sauce. Pour cooked pasta and sauteed onions and jalapenos into the sauce. Stir to coat. Stir in cheeses and chicken. Pour into a buttered baking dish {9×9, 9×13, or somewhere in between should be good} and spread out evenly. Top with blue cheese, corn flakes and crumbled bacon. Bake 20-30 minutes until top of macaroni has browned. Remove from oven, top with parsley and serve hot.
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70 Comments

  1. Wow definitely a lot going on. Jalapeno poppers AND buffalo chicken in mac and cheese? But I don’t think it’s too much, I love it,.

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    • Lauren — August 31st, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

      I don’t think it’s too much either…plus it was DELICIOUS.

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  2. Oh, Em, Gee. My 3 favorite things in life!! Can’t wait to try this.

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    • Lauren — August 31st, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

      I hope you do try it! It’s divine!

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  3. What temperature do I bake it at?

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    • Lauren — August 31st, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

      Oops, I didn’t put that in the recipe! 350 degrees!

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  4. I don’t do cream cheese… but I jsut might for this one!

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    • Lauren — August 31st, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

      You don’t do cream cheese? Are you kidding me? It’s awesome in this! Promise you will like it! And it’s only 2 oz!

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  5. I haven’t made mac and cheese in awhile – but now I’m wishing I had all the ingredients right now to make this tonight!!

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    • Lauren — August 31st, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

      Go out and get them! It’s worth it!

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  6. Can we take a moment for the fact that you have used no less than 4 cheeses in this recipe?! And buffalo sauce (my favorite thing in life)! I cannot wait to make this. I actually just sent you an email about it :)

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    • Lauren — August 31st, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

      Haha! Moment of silence for the cheeses! I wrote you back! :)

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  7. This recipe is over-the-top indeed! Hooray to that! I think my husband will be requesting it once a week once I serve it:)

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    • Lauren — August 31st, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

      Haha! My husband was definitely happy there were leftovers!

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  8. This recipe has everything that’s good in the world in it! I love it!

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  9. This recipe is absolutely bananas! There is so much amazingness in this dish I think my eye balls are about to explode :) Love that you included bacon too. Always gotta have bacon. Saving this one for cooking (soon!)

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  10. you’re right. this dish is bananas. and I love bananas! :)

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  11. this is just everything that is right in the world, all wrapped up in one dish! amazing! i need to make this soon :) this dish will make people all kinds of happy!

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  12. I was wondering if anybody had any ideas on how to substitute the bacon? I don’t eat pork or beef. Thanks!

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    • Ari — November 9th, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

      I’m not sure how you feel about turkey, but there’s turkey bason you can cook instead! Or, and I haven’t tried it personally, but I’ve had friends who love it to pieces, there’s also apparently vegetarian bacon that’s supposedly quite tasty :)

      Also, wow, this recipe looks delicious, I can’t wait to cook it up for the family!

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  13. This looks divine. I gained 5 lbs just staring at the pictures. Must.make.tonight.

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  14. I will make this for Alex. It will probably end up getting me pregnant. Thank you.

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  15. Wow! I’ve made a buffalo chicken mac and cheese before, but never thought to add the jalapeno poppers…good call! :)

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  16. Jalapeno popper anything is an awesome idea in my books! Yum!

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  17. Oh my goodness. My boyfriend is a mac and cheese fiend as it is. This would make him so happy! Thanks for going insane w/ this. :)

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    • Lauren — September 2nd, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

      He will want to marry you! Lol!

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  18. I made this tonight!!! So delicious. I think next time I want to up the heat factor even further!

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    • Lauren — September 4th, 2011 @ 2:19 am

      Yay! Glad you liked it! I kept it pretty mild because I feed it to my 2 year old, but feel free to crank up the heat as much as you’d like.

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  19. Oh my goodness… this recipe *is* rufus… and bananas. I just bookmarked and will definitely be trying this out. Yum!

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    • Lauren — September 4th, 2011 @ 2:19 am

      Awesome! Let me know how it turns out!

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  20. I AM STUFFED AND I WANT MORE!!! :) This is sooooo incredible! (I did leave out the blue cheese) Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I want to marry you! hahahaha……

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    • Lauren — September 4th, 2011 @ 2:18 am

      Hahaha! I think you might have to talk to my husband about that one! Lol! Glad you liked it!

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  21. Hi Lauren making this dish for tonights Patriots opener! I was wondering what you thought of using ritz crackers instead of corn flakes for the topping? it’s a grocery store thing not a taste preference.

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    • Lauren — September 12th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

      I’m sure that would be fine! Use what you have!

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  22. I made this last night and it is amazing! I’m not a cook and it was super easy despite the semi long list of ingredients. I added more buffalo sauce and also used pre-cooked buffalo bites from the prepared food section at my grocery store. We went into an immediate food coma and it was fantastic!!!

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  23. First of all, this IS bananas. Wonderful, addicting kind of bananas.
    Second, I had an instant flashback to the Never Been Kissed scene you elude to the MOMENT I read the word rufus.

    Cheers!
    Heather @ Find That Warm Fuzzy Feeling

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  24. I am very excited to try this recipe. How long should I give myself to make it from start to finish?

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  25. I am making this for the third time in three months. Hands down the best recipe ever to have stumbled upon!! And yes, my husband did fall in love with me all over again!

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  26. I havce made the twice, it amazing, my family loves it!Thank you so much !

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  27. Are the jalepenos fresh? What size? They vary quite a bit. I bought 2 fresh ones that would likely heat Alaska. ;o)

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  28. wow, this was certainly amazing! i saw the recipe today and just had to make it tonight. I had almost all of the ingredients on hand but found that I was able to get by without cream by adding extra cream cheese, didn’t have blue cheese or provolone but just added a little extra mozza and cheddar, and I only had herb & garlic cream cheese in the fridge so i used it – still absolutely fantastic. so happy there are leftovers for tomorrow!

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  29. I’m obsessed with jalapeno poppers, buffalo chicken AND mac and cheese so this is like heaven! This has been added to my list of meals this weekend!

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  30. I am about to make this for my husband… I think he might just marry me all over again! lol Hope it comes out as good as it sounds!!!

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  31. This looks fabulous! Any suggestion on what I could substitute for the bleu cheese? (I can’t stand the stuff) Goat cheese maybe…? When I have buffalo chicken, I’m a ranch girl instead of bleu cheese.

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    • Lauren — May 23rd, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

      Goat cheese would melt in perfectly! It won’t taste quite the same, but should still work.

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  32. I totally almost cried when I ate this dish it was so good! Thank you thank you!

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  33. Hahaha when you said its totally Rufus I was like NEVER BEEN KISSED. Rock on. Love it. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that movie over 20 times (although never in the theater) So p.s. my friend Beth & I are totally making this tomorrow night (6/19) and I will for sure be coming back here to write a review. We are PRETTY pumped about it.

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  34. Want to try this. Wow. Are the corn flakes essential for the total experience? ( yes I’m calling this an experience). I like the idea of crunchy, I’ve just never been able to wrap my ‘foodable’ brain around corn flakes in anything other than a bowl with sugar and milk. Any other possible suggestions or maybe just no crunch? (assuming that’s why they’re there)

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    • Lauren — September 23rd, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

      Try panko bread crumbs.

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  35. Sweet baby jesus !! Just made this tonight and not only did my husband name it “The Best Meal Ever” but also told me it’s his new fav!! Can’t go wrong and I assure you I will be making this many more times :) Thank you!!!

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  36. This looks amazing, can’t wait to try it.

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  37. Made this for the first time and it’s for my pot luck at work today! I’m sure it will be a big hit!

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  38. Can i substitude the blue cheese with a different kind of cheese, not a fan of blue cheese?

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    • Lauren — November 11th, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

      Yup! Anything will work!

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  39. Should the chicken be cooked or raw when adding it in?

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  40. Do you think you could prepare this beforehand and bake after?

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    • Lauren — January 23rd, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

      Definitely!

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  41. Just made this and it was delicious!!!! Thank you so much, I will be posting a picture of mine to your facebook page. AMAZING!

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  42. This was stinking good! I’m making it today for Super Bowl. Yahoo

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  43. Making this for dinner tonight =] My boyfriend is going to be so so happy.

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