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_1860If 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.
mac and cheese final copy
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.
IMG_1880

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.
IMG_1870

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81 Responses to “Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. #
    1
    Erin — August 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    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,.

    Reply

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

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

      Reply

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    Melissa H From So. Fla. — August 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm

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

    Reply

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

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

      Reply

  3. #
    3
    Stephanie — August 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    What temperature do I bake it at?

    Reply

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

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

      Reply

  4. #
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    Blog is the New Black — August 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

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

    Reply

    • 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!

      Reply

  5. #
    5
    Deborah — August 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    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!!

    Reply

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

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

      Reply

  6. #
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    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — August 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    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 :)

    Reply

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

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

      Reply

  7. #
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    Gina — August 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    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:)

    Reply

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

      Haha! My husband was definitely happy there were leftovers!

      Reply

  8. #
    8
    Kathryn — August 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — August 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    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!)

    Reply

  10. #
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    Chocolate Shavings — September 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

    That macaroni dish looks so wonderfully cheesy!

    Reply

  11. #
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    alex — September 1, 2011 at 3:41 am

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

    Reply

  12. #
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    Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles — September 1, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Oh, heck. I need this…and I need it now!!

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Miho-chan — September 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Gosh! That looks so delicious *___*

    Reply

  14. #
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    hailey — September 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    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!

    Reply

  15. #
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    Andrea — September 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

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

    Reply

    • 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!

      Reply

  16. #
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    Errika — September 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm

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

    Reply

  17. #
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    Amy from Chicago — September 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm

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

    Reply

  18. #
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    Shannon @ dinnerordessert — September 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    This is my dream mac n cheese, spicy and cheesy! I will be making this very soon, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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    Baking Serendipity — September 2, 2011 at 4:09 am

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

    Reply

  20. #
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    Katrina — September 2, 2011 at 10:28 am

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

    Reply

  21. #
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    autumn — September 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    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. :)

    Reply

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

      He will want to marry you! Lol!

      Reply

  22. #
    22
    Ellyse — September 3, 2011 at 1:15 am

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

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  23. #
    23
    Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese? — September 3, 2011 at 4:12 am

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

    Reply

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

      Awesome! Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

  24. #
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    Tracy — September 4, 2011 at 1:54 am

    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……

    Reply

    • 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!

      Reply

  25. #
    25
    kerry — September 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    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.

    Reply

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

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

      Reply

  26. #
    26
    Crystal — October 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    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!!!

    Reply

  27. #
    27
    Heather — October 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    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

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut — January 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    This recipe made it to my Friday Five Foodie Finds! :-) Thanks for sharing!
    http://www.semihealthnut.blogspot.com/2012/01/friday-five-foodie-finds-12.html

    Reply

  29. #
    29
    Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons — January 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

    oh. my. gosh.

    DROOL!!!!!! This looks outstanding!

    Reply

  30. #
    30
    Alanna — January 23, 2012 at 1:17 am

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

    Reply

  31. #
    31
    Kati — February 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    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!

    Reply

  32. #
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    hilltwina — March 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm

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

    Reply

  33. #
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    denise — March 24, 2012 at 4:17 am

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

    Reply

  34. #
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    Krista — March 29, 2012 at 12:30 am

    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!

    Reply

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    Ryan - Spicy Richmond — April 5, 2012 at 1:24 am

    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!

    Reply

  36. #
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    Heather — April 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    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!!!

    Reply

  37. #
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    Debbie — May 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    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.

    Reply

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

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

      Reply

  38. #
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    Kasha — June 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm

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

    Reply

  39. #
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    Aimee — June 18, 2012 at 5:01 am

    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.

    Reply

  40. #
    40
    Jacqui Phillips — September 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    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)

    Reply

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

      Try panko bread crumbs.

      Reply

  41. #
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    Laura — September 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    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!!!

    Reply

  42. #
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    Cindy Silva — October 11, 2012 at 4:37 am

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

    Reply

  43. #
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    Ginger — October 31, 2012 at 9:22 am

    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!

    Reply

  44. #
    44
    Ileana — November 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm

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

    Reply

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

      Yup! Anything will work!

      Reply

  45. #
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    Angela — January 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm

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

    Reply

  46. #
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    Motion Simulator — January 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Oh sweet Lord, this looks amazing!!! Pinning :)

    Reply

  47. #
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    Lauren — January 22, 2013 at 5:29 am

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

    Reply

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

      Definitely!

      Reply

  48. #
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    KT — January 29, 2013 at 8:59 am

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

    Reply

  49. #
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    Ashley McConnaughey — February 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

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

    Reply

  50. #
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    Emilee — May 20, 2013 at 11:51 am

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

    Reply

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