Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

5 from 27 votes

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Jalapenos, hot sauce, bacon, and chicken come together to make delicious Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. A perfect mash-up of Macaroni and Cheese and my Buffalo Chicken Dip!

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese on a white plate

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese | Pure Delicious Insanity

I have a confession. I may have gone insane. And by insane, I mean overboard. This recipe is bananas.

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. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese 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.

Love Buffalo flavored anything? Me too! Add these to your Must-Try list: Buffalo Chicken Fries, Buffalo Deviled Eggs, Buffalo Chicken Pasta, and Buffalo Guacamole!

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese in a white casserole dish

Main Ingredients Needed

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese 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. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bacon Grease – bacon is needed for the topping but reserve some of the grease to saute the onions and jalapenos.
  • Onion + Jalapenos – add as many jalapenos as you can handle! I cut mine down for the kids.
  • Elbow Pasta – you can use any pasta you have, although elbow is traditionally used for macaroni and cheese.

For the Sauce

  • Butter + Flour – this is to make a roux and starts the sauce.
  • Whole Milk + Heavy Cream – to transform the roux into a thick bechamel! This is the base for the sauce.
  • Salt + Pepper – season to taste!
  • Nutmeg – for a bit of nuttiness.
  • Cream Cheese – for creaminess and a bit of tang.
  • Hot Sauce – such as Frank’s Red Hot. But use whatever hot sauce you like best!
  • Mozzarella, Provolone, Cheddar + Blue Cheese – so much cheese! If you aren’t a fan of blue cheese, sub out for goat cheese or something similar.
  • Chicken – precooked and pre-shredded, makes this recipe easy peasy.

For the Topping

  • Corn Flakes – for a bit of crunch! One of my readers even used Ritz crackers here.
  • More Blue Cheese – yes, more! Once again, you can leave this out if you don’t like it.
  • Bacon – this is where the bacon comes in!
  • Parsley – to garnish, optional.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese piled on a white plate

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Besides this meal taking a little more time to prepare than usual, it’s really straightforward. Saute some veggies, cook pasta, make the sauce, mix it all together and bake. Really not intimidating in the least, but super cheesy and divine in every sense of the word. For full details on how to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Cook Bacon + Saute Onion and Jalapenos

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

Cook Pasta

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Saltwater 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.

Make Sauce

Preheat oven.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. whisk in flour and cook. 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.

Top + Bake

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 until the top of macaroni has browned. Remove from oven, top with parsley and serve hot.

A forkful of buffalo chicken mac and cheese

More Mac and Cheese Recipes to Try!

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.

The printable recipe card is down below!

5 from 27 votes

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Jalapenos, hot sauce, bacon, and chicken come together to make delicious Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. An extra special dinner!
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 slices 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 cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup provolone grated
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 965kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 990mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1544IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 675mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

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Recipe Rating




87 Responses
  1. Erin

    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,.

  2. Deborah

    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!!

  3. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    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 🙂

  4. Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook

    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!)

  5. hailey

    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!

    1. Ari

      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!

  6. Baking Serendipity

    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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  8. Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese?

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

    1. Lauren

      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.

  9. Tracy

    5 stars
    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……

  10. kerry

    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.

  11. Crystal

    5 stars
    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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  14. Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

    5 stars
    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

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  16. Kati

    5 stars
    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!

  17. Krista

    5 stars
    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!

  18. Ryan - Spicy Richmond

    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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  20. Heather

    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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  22. Debbie

    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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  24. Aimee

    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.

  25. Jacqui Phillips

    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)

  26. Laura

    5 stars
    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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