Creamy, spicy, and oh so cheesy, this Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese is my kind of comfort food!
During my elementary school years I probably ate my weight in macaroni and cheese.
It was my favorite, favorite, fav-or-ite meal (or snack or dessert or second breakfast…it really didn’t matter, I could eat macaroni any time of the day or night)
I swear that powder is magic. Or laced with crack. Or maybe both.
Unfortunately, that powder is also laced with things I can hardly pronounce. Like sodium tripolyphosphate. Sounds delicious, right?
Mmmm…not so much.
In an effort to save ourselves from ingredients containing more than 3 syllables, the Mr. and I have been slowly cutting processed food out of our diets and replacing them with foods made in our own kitchen from scratch. It’s been hard at times, but for the most part it’s been an incredibly rewarding (and delicious) transition.
Still, we just couldn’t quite kick the blue box habit.
Then Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese entered our world.
Oh. My. Gosh. Ohmagosh.
This is real macaroni and cheese. Thick hearty noodles slathered in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Emphasis on the cheese part! Cream cheese, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese. In other words, a-MA-zing!
And the wing sauce? It adds the perfect amount of heat without detracting from the classic macaroni and cheese flavor.
I almost cut this recipe in half since I knew I was only cooking for the Mr. and I, but I decided to toss the whole box of pasta in at the last minute.
Best impulsive decision ever. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to take leftovers to work. It’s just that good.
Say goodbye to the blue box. You won’t need it any more.
Creamy Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Yield: 8 servings
Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective
16 ounces shell pasta
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded or cubed (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
2 small bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup good quality blue cheese dressing (I used Marzetti’s Chunky Blue Cheese)
1/2-3/4 cup Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce
3 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used 2 cups mozzarella and 1 cup cheddar)
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions (Lean towards the less done side since this will also spend some time in the oven). Drain and place in a 9 x 13 in pan.
3. Add chicken, peppers, 1/2 of the green onions, and 2 cups cheese to the pasta and stir.
4. In a blender, combine garlic cloves, cream cheese, blue cheese dressing, and hot sauce. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste. If desired, add additional hot sauce. Pour sauce mixture into pan and stir until shells are well coated.
5. Mix together breadcrumbs and cheese and sprinkle over top of pasta. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Top with remaining green onions then serve immediately.