My Debut Cookbook 'Comfy' Is Out Now. ORDER HERE!
Cheese/ Chicken/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta/ Spice

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

September 21, 2023 (Last Updated: September 22, 2023) by Chris Collins

This Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is rich, spicy, ultra cheesy and packed to the brim with flavour!

I hope you’re hungry, because this one is aggressively delicious! Follow me…

close up shot of buffalo chicken mac and cheese fresh out the oven

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Aka one of the many reasons I’ll never own a six pack. This is not only one of my favourite ways to use buffalo sauce, but it’s also one of my favourite mac and cheese recipes. Here’s why I think you’ll love it too:

  • It’s absolutely bursting with flavour! This mac and cheese is built up with layers of flavours that all marry together perfectly.
  • It’s incredibly easy to make.
  • The perfect way to use up leftover chicken.
Whilst it’s easiest to use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe, you can totally fry up two chicken breasts and dice them up if that’s all you have!

close up shot of serving spoon digging in to baked buffalo chicken mac and cheese fresh out the oven

Making Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

The mac and cheese itself is actually incredibly easy to make. Besides your pantry staples such as butter, flour, milk and pasta, here’s the key ingredients:

  • Cheese – I like to use a combination of cheddar and mozzarella in the sauce.
  • Sour Cream – This offers a gorgeous creaminess to the sauce and pairs perfectly with the buffalo sauce.
  • Buffalo Sauce – I use a whole bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce!
  • Seasoning – Take the flavour up a notch with some smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper.
  • Chicken – Leftover rotisserie chicken works great.

Sauce consistency

It’ll be pretty thick and stringy once you add the mozzarella. But the pasta (alongside the excess water it brings with it) will smooth it out a little. Then the buffalo sauce smooths it out a little more.

Where can I find Buffalo Sauce?

You’ll find it in a lot of supermarkets, just make sure it’s not hot sauce (much hotter!).

Process shots: stir flour and butter (photo 1), whisk in milk then add sour cream and seasoning (photo 2), stir and simmer (photo 3), stir in cheese (photo 4), stir in pasta (photo 5), stir in buffalo sauce and chicken (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make buffalo chicken mac and cheese

Top Tip – Ensure your milk is at room temp and make sure you add it gradually, whisking as you go. Both of these thing will help smooth out any lumps. You also want to make sure the sauce is thick BEFORE you add the cheese, don’t use the cheese to thicken the sauce.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

I love baking the mac and cheese until golden and bubbly! I add some Red Leicester on top beforehand (although you can use more cheddar) then bake it until it’s hot & bubbly. I then like to flick on the grill to crisp up the top a little.

Al dente pasta

The pasta will carry on cooking slightly in the oven, so make sure you it’s still a teeny bit hard when you boil it, otherwise it’ll bloat and be too soft!

Process shots: add mac and cheese to baking dish (photo 1), add cheese (photo 2), bake then grill (photo 3), add toppings (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make baked buffalo chicken mac and cheese

Serving Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Totally optional, but I like to take things up a few notches with some toppings once the mac and cheese is fresh out the oven:

  • Chives – fresh and finely diced.
  • Bacon – cooked until crisp then diced.
  • Blue cheese sauce – or you could use ranch! Only a small drizzle in both cases.
  • Buffalo sauce – or some hot sauce. Again, just a small amount.

I’ve typed those out in order of recommendation (chives most recommended and more buffalo sauce less essential).

Alrighty, let’s tuck into this buffalo mac and cheese recipe shall we?!

spicy buffalo chicken mac and cheese in large white bowl with silver fork

How to make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of serving spoon digging in to baked buffalo chicken mac and cheese fresh out the oven

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

This Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is rich, spicy, ultra cheesy and packed to the brim with flavour!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories per serving: 917kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $4

Equipment:

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Cheese Grater
  • Jug (for milk)
  • Large Pot & Whisk (for sauce)
  • Large Pot & Colander (for pasta)
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Large Baking Dish & Serving Spoon
  • Serving Spoon

Ingredients (check list):

  • 75g / 2.6oz Unsalted Butter
  • 75g / 2.6oz Plain Flour
  • 720ml / 3 cups Whole Milk, at room temp
  • 1x 150g/5.3oz tub of Sour Cream, at room temp
  • 1 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper, or to taste
  • 250g / 2 1/2 cups freshly grated Cheddar
  • 100g / 1 cup freshly grated/shredded Mozzarella
  • 400g / 14oz Spirali Pasta (or regular macaroni)
  • 250g / 9oz Cooked Chicken, cubed
  • 1x 148ml/5.3oz bottle of Frank's Buffalo Sauce (see notes)
  • 100g / 1 cup freshly grated Red Leicester Cheese, or more cheddar

Topping (see notes)

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. You want it still a tiny bit hard or it'll bloat and soften in the oven.
  • Melt the butter in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux, then gradually begin adding in the milk, whisking as you go to prevent lumps forming.
  • Stir in the sour cream and seasoning, then bring to a gentle simmer. Allow to bubble away for a minute, then turn off the heat.
  • Firmly stir in the mozzarella and cheddar until they both melt. It will be very thick at this point and some of the strands of mozzarella may not have completely melted, but that's fine.
  • Drain the pasta and stir it through the sauce (it will loosen up a bit now). Add the chicken and buffalo sauce and give it all a really good stir until well-combined.
  • Pour into a large baking dish then top with Red Leicester and bake in the oven for 15 mins until golden and bubbly. I then like to immediately switch on the grill and place it on the highest rack for a few mins, just to crisp up the cheese a little.
  • Serve with the suggested toppings or serve individual portions with your preferred toppings. Tuck in and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Buffalo Sauce - Another reminder to check it's the buffalo red hot wings sauce. Regular hot sauce is much spicier! I like to add this right at the end to prevent it curdling the milk. Because it's so vinegary, if you added it straight to milk it would likely turn grainy. Because we're using whole milk and you've incorporated the butter and flour, you should be fine if you add it at the started, but just to be safe I stir it through at the end.
b) Cheese - Make sure it's freshly grated from a block. The pre-grated stuff will likely turn the sauce grainy. 
c) Consistency - As mentioned in the method, it'll be pretty thick and stringy once you add the mozzarella. But the pasta (alongside the excess water it brings with it) will smooth it out a little. Then the buffalo sauce smooths it out a little more. Once out the oven it ends up perfectly gooey/saucy! Just make sure you don't over-bake it otherwise the sauce dries up.
d) Toppings - These are optional, but I usually do add them. In order of important I'd say chives -> bacon -> blue cheese sauce -> hot/buffalo sauce. Just follow your tastebuds!
e) Al Dente Pasta - Very important to ensure the pasta is only just cooked, otherwise it'll come out soft and broken once baked. 
f) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 6 with no toppings.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 917 Calories from Fat 456
% Daily Value*
Fat 50.69g78%
Saturated Fat 29.138g146%
Trans Fat 1.123g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.44g
Monounsaturated Fat 12.465g
Cholesterol 152mg51%
Sodium 880mg37%
Potassium 570mg16%
Carbohydrates 69.04g23%
Fiber 2.9g12%
Sugar 10.1g11%
Protein 45.09g90%
Vitamin A 1904IU38%
Vitamin C 1.2mg1%
Calcium 672mg67%
Iron 2.71mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

Got leftovers? Check out my Mini Leftover Mac and Cheese Quesadillas!

6 quesadillas stacked on each other on wooden block

Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?

Buffalo Recipes

Unique Mac and Cheese Recipes


 

DINNERS

YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING

A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER

5 KNOCKOUT

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  • Reply
    Sidney K
    February 26, 2024 at 9:27 pm

    Hi, I need to find a recipe for my culinary class and this one looked great! Do you know the serving size for one portion? I need to include it in my assignment. 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 27, 2024 at 10:18 am

      Hey Sidney! If you usee the servings scale at the top of the recipe card it will automatically change the quantities for you 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Josie
    December 1, 2023 at 12:28 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night, such a feel good dinner! I made quite a big batch, I’m just wondering can I freeze the left overs?

    P.s My Boyfriend bought me your Comfy cook book and absolutely love it!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      December 2, 2023 at 4:09 pm

      Hey Josie! So pleased it went down well and great to hear Comfy found it’s way to you! You can safely freeze, then thaw in the fridge and reheat until piping hot. Just be aware the texture won’t be that great upon reheating, but will still be tasty. C.

  • Reply
    Lorna
    September 23, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    5 stars
    Looks yummy..(as usual..)
    Chris, I don’t have Frank’s hot sauce, but I do have Sriracha in the cupboard.. Would it be ok to use that?
    Have a great weekend…. Lorna..

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 24, 2023 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Lorna! I’d definitely use Frank’s buffalo sauce for this. Frank’s hot sauce, or any other hot sauce for that matter (i.e. sriracha) are much spicier! I’ve added a little note on the sauce in the recipe card. Hope you had a lovely weekend! C.

  • Reply
    Tawnie Kroll
    November 4, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    5 stars
    Literally a mouth watering recipe – thank you so much!! New family favorite!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Tawnie! 🙂

  • Reply
    Alisa Infanti
    November 4, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I always struggle to find a good mac and cheese recipe and can’t wait to try this version. You had me at Buffalo anything!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

      Buffalo all the way!

  • Reply
    Aimee Mars
    November 4, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    5 stars
    Chris, you literally make the BEST comfort foods! Buffalo chicken mac and cheese is absolutely next level and it sounds perfect for game day too. I can’t wait to make it.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

      Ahh thank you so much, Aimee!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 4, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    5 stars
    Now we’re talking. A perfect combination of two of the all-time best comfort foods!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 5, 2019 at 10:25 am

      You’re not wrong! 🙂

  • Reply
    Irina
    November 4, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    5 stars
    What a great recipe of this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese! It is a keeper to make for busy weeknight dinners! LOVE IT!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 5, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Thanks, Irina! 🙂

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER