Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

By Rena |

This Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is the perfect comforting meal you can make your family for dinner! A one-pot meal that’s tangy, creamy, easy to make, and full of protein and flavor.

chicken mac and cheese with wooden spoon in skillet

Make the healthy mac and cheese recipe for your family in just 30 minutes! Made with healthier ingredients, chicken breast, whole-wheat pasta, and milk buffalo sauce! Want to keep this mac and cheese just for adults and a bit on the spicy side? Use spicy buffalo sauce and add some fresh jalapeños. This buffalo chicken mac and cheese is a total winner and the perfect weeknight meal to serve your family. Full of flavor and loaded with protein.

Why this mac and cheese is perfect for you

  • Complete meal: no need to figure out what protein to make on the side or what sides to make for this mac and cheese dish. A one-pot meal that has chicken bites for your serving of protein!
  • Easy: this dish is easy to make, all in one-pot and less mess to clean up. Ready in just about 30 minutes.
  • Delicious: chicken in every bite, creamy smooth, with a tangy flavor. It is so tasty!
top view of mac and cheese in pan

Ingredients you will need

Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
Herbs: onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, kosher salt, and ground pepper
Olive oil
Chicken broth
Milk of choice
Whole-wheat elbow noodles
Mild buffalo sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese, divided
a small handful of fresh curly parsley, chopped to garnish

ingredients for buffalo mac and cheese

How to make this buffalo mac and cheese

  • Prepare the chicken: Cut the chicken into small cubes. Place the chicken cubes, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
  • Cook the chicken: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and cook until nicely golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, then pour in the broth and milk. Allow it to simmer until liquid starts to bubble.
  • Add other ingredients and cook: When the mixture starts to bubble, add the noodles. Once again let it simmer until noodles are tender for about 10-12 minutes. When noodles are tender, stir in the buffalo sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Stir well until sauce is thick, creamy, and cheesy.
  • Serve mac and cheese: Divide the mac and cheese among your serving bowls. Top with remaining cheese while still piping hot, and serve immediately.
  • If you want the dish to be fancier, transfer the mac and cheese to a large baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and broil until the top is golden brown. Garnish with fresh curly parsley, if desired, and enjoy.

FAQ’s and tips

  • chicken: use any protein of choice, Chicken works best in terms of flavor and you may use the meat of chicken thighs.
  • Pasta: any pasta you have on hand that fits your dietary needs. There are healthier pasta choices like chickpea and lentil pasta 
  • Buffalo sauce: go with a healthier buffalo sauce with no added sugar.
  • Broth: we used chicken broth to bring out the flavor but you can use vegetable broth or water
  • Milk: any milk of choice will work. We used 2%
  • Add more veggies: a great option would be to add some cooked broccoli florets into the mix to get those veggies for the little ones.
top view close up of mac and cheese skillet

What is buffalo mac and cheese

Buffalo mac and cheese is a twist to the traditional stove-top mac and cheese by adding buffalo sauce for a spicy and tangy flavor. A one-pot meal made with pasta, milk, cheese, optional chicken bites, and buffalo sauce.

Can you freeze mac and cheese

You can absolutely freeze mac and cheese. If you are planning on freezing the whole dish, allow it to cool completely, tightly wrap it to prevent freezer burns, and freeze for up to 3 months. Mach and cheese like other pasta dishes freeze well. Another great way to freeze mac and cheese is to store them into single-serving containers, tightly close, and freeze.

How to reheat mac and cheese

  • Oven: Preheat oven to 350 F. If the frozen mac and cheese isn’t in an oven-safe dish already, place it in a glass dish or casserole dish and place in the oven for 30-45 minutes until mac and cheese is heated through
  • Microwave: Place frozen mac and cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat for 3-4 minutes until mac and cheese are thawed and heated through.
  • Stovetop: On your stovetop over low heat, place mac and cheese in a pan and cover. Let it heat up for 10-14 minutes until the mac and cheese start to thaw. Then bump the heat up to medium and let it heat up for another 5-10 minutes. Then serve.

How to defrost frozen mac and cheese

A good way to defrost mac and cheese is to place it in the fridge the night before and allow it to thaw overnight. If you do forget to remove it from the freezer overnight, don’t fret. You can still defrost and reheat the mac and cheese following the “how to reheat mac and cheese” options above.

top view chicken mac and cheese in skillet with wooden spoon

Other chicken dishes you can try

side view of mac and cheese in a skillet

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chicken mac and cheese in skillet

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

creamy delicious and cheesy mac and cheese made with whole wheat pasta, seasoned chicken bites and tossed in with a buffalo sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1-1/2 cup whole wheat elbow noodles
  • 1/4 cup mild buffalo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • Optional: a small handful of fresh curly parsley chopped to garnish

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into small cubes. Place the chicken cubes, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper into amixing bowl.
  • Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the chicken pieces are evenly coated. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and cook until nicely golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low, then pour in the broth and milk. Allow it to simmer until liquid starts to bubble.
  • When the mixture starts to bubble, add the noodles. Once again let it simmer until noodles are tender for about 10-12 minutes.
  • When noodles are tender, stir in the buffalo sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Stir well until sauce is thick, creamy, and cheesy. Divide the mac and cheese among your serving bowls.
  • Top with remaining cheese while still piping hot, and serve immediately. If you want the dish to be fancier, transfer the mac and cheese to a large baking dish.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and broil until the top is golden brown. Garnish with fresh curly parsley, if desired, and enjoy!

Notes

Substitutes:
  • chicken: use any protein of choice, Chicken works best in terms of flavor and you may use the meat of chicken thighs.
  • Pasta: any pasta you have on hand that fits your dietary needs. There are healthier pasta choices like chickpea and lentil pasta 
  • Buffalo sauce: go with a healthier buffalo sauce with no added sugar.
  • Broth: we used chicken broth to bring out the flavor but you can use vegetable broth or water
  • Milk: any milk of choice will work. We used 2%
Storage:
Place leftovers in a container and store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave when ready to eat. You can freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutritional facts:
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 901mg | Potassium: 375mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 1mg
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