lightened up buffalo chicken mac and cheese
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let’s talk mac and cheese,
or better yet, buffalo chicken mac and cheese,
and even better still lightened up buffalo chicken mac and cheese.
Being the Buffalo girl that I am, I could not let Superbowl Week go by without a buffalo chicken recipe, even though there are approximately 13,624,589 floating around the web this week.
No joke, buffalo style anything is all you see, but this is a recipe that I have been tweaking for months and months, and now that I finally got it exactly how I want it, I figured I’d be nice and share.
A few notes before we get to the recipe –
most light mac and cheese dishes use reduced fat cheese, personally I’d rather NOT
I used extra sharp cheddar and blue cheese; because they both have such strong flavors, a little goes a long way, but if you feel the need, go ahead and use reduced fat cheese, but really please don’t
Also, I used ground chicken breast because I think it’s easier, but you could substitute diced or shredded chicken.
If you like your buffalo chicken with more of a kick, and I certainly do, up the amount of hot sauce, but with feeding kids I keep it a bit more tame and just pass the Franks at the table for those who need it.
- 1 lb penne, or other small shaped pasta, cooked according to package
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground chicken breast
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 Franks hot sauce
- 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1/3 whole wheat panko
- 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- while your pasta is cooking, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- spray a large skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high
- add the garlic, and saute 30 seconds
- add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink
- remove the chicken, and set aside
- reduce the heat to medium, and melt the butter in the skillet
- stir in the flour, cook until the butter has been completely absorbed (about 1 minute)
- slowly whisk in the stock and milk
- simmer, whisking frequently until the mixture has thickened, bout 4 - 5 minutes
- remove from the heat, and stir in the hot sauce and cheddar cheese (stir until smooth and the cheese has completely melted)
- add the chicken and sauce to the pasta,toss to combine, and pour into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray
- top the pasta with the panko bread crumbs and the blue cheese crumbles
- bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and the sides are bubbling
- cool 5 minutes before serving
If you like buffalo wings as much as I do, this pasta is for you.
Pass the celery and blue cheese please!
football food from friends –
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