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.


lightened up buffalo chicken mac and cheese | perfect for game day


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.


buffalo chicken mac and cheese


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.


lightened up buffalo chicken mac and cheese


  • 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!


lightened up buffalo chicken mac and cheese


football food from friends –

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