Mac and Cheese and Buffalo and Bacon and Bleu Cheese

Things change when you get married. You have a joint bank account. You have to share a bed with another human (and a 6' 6" human who sleeps diagonally across the bed in my case). You have someone else's laundry mixed in with your own. Something I didn't expect to change when we said our "I do's"? My tastebuds.

For years, I had despised spicy food. I would struggle through chips and salsa at restaurants and would refuse to eat any chicken wings above mild. Then came my handsome husband who adds Cholula and Sriracha to everything. Slowly, I found my own taste buds being able to handle foods with a little heat. Then buffalo sauce entered the scene. All these years I had missed out on buffalo wings and buffalo chicken pizza?! Not anymore. And tonight we added a new buffalo dish to the list: Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. Before it even went in the oven, Andy and I were licking the spoons, then spent the next 30 minutes drooling while watching the kitchen timer count down. Once we spooned it onto our plates and we finally were able to dig-in, we knew we had to share this creation with all the other buffalo lovers. Enjoy!

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 box whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded chicken, cooked
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/4cups milk (I used fat free)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used the fiesta blend of monterey jack, cheddar, and mozarella) 
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup light bleu cheese dressing
  • Bleu cheese crumbles
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and add back to the pot and set aside.
     
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 1/2tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/4 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.
     
  3. In a separate sauce pan, melt 1 1/2tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the milk, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Add in the cheeses and sour cream, whisking until smooth.
     
  4. Add your buffalo chicken mixture and cheese mixture to the pot of macaroni. Stir until thoroughly combined and then pour into a greased baking dish. Drizzle the bleu cheese dressing evenly and then place it in the oven to cook for 30 minutes.
     
  5. Pull out the dish and sprinkle the bacon and bleu cheese crumbles evenly. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.