Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

I have officially made the move back to CT and am now a resident of New Britain.  I have acquired some wonderful new roommates including Eric (the fiancé) as well as two of our really good friends, Pete and Henry.  I have known these guys since high school so I’m super excited to live with them!

This whole living with boys thing is pretty new to me as I grew up with 2 sisters.  So far, everyone’s first concern has been about cleanliness.  No worries, these are probably the 3 neatest boys I’ve ever known.  Now I have to make sure I am as tidy as them….

In the spirit of new beginnings, I made the apartment a “family dinner”.  And when I asked for requests, I got a very man-answer: Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.  Should have seen that coming.  Now, definitely not the healthiest, but this dinner was about fun.


Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 13.25 oz. box whole wheat pasta (shells, penne or rotini)
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 small bell peppers, red and yellow, seeded and diced
  • 8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup  light blue cheese dressing
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Buffalo Hot Wing Sauce
  • 3 cups shredded cheese, divided (cheddar, mozzarella or a blend)
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

I decided to make my own hot sauce and used about 1/2 cup of Franks Hot Sauce and a couple tablespoons of butter.  For the chicken, this is either a good opportunity to use up some leftover chicken, but I made some special.  I just cut up about a pound of chicken breast, drizzled the pieces with hot sauce and cooked them for about 10 minutes. 

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Boil the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  • Add the cooked chicken, chopped bell peppers,  and 2 1/4 cups of shredded cheese to the baking dish. Mix well.Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
  • Place the garlic, cream cheese, blue cheese dressing and 1/2 cup hot wing sauce in a food processor. Puree until smooth, taste and add another 1/4 cup hot wing sauce if needed. Pour over the pasta and toss.Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Collage
  • Mix the remaining 3/4 cup cheese and the Panko together. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta
  • Bake until golden, approximately 30-40 minutes.Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Collage 2Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Nutrition

Because I couldn’t help myself, I whipped up a salad to have on the side and dinner was served!  It turned out really good and was mildly spicy.  the boys were pleased and it was a nice way to celebrate our new roommate-ness.

The recipe makes plenty so it’s a good dish to make over the weekend and have lunch leftovers for the week.

Another aspect of sharing a kitchen with boys is that there was no need for me to buy a new bottle of hot sauce.  There were already 4 in the pantry.  I guess I’ll be using a lot more spice in my cooking!Hot Sauce

What other man-isms should I expect?

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