One of my favorite ways to warm up and fill up on a chilly fall day is to kick back with a bowl of mac and cheese. Something about it just reminds me of childhood… or possibly no-brainer college dorm food.
Either way, sometime last year, I decided to change up the old routine and add a little spice to the old mac and cheese combo. I’m a huge fan of anything buffalo chicken (wraps, salads, what have you), so the marriage of the two seemed obvious. How had I not thought of this before?!
It makes for an quick and easy weeknight dinner, side, or even a decent game-day dish (go Broncos!)
I’ll be perfectly honest with you… it’s not often that I have the time or will-power to make things from scratch, so the original recipe started with “the blue box.” But after doing a bit of research, I found a way to make your mac and cheese from scratch, and possibly just as quick as stirring in that sketchy powdered cheese mix.
I found this mac & cheese recipe on a website called picky-palate.com, which has great tips for family style recipes, specifically geared toward picky eaters. I am anything but picky when it comes to food, but the recipe was too great to pass up.
Here’s what you’ll need: (Makes 4 servings)
- ½ pound cooked pasta of your choosing. I typically go with elbows. Shells are a great option as well, but feel free to get creative.
- 2 cups shredded cheese. Also a chance to personalize the dish. I like a colby-jack mix.
- 1 cup milk. I’m a fan of 2%, but picky-palette’s recipe calls for whole.
- Salt & pepper
- 2 Chicken breasts
- Frank’s Red Hot sauce
That’s it. Seriously. I kid you not.
And here’s how easy it is…
1. Cook pasta until it’s al dente (firm but not hard). About 8 minutes should do it.
2. Meanwhile, get your chicken cooking. Heat cooking oil in a skillet on the stovetop. Season chicken lightly with salt & pepper. Cook whole chicken breasts about 2-3 minutes on each side.
3. Take chicken off skillet, slice in small pieces.
4. Heat Red Hot sauce in same skillet for less than a minute. Put cut chicken back in skillet and add Red Hot as desired. Toss in sauce until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
5. Take pasta off stove. Strain, but do not rinse.
6. Place pasta, cheese, milk, salt & pepper in microwave safe bowl. Stir to mix.
7. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and microwave for three minutes.
8. Stir and microwave for another two minutes.
9. Add in buffalo chicken, stir. Here, you can add additional Red Hot if desired.
10. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
I hope my method works for you!
Feel free to send us your recipe ideas as well. Just head over to our facebook page, 11 News Live Today: The Morning Show. You can add photos and tips there, and we'll share some on the air this Friday, September 28th on KKCO 11 News Today.