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posted February 02, 2022

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

If you’re a fan of Buffalo sauce, you’ll be sure to love this amazing Buffalo chicken mac and cheese. This mac and cheese is made with Buffalo-sauced infused cheese and then topped with Buffalo sauce-coated chicken for the ultimate meal.

Close up of buffalo chicken on top of mac and cheese with text overlay - Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese

Want to eat something that makes you smile? And I mean, a meal that will truly have you grinning from ear to ear? This smoked Buffalo mac and cheese should do the trick!

I honestly can’t think of anything that makes me smile more than a big, smoky pan of this mac. It has everything a person could ever ask for in food. Creamy mac and cheese, crunchy Panko breadcrumb topping, and a spicy tower of smoked chicken come together for a mac and cheese that screams BBQ. Each bite is better than the last.

Macaroni noodles being stirred into a cast iron skillet full of cheese sauce.

Smoked Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

As always, with everything we do over here at Hey Grill Hey, we like to add ALL THE FLAVOR to our dishes. This Buffalo mac and cheese is a cut above the rest as both the chicken and the skillet of mac and cheese are both cooked on the smoker.

That final addition of smoky flavor finishes off this macaroni dish and gives it that extra somthin’ somethin’ that other Buffalo mac and cheese recipes can’t compete with. And have I mentioned how much I love cooking everything in one place? The chicken cooks right alongside the macaroni and cheese so you save time and energy!

Chicken on grill grates.

How to Make Buffalo Mac and Cheese

Have I whetted your appetite yet? Let’s get into this insane mac and cheese!

  1. Make the mac. Cook the macaroni noodles in boiling water until they are al dente (still have chew and texture). Make the Buffalo mac and cheese sauce in a 12-inch cast iron skillet (full instructions in the recipe card below!), and add in the noodles.
  2. Add some crunch. Combine melted butter, Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub, and panko bread crumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the mac.
  3. Smoke the chicken and mac. Season the chicken with Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub (or equal parts salt and pepper if you don’t have any Beef Rub on hand). With your smoker preheated to 225 degrees F, place the chicken and the skillet of mac and cheese on the grill grates and smoke for 1 hour or until the chicken reaches 160 degrees F.
  4. Assemble. Remove the chicken from the grill (but leave the mac and cheese on the grates). Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss in a large bowl with Buffalo wing sauce and 1 Tablespoon of melted butter. Next, remove the mac and cheese from the smoker and top with the chicken. Dig in!

Quick note: You can make your own sweet rub using my recipe for Best Sweet Rub or purchase it pre-made. Both work perfectly for this recipe.

Buffalo chicken being poured over a cast iron skillet full of buffalo mac and cheese.

Tips for Making Buffalo Mac and Cheese

Here are some tips for making this Buffalo mac and cheese.

  • Use leftover chicken. The recipe includes steps for smoking the chicken alongside the Mac and cheese, but this works equally well with leftover chicken if you’ve got some on hand.
  • Go all out with the Buffalo sauce. Want some extra spice in this mac? Drizzle extra Buffalo sauce over the top before you serve.
  • Need to reheat? This recipe makes a LOT of Mac and cheese. If you find yourself with leftovers, my favorite way to reheat is to cover with foil and bake at 250 for an hour. Then remove the foil and turn the oven to broil for just a few minutes to crisp that topping back up!

Any tips you found helpful after making this mac and cheese? Let me know in the comments below!

Buffalo chicken over mac and cheese topped with panko breadcrumbs.

More Mac and Cheese Recipes

It’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of mac and cheese. I wouldn’t say obsessed, but it’s pretty close. I’ll put just about anything in my mac, so check out a few of my favorite recipes below.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese Recipe

Now that you have all the tools and ingredients at your disposal, it’s time to make some epic Buffalo chicken mac and cheese. Check out the printable recipe below for the full steps.

I love connecting with you! If you’re all about BBQ, be sure to follow Hey Grill Hey on social media @heygrillhey or tag any of your awesome cooks from these recipes with the hashtag #heygrillhey!

Close up of buffalo chicken on top of mac and cheese.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Susie Bulloch
If you're a fan of Buffalo sauce, you'll be sure to love this amazing Buffalo chicken mac and cheese. This mac and cheese is made with Buffalo-sauced infused cheese and then topped with Buffalo sauce-coated chicken for the ultimate meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time : 25 mins
Cook Time : 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time : 1 hr 40 mins
Servings : 12 people
Calories : 658kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

Buffalo Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Teaspoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub (or equal parts salt and pepper)
  • ¼ cup Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Mac and Cheese

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni noodles (cooked according to package instructions)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard powder
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups gouda cheese
  • ¼ cup Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Hot Sauce

Bread Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub
  • ¼ cup Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Hot Sauce (for drizzling)

Instructions

  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.
  • Cook the noodles. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook macaroni noodles until they are al dente, meaning they still have a bit of chew and texture (not too soft).
  • Make the roux. Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt 1/2 cup of butter and whisk in the flour until a smooth, thin paste forms. Then whisk in the mustard powder.
  • Add the cheese. Carefully pour in the half and half and bring up to a boil while whisking. Reduce the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the cheddar cheese and gouda cheese and stir until melted. Stir in ¼ cup of Frank's Buffalo Wing sauce.
  • Add noodles. Turn off the heat and pour in the cooked macaroni noodles. Stir gently until the noodles are coated by the cheese sauce.
  • Make the crumbs. Combine the melted butter, sweet rub, and panko bread crumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the mac and cheese.
  • Smoke the chicken. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with the Beef Rub, or salt and pepper. Place the chicken thighs on the grill grates. Also set the skillet of mac and cheese on the smoker. Close the lid and smoke for 1 hour, until the chicken thighs read 160 degrees F.
  • Chop chicken. Remove the chicken from the grill (leave the Mac and cheese). Chop the chicken into cubes and toss with ¼ cup of Frank's Buffalo wing sauce and 1 Tablespoon of butter.
  • Assemble. Remove the mac and cheese from the smoker and top with the chopped and sauced smoked Buffalo chicken pieces. As you serve, get a perfect mix of chicken, crunchy topping, and creamy mac and cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 1072mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1248IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 524mg | Iron: 2mg
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