Do I really even need to write an introduction for a post about buffalo chicken mac & cheese casserole? You're right, I didn't think so...
BUFFALO CHICKEN MAC & CHEESE CASSEROLE (serves 6-8)
1 stick unsalted butter
8 slices white bread (cubed into small pieces)
5 c low-fat milk
1/2 c flour
3 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t garlic powder
5 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 c shredded jack cheese
1 lb cooked pasta (i bought medium shells)
1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3/4 c frank's red hot sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 3 qt casserole dish. In a large saucepan, melt 6 T butter and whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk until the mixture turns golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Slowly add milk to the mixture, continuing to whisk to break up clumps. Continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the seasonings, then gradually add 4 cups of the cheddar cheese and 1.5 cups of the jack cheese. Continue to stir until all cheese is melted.
In a medium bowl, combine chicken, hot sauce, and onions. To build the casserole, layer the ingredients twice: noodles, then cheese sauce, buffalo chicken, then remaining cheddar cheese. Melt 2 T butter and combine with bread cubes, then spread them across the top of the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or until top begins to brown and cheese begins to bubble.