Sunday, October 11, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

So, I really hope it doesn't bother anyone that the main ingredient in this mac & cheese is, in fact, packaged mac & cheese. I've mentioned before that my goal is for my recipes to be easy, fast, and low-calorie - and I've also mentioned that I'm not a chef - so right now, I'm not in a position to create mac & cheese from scratch. Maybe someday, but for now, packaged mac & cheese it is.

But don't worry, it is GOOD.

I love Pirate's Booty white cheddar popcorn, and when I found out they made mac & cheese I knew I had to try it. The aged white cheddar shells are my favorite, and the white cheddar works really well with the hot sauce in this recipe.

I used poached chicken for this recipe because it's easy to shred. While you're boiling the water for the mac & cheese, put some water in a shallow pan. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and add it to the pan.

While you're preparing the mac & cheese (according to package instructions), flip the chicken every couple of minutes. Let it boil and cook until it's completely cooked through - you'll know it's done when you cut into the middle and it's not pink.

Once the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred it, then set it aside. Finish preparing the mac & cheese - once the pasta is cooked, you need to drain it, return it to the pan, and then add the butter, milk, and packaged cheese sauce. Stir to combine, and then add the shredded chicken to the pot and stir.

Add the ranch dressing and hot sauce and stir to combine. If you like things really spicy, add 2 tablespoons of hot sauce. If not, only add one. I've made this twice so far, and my husband and I both prefer it with one tablespoon, not 2.

Finally, add the breadcrumbs. I like to pour half the breadcrumbs (1/8 cup) right into the pot and stir it. Then, I divide the mac & cheese into two bowls and sprinkle the remaining 1/8 cup of breadcrumbs over the top.

And that's it! You're done! Perfect weeknight meal for two (or one, and then you have leftovers for lunch).

Until next time!


  • 1 box Pirate's Booty Shells & Cheese Aged White Cheddar, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1/4 cup milk (for mac & cheese)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter (for mac & cheese)
  • One 4-5 oz chicken breast
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder, for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp fat free ranch dressing
  • 1-2 tbsp Frank's Red Hot sauce (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

Serving size: 1/2 recipe
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 12


  1. Prepare the mac & cheese according to package instructions. You'll need the milk and butter for this.
  2. While the water is boiling, season the chicken. Add some water (about 1") to a shallow pan and bring to a boil. Place the chicken in the water. Flip every 1-2 minutes until the chicken is cooked completely - you can check this by cutting into the center of the chicken and making sure it's not pink.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate or cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Add the shredded chicken to the finished mac & cheese and stir to combine.
  4. Add the ranch dressing and hot sauce to the pot and stir to combine.
  5. Add half of the breadcrumbs to the pan and stir. Distribute the mac & cheese into two bowls and sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs over the top. Enjoy!