Let your slow cooker do all the work with this Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe. Just mix together the 5 ingredients right in the crock - easy prep and cleanup! This is a budget-friendly chicken recipe that’s hearty and delicious.
It’s the perfect comfort food for winter, or a great way to prepare a homemade casserole without heating up your whole kitchen in the summer. This buffalo chicken pasta recipe is packed with so much flavor and cheesy goodness, your family will eat it up and ask for more!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
I love easy recipes like this buffalo chicken pasta. It can be a lifesaver to combine just 5 ingredients in your slow cooker and let it cook throughout the day, and then at dinnertime all you have to do is serve!
Combining buffalo chicken and mac and cheese makes for a delicious and savory flavor pairing with a slight kick, and using pre-cooked chicken ensures that prep is fast and painless.
If you love mac and cheese, check out my recipe for the Best Homemade Mac and Cheese with a jalapeno artichoke twist!
If you are a fan of using buffalo sauce in recipes, you won't want to miss my recipe for Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- cooked shredded chicken - this is a great way to use leftover chicken, or you can buy a rotisserie chicken or precooked frozen chicken.
- buffalo sauce - takes the flavor of your mac and cheese to a new level.
- spiral pasta - I like to use spiral pasta for this crock pot mac n cheese, but a wide variety of pastas like it will be just as delicious.
- milk - cooking your pasta in milk ensures that the final result is thick and creamy.
- shredded cheese - colby jack works well for this recipe, but feel free to try other types of cheese as well!
- Add chicken, buffalo sauce, pasta, milk, and cheese into the crock pot.
- Mix well and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Taste and add more buffalo sauce if desired.
More than just hot sauce, buffalo sauce also typically has butter, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce for a creamy and tangy result.
I like to use cellantani pasta in the slow cooker because it holds it's shape really well and doesn't easily become mushy. Classic macaroni is always a good option too, but some other good choices are shells, bow ties, penne, and rotini.
Adding a protein like chicken is a great way to improve the dish's flavor, as well as make it more filling and hearty. Other great mix-ins for mac and cheese are bacon, peas, broccoli, or onions. You can also top with breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs for an extra layer of flavor.
If you find your pasta sticks together, it can be helpful to add some corn starch or even some evaporated milk to your cheese sauce to prevent the pasta from sticking.
💭 Expert Tips and Tricks
- Shredding chicken is easiest when it's warm, so if you're using refrigerated or frozen chicken it may be best to microwave it before shredding.
- If you don't have pre-cooked chicken, just pop a couple of chicken breasts in the oven at 350 degrees F for half an hour and shred.
- The amount of time to cook the pasta can vary by type, so keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get too soft.
You'll love this crock pot mac n cheese as a simple but filling weeknight dinner. Much like a buffalo chicken casserole, this is also a great recipe to bring to potlucks and parties!
📖 Substitutions and Variations
- Leftover turkey can also be used for this recipe.
- For extra flavor, serve with blue cheese crumbles, celery, and blue cheese or ranch dressing.
- Other types of cheese work great for this crock bot buffalo chicken mac and cheese! Try cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack, gouda, mozzarella, or a blend of your favorites.
🥫 Storage and Reheating
Store leftover crock pot buffalo chicken mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. To reheat, pop it in the microwave for about a minute, then continue to microwave in 30 seconds increments until heated through.
This buffalo chicken pasta also freezes well. Keep it in the freezer for 3 months or so, and when it comes time to reheat allow it to defrost in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) and then microwave as normal.
⏲️ Make Ahead Instructions
If you want to cook the chicken yourself, feel free to cook it a day or so ahead of time and shred it. That way you can just toss everything together when it comes time to prepare.
💡 What To Serve With This Dish
This crock pot buffalo chicken mac and cheese pairs well with almost any side dish, but here are some of my favorites!
🍲 More Slow Cooker Recipes You'll Love
- Crock Pot Barbeque Burgers - No need to fire up the grill, these easy burgers can be made right in your slow cooker!
- Jalapeno Artichoke Dip - This creamy dip cooks right in your crock pot for an easy appetizer.
- Creamy Crockpot Chicken with Cayenne - Another chicken dish that's great for a quick and filling weeknight meal.
- Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake - Use your slow cooker to make this decadent dessert from Culinary Hill!
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
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📋 Recipe Card
Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- 1 Slow cooker
- 1 pound cooked shredded chicken
- ¾ cup buffalo wing sauce
- 12 ounces spiral pasta
- 3 cups milk
- 4 cups shredded colby jack cheese
- Add the chicken, ½ cup of the buffalo sauce, pasta, milk, and shredded cheese to the crock pot. Reserve the remaining ¼ cup of buffalo sauce.1 pound cooked shredded chicken, ¾ cup buffalo wing sauce, 12 ounces spiral pasta, 3 cups milk, 4 cups shredded colby jack cheese
- Mix well, and cook on low for 2-3 hours until the pasta is tender but not mushy.
- Taste and add the remaining buffalo sauce to taste as needed.
- Use leftover chicken, or buy precooked rotisserie chicken, or precooked frozen chicken.
- It's easiest to shred chicken when it is warm, so heat up refrigerated or frozen chicken before shredding.
- If you don't have precooked or leftover chicken, place uncooked chicken in a baking dish and cook it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until done (the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F).
- You can substitute leftover turkey in this recipe as well.
- The amount of time to cook until the pasta is done can depend on the slow cooker and the type of pasta. I like to use cellantani pasta because it holds up well in the crock pot.
- Serve with blue cheese crumbles, blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or celery sticks on the side.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
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