Home Β» Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese {Mac & Cheese MANIA!} + Weekly Menu

Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese {Mac & Cheese MANIA!} + Weekly Menu

Buffalo Mac and Cheese 1

I could never be vegan. More power to those who have it in them, but life without cheese is not a life worth living. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but if my LDL-cholesterol is going up, it will be in the name of cheese!

mac-and-cheese-mania (2)

When Rachel and Brandy invited me to participate in Mac and Cheese Mania, there was no decision to be made. It was a recipe blog extravaganza made for me. Me and my cheese-loving soul.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese 2

Mac and Cheese Mania is being sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO.

Be sure to link up YOUR favorite mac and cheese recipes for a chance to win prices (chosen randomly). Please note you do NOT need to be a blogger to participate…just head on over to Nutmeg Nanny or Rachel Cooks to enter! (UPDATE: contest has ended)

Prizes up for grabs include Door to Door Organics Gift Cards, OXO Gift Baskets, Zak Designs Prize Pack, a year’s supply of Cabot cheese, a Vermont Creamery gift basket, a risotto kit from Marx Foods, Barilla pasta, Anolon Advanced Bronze 4.5 Qt. Tapered Stockpot, Rachael Ray Stoneware Casseroval, Wusthof CLASSIC Studio Block Set, Microplane Graters and Kitchen Tools, a SavorX Starter Block with spices and Le Cordon Bleu by Swissmar oven to table roasters. All giveaways open to US residents over the age of 18 only. 

Buffalo Mac and Cheese 3

And what is Mac and Cheese Mania without tons of tempting mac & cheese recipes?

Buffalo Cheddar Mac and Cheese by Eats Well With Others
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese with Gouda by Sarah’s Cucina Bella
Light Sweet Potato Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe by Cookin’ Canuck
Macaroni and Cheese Fritters by Amuse Your Bouche
Skinny Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole by A Zesty Bite
Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese by Cravings of a Lunatic
Pizza Mac and Cheese by Very Culinary
Crab Mac and Cheese by Dine & Dish
Butternut Mac and Cheese with Pretzel Crust by Healthy. Delicious.
Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crunchy Pita Chip Topping by The Law Student’s Wife
Potato Skin Mac and Cheese by Eat Your Heart Out
Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese by Pocket Change Gourmet
Bacon Mac and Cheese Egg Rolls by Miss in the Kitchen
Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese by Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Korean Mac & Cheese by Cooking with Books
Tomato and Leek Mac and Cheese by Susie Freaking Homemaker
Healthier Mac & Cheese with Chipotle Peppers by Go Gingham
Blue Cheese & Bacon Macaroni & Cheese by Gimme Some Oven
Poutine Mac and Cheese with Andouille Gravy by Climbing Grier Mountain
Double Smoked Chicken Mac and Cheese by Girl Carnivore
Creamy Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese with Peas and Bacon by Running to the Kitchen
Mushroom and Truffle Sea Salt White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese by Big Bear’s Wife
Creamy Cauliflower ‘n Cheese with Bacon by Barefeet in the Kitchen
Wisconsin Cheese, Brats, and Onion Macaroni and Cheese by a farmgirl’s dabbles
French Onion Mac & Cheese by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Healthier Macaroni and Cheese by Texanerin Baking
Jack Daniels Mac and Cheese by The Slow Roasted Italian
Homemade Elbow Noodle Tutorial + a Recipe for Roasted Veggie Mac by Bakeaholic Mama
Salsa Verde Mac-n-Cheese (two ways) by Eat2Gather
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Crispy Panko Topping by The Lemon Bowl

My contribution to Mac and Cheese Mania was this Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese…and it. was. faaaantastic.


Buffalo Mac and Cheese 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7
  • 2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (about 7.25 oz)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • ¾ cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • pinch dry mustard
  • 8 oz Cabot 50% less fat extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz part-skim (2%) Colby cheese, shredded
  • ⅔ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lb cooked chicken, shredded (I used rotisserie)
  • ¼ cup panko
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the celery and carrots, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat; cook 1-2 minutes. Add milk and half and half and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, stir in wing sauce, dry mustard, and shredded cheeses. Mix until cheese melts; remove from heat and stir in the yogurt, mixing well. Mix in cooked pasta and shredded chicken.
  3. Transfer pasta to the baking dish and top with panko. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: heaping 1½ cups Calories: 461 Fat: 18.9 Carbohydrates: 30.6 Sugar: 6.0 Sodium: 1,069 Fiber: 4.0 Protein: 40.9 Cholesterol: 94

 Weekly Menu: February 23rd – 27th

P.S. The winner of the Delicious Probiotics Giveaway is Cynthia! Check your email! 😀

Be well,


Share With Your Friends!


  1. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    February 24, 2014 / 6:48 am

    I really need to keep my eyes open for that Frank’s sauce here in the UK, it looks so tasty! Love this recipe!

  2. Regan @ Cabot
    February 24, 2014 / 7:02 am

    I’m with you… if I can’t have cheese, what’s the point πŸ™‚

  3. Jill
    February 24, 2014 / 8:36 am

    Oh, this sounds so good!! I’m adding it to my “must try” list. πŸ™‚

  4. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar
    February 24, 2014 / 10:06 am

    I am with you – a life without cheese is no life at all! And I seriously love buffalo stuff, so this mac and cheese is going on my must make list. Pinned!

  5. Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife}
    February 24, 2014 / 11:22 am

    I love that you lightened up this recipe. Sounds delicious! I am right there with you, never giving up cheese! πŸ™‚

  6. Tiff @ Love Sweat & Beers
    February 24, 2014 / 12:01 pm

    Mmmm, sounds wonderful! Frank’s is where it’s at. haha

  7. Sarah
    February 24, 2014 / 12:19 pm

    Ohhhh yum! I love love love buffalo sauce! I definitely need to try adding it to some cheesy delicious Mac!

  8. Samantha
    February 24, 2014 / 12:54 pm

    Gahhh this is a dangerous post. Mac and cheese is my weakness!!

  9. julia
    February 24, 2014 / 1:59 pm

    I just love cheese, especially mac & cheese! This looks delicious!

  10. Biz
    February 24, 2014 / 3:14 pm

    YOU HAD ME AT A YEARS SUPPLY OF CABOT CHEESE! And this is going on my lunch menu next week – love it! πŸ˜€

  11. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog
    February 24, 2014 / 3:25 pm

    Wow, this looks fantastic!

  12. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files
    February 24, 2014 / 4:59 pm

    I am beyond excited to have found your page! I am a food blogger that concentrates on health and has PCOS as well. I am excited to look through you blog and find some delicious yet healthy recipes to try! Plus anything with buffalo has my name written all over it!

  13. Hezzi-D
    February 24, 2014 / 5:16 pm

    This is one of our favorite meals and I love that you lightened it up!

  14. Rachel Cooks
    February 25, 2014 / 9:29 am

    This looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for contributing it to mac and cheese mania!!!

  15. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    February 25, 2014 / 1:11 pm

    Yum, love the spicy twist! Who doesn’t love buffalo chicken anything!

  16. Joanne
    February 25, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    I love how we both went the buffalo mac and cheese route but in totally different ways! Looks good!

  17. Kim Beaulieu
    February 26, 2014 / 6:19 pm

    I love buffalo chicken so I know this recipe would be a big hit at our house.

  18. Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    February 26, 2014 / 7:07 pm

    Looks so good Nicole!

  19. Nathan
    February 26, 2014 / 7:49 pm

    This recipe is going on my marathon training list. I will be sharing this post with my wife as well. We are both distance runners and anything pasta related has my attention. It looks yummy too:) Life without cheese is not a life worth living hahaha:) I love it. Thanks

    • Nicole, RD
      February 26, 2014 / 8:41 pm

      Haha, thanks Nathan! I think you and your wife would love this one πŸ™‚

  20. Nutmeg Nanny
    February 27, 2014 / 8:53 pm

    This looks beyond amazing! I’m such a fan of anything buffalo chicken. Thank you for helping us kick off this event! πŸ™‚

  21. Rachel B
    March 2, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    OMG. We made this tonight and it was amazing. Fantastic (as usual, since it was coming from you)! : ) All I have to say is thank you!!

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