Buffalo chicken mac and cheese gets a healthy makeover. The combination of cheesy, gooey, and crispy textures makes this a winning dish.
Whenever I have a mac and cheese craving, I go to S’MAC and indulge in their mac and cheese. James’ choice is always the cheeseburger mac and mine is always the buffalo chicken. Even if I considered trying something else on the menu, I’d still pick buffalo chicken at the very last minute…every single time! I’m all for indulging occasionally when it comes to food, but if you saw the amount of butter on the bottom of the cast iron skillet they’re served in, you’d probably cringe a little and feel the need to run three miles afterwards.
This recipe is my take on buffalo mac and cheese with a healthy twist. This dish is creamy, gooey, spicy, and crispy (I added panko topping for good measure, just like S’MAC does)! But guess what? There’s no butter or cream involved!
I keep this recipe as light as possible by completely omitting the flour-butter thickener and allowing the starches in the pasta cooking water to help thicken the sauce. I actually like this method better because the sauce doesn’t taste grainy the way homemade mac and cheese sometimes does. I also opted for low-fat milk, Louisiana hot sauce (instead of buffalo sauce, which is essentially a mixture of hot sauce and melted butter), and Parmesan cheese to help bring out the cheesy flavors.
Even without butter and cream, this mac and cheese is everything you would want it to be – satisfying, comforting, and absolutely addicting!