healthy buffalo chicken gluten free dairy free

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

You are in for a special one today! This is THE RECIPE that made me really consider writing a food blog and putting myself out there in the world. This is the recipe that my fiance asks me to make almost every week, because he just can’t get enough of it. And with football season approaching, who else can’t get enough buffalo?

Wow, now that I’ve really built that up, let’s get down to business. This version of mac and cheese doesn’t even come close to resembling that boxed, orange stuff that you buy at the store. But it’s still creamy and cheesy, and it has a definite kick!

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The main thing different here from a regular mac and cheese is the SAUCE. I’ve swapped out all that heavy stuff like cream and cheese. You must be thinking, WHAT? But trust me here! Even my sister, a serious skeptic, really enjoyed this dish, and couldn’t believe that it doesn’t have much cheese at all.

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I make the sauce using steamed cauliflower chopped into pieces, or florets, and nonfat Greek yogurt. So instead of junk, you end up with vegetables, zero fat, and good protein. That’s a win! Season it up with your favorites, like garlic powder, seasoning salt, and oregano. I’m calling this lovely concoction Cauli-fredo.

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For the chicken, try making my Slow Cooker Roast Chicken ahead of time, and shredding the meat. Or you can pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local grocer! I use a whole grain pasta to up the fiber, and to add just a little more veggies, I add broccoli. YUM! Plus it adds a nice, bright color for contrast.

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Then, mix together the sauce, cooked pasta, chicken, and broccoli in a bowl, and spread it out in a baking dish. And finally, here comes the cheese! Sprinkle it over the top, and then drizzle with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Do you like it spicy? Add a ton, or even stir some in with the sauce! Add less if you like it more mild.

healthy buffalo chicken gluten free dairy free

And voila-a masterpiece! Let me know what you think! Because in our house, this one is to die for.

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Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

healthy buffalo chicken gluten free dairy free

This hearty mac & cheese gets taken up a notch with some buffalo wing sauce! And it’s made with “cauli-fredo” to lighten the calories and fat content. WINNING.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Dinner

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry whole grain elbow noodles *
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt **
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 cups shredded chicken breast
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese **
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large pot, boil water for pasta. Cook macaroni according to package directions, leaving it al dente (under-cooked by about 2-3 minutes so it’s still chewy). Drain and add to a large bowl.
  2. Steam cauliflower until tender, reserving steaming water. Add cauliflower to a blender along with yogurt, garlic, seasoning salt, and oregano. Puree until smooth, adding the steaming water as needed to thin out the sauce.
  3. Add sauce to the bowl along with the broccoli and shredded chicken. Mix well, then spread out in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and drizzle with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Bake for about 30 minutes, uncovered, until cheese is melted. Serve with additional hot sauce, if desired.

Notes

*To make this dish gluten-free, use brown rice pasta or another gluten-free alternative

**To make this dish dairy-free, use vegan yogurt and cheese.

I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I do! Comments, questions, concerns? Leave them in the comments below or contact directly at me@samanthaelaine.net.

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