Creative Mac n’ Cheese {20SB Contest}

Creative Mac n’ Cheese {20SB Contest}

I’m participating in another round of the 20 Something Bloggers cooking competition!  This round’s theme is Most Creative Mac n’ Cheese.  Yum!  Prompts for this week have actually been very good to me as I was already craving mac and cheese over the weekend.  The contest was the perfect excuse to make some- though an excuse wasn’t really necessary.

I decided to make Buffalo Chicken Mac n’ Cheese.

Finished Mac n' Cheese.jpgUnfortunately I was so hungry while I was cooking this that I forgot to take pictures along the way.  This is of the final product!

Ingredients:

  • Pasta.  I used about 3/4 box of medium shells, cooked according to box directions.
  • Cheese.  I used 1 bag of Kraft Three Cheese Crumbles.
  • Butter.  (I am so bad at this recipe thing!)  I think I used about 3 tbsp, but really you just need enough to coat a medium sauce pan; more if you want a buttery taste to your sauce.
  • Milk.  Amount varies but you just need enough to thin your sauce out towards the end.
  • Hot sauce.  I went for it and used half of a 6 oz. bottle.
  • Chicken.  I used one can of chicken, but if you want something fresher you could use about one cooked chicken breast, cut into cubes or shredded.
  • Garlic.  I didn’t use much- maybe 1/4 tsp or less- but add more if you like.  It adds some depth of flavor to the dish.
  • I also used some other spices- onion powder and black pepper, to be precise- but I’m not counting them towards the 5 ingredient limit because the dish does not need them!  Hopefully I don’t get disqualified…but if I do at least I enjoyed my pasta 😉
saucepan.jpg
This is my medium saucepan…right after I dumped the sauce onto the pasta. Whoops.
  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions.  Drain it and dump it into a large bowl.
  2. In the meantime, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic.  Wait about 1 minute for it to start to sizzle, then dump in the cheese.  Make sure to stir often to prevent the cheese from burning!
  4. Once the cheese is about halfway melted, add the hot sauce and a splash of milk.  Keep stirring!
  5. Once the cheese is completely melted, dump in the canned chicken.
  6. Raise the heat to medium, and let the sauce come to a boil for 5 minutes.  This will allow it to thicken.  (If you accidentally added too much milk earlier, your sauce may not get as thick as you like.  Not to worry!  Add in about 1-2 tsp of cornstarch, and all your problems will disappear! …or at least, all of your pasta problems.)
  7. Once the sauce is done, pour your delicious buffalo chicken cheese sauce onto your pasta, and stir.  Then, grab a fork and dig in!  Because seriously, who can wait until it’s been put into a portion-sized bowl?!

This is a really easy dish to make because it requires very little prep except for a few minutes behind the stove, and most of the ingredients are probably things you already have in your kitchen.  Yet, it’s filling and delicious and I can just imagine so many other twists to put on it to keep it fresh for future dinners:  ranch?  bacon?  peppers and onions?  So many options.  I’m excited for dinner!

 

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