Slow cooker Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is the perfect comfort food made easy in the crock pot. With tender shredded chicken breasts, homemade cheese sauce, and tangy buffalo wing sauce, this is the best buffalo mac you will ever have.
I’ve showed you how to make 3 ingredient slow cooker mac & cheese but that’s a simple side dish.
Let’s step it up a bit with this grown up buffalo chicken macaroni.
Creamy pasta and tender chicken mixed with a spicy buffalo sauce for a little kick, this easy slow cooker and is sure to be a family favorite.
If you’re looking for even more buffalo flavor, try my slow cooker buffalo chicken chili, too!
Why you’ll love this crockpot Buffalo Chicken Mac
- Complete Meal – The classic mac and cheese recipe gets an upgrade when you add chicken.
- Made with Pantry Staples – You likely have most of the needed ingredients on hand and if not, they’re readily available at the grocery store.
- Easy Recipe – Slow cooker recipes are always a time saver since most of the time you can just add everything to it and go about your business while it works its magic.
- Perfect for Football Season – Even though it’s great for dinner any day of the week, also save this one for game day and serve it alongside buffalo chicken pinwheels, buffalo chicken dip and buffalo wings.
Tools you’ll need
Cheese Grater – I love this little tool, it makes shredding cheese a breeze.
Tongs – I like to use tongs any time I’m handling chicken.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Broth – Chicken stock is also fine. It adds extra flavor but if you don’t have any, water can be used.
- Buffalo Wing Sauce – Use your favorite (I like Frank’s Wing Sauce). Not to be confused with regular hot sauce (which is hotter).
- Uncooked Pasta – We used classic elbow macaroni but other shapes like shells or mini penne will work well.
- Butter – Softened to room temperature.
- Flour – All-purpose flour.
- Milk – You can use whatever type of milk you keep on hand. We generally have 2%.
- Heavy Cream – Adds extra creaminess but if you don’t have any, you can use all regular milk.
- Cheddar Cheese – I buy a block of sharp cheddar and shred it myself. Pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents on it that don’t allow it to melt as well. You can also experiment with other kinds of cheese like mild cheddar or monterey jack cheese.
- Seasonings – Garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and mustard powder – all work together to give just the right amount of spice to the creamy mac.
How to make the best buffalo chicken mac in the slow cooker
- STEP ONE: First, add the buffalo sauce, broth, chicken, and the seasonings to the crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2 hours.
- STEP TWO: Once the chicken is done, use two forks to shred it and then add in the uncooked noodles. Stir well to combine and then replace cover and cook an additional 20-30 minutes on HIGH, adding 1/4 cup of water or more as needed. The noodles should be cooked al dente [note that slow cookers can vary greatly so cook until the noodles hit your favorite level of doneness].
- STEP THREE: Next, in a small sauce pan over medium heat, make the cheese sauce by melting the butter and then whisking in the flour and pouring in the milk and heavy cream slowly. Continue whisking until smooth. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Pour the creamy cheese sauce into the slow cooker over the shredded chicken and stir to combine.
- STEP FOUR: Serve with a drizzle of hot sauce, blue cheese crumbles, and sliced green onions.
- Add veggies: You can add your favorite veggies to the mix like peas, broccoli, or spinach.
- Rotisserie chicken: Skip a step by using shredded rotisserie chicken in place of the raw chicken breasts.
- More flavors: Adding ranch seasoning to the spice mix will add even more flavor.
- Creamier: Add a block of cream cheese for extra creaminess.
- Other meat: You can also use shredded pork or beef instead of chicken.
How to serve it
You could also keep it super simple and pair it with a side of crunchy celery and carrots.
How to reheat and store leftovers
How to Store
Allow leftovers to cool to room temperature before you put it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to five days.
You can also freeze your leftovers in a freezer bag for up to three months. I like to use Super Cubes to freeze individual portions for easy weeknight meals.
For best results, thaw your frozen buffalo chicken mac in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
How to Reheat
Put leftovers in a microwave-safe dish and heat in the microwave for one or two minutes, depending on the amount you are reheating.
What is al dente?
The translation from Italian to English is “to the tooth.” It means to cook rice or pasta to be firm to the bite. This is especially important when you are using pasta in the slow cooker because you do not want it to get soggy or mushy.
What can I add to my mac and cheese to make it better?
It’s going to be great as written but for extra flavor, try bacon, broccoli, peas, onions, black pepper, or panko breadcrumbs on top.
What meat goes well with mac and cheese?
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Need more macaroni & cheese variations? Try these:
More favorite comfort foods
Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.