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15 Minute Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese (Instant Pot)

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If you love Buffalo Chicken and mac and cheese, combining these two classics is the ultimate in deliciousness. When you add that familiar flavor of tangy, spicy chicken and toss it with gooey mac and cheese, it’s heavenly. When it can be made in 15 minutes, it’s a really good day!

Buffalo Mac and Cheese in a white casserole dish for serving with fresh snipped parsley for garnish.

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Recipe Overview

What to Love: This easy Instant Pot pasta combines two classics: mac and cheese and Buffalo chicken. And, it’s ready in minutes!

Recipe Time: 5-10 minutes to prep, 5 minutes to cook (plus time to come to pressure).
What You Need: A 6-quart Instant Pot or Multi-cooker.
Servings: 6-8 servings

Close up view of Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese in a blue bowl for serving.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made Instant Pot mac and cheese for family, for family gatherings, for my son’s friends, for basketball teams, for backyard picnics, or just when we’re craving cozy comfort and don’t want it to take all night.

And then, there is buffalo chicken. It’s an absolute must for the Super Bowl but also wonderful for tailgating, football watching, or anytime throughout the year. That familiar and tantalizing flavor of Buffalo Chicken wings is iconic and delicious!

Imagine, then, the magic that happens when you combine the two into one, creamy, cheesey, delicious meal. It’s well, incredible... I think you just have to try it to believe me.

Ready in minutes, honestly, minutes!

Top view of Buffalo Mac and Cheese ingredients on a white background.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

While you will find the ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, here is what you need to make this incredible mac and cheese!

  • Boneless, skinless chicken: I prefer chicken breasts but chicken thighs are also delicious. You will need them cut into 1-inch pieces, and here is a hint: often, when I ask really nicely, the market butcher will cut them for me. It saves a bunch of time, and their knives are often sharper than mine!
  • Olive oil for browning the chicken pieces.
  • Spices: Salt and pepper to taste, but also garlic powder, onion powder, and ground mustard bring all of the flavors together.
  • Dry macaroni: I often use classic macaroni, but medium or small shells are nice too.
  • Buffalo Hot Sauce: This is where you can completely customize this dish and make it spicier or more mild. I am currently loving the Whole Foods 365 medium buffalo wing sauce. It isn’t super spicy but has a delicious flavor. But Frank’s Hot Sauce is classic and iconic… and delicious too!
  • Shredded Cheese: I like a combination of shredded mozzarella cheese and sharp cheddar cheese for this dish.
  • Sour cream and butter for the ultimate creaminess.
Side view of Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese in a blue bowl for serving with more in the background.

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Turn the Instant Pot to saute. While it’s heating, toss cut-up chicken with salt, pepper to taste, garlic and onion powder, and ground mustard. Then add 1 olive oil to the hot Instant Pot.

Step 1: Brown the chicken with saute function

Add seasoned chicken and saute until slightly browned and no longer pink but not cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Cancel the saute function and scrape up any stuck-on bits.

Step 2: Add pasta, water, and cook

Add uncooked pasta to the insert along with 4 cups of water. Close the lid and turn the release valve to seal. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When it beeps, quickly release the pressure.

Top view of Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese pasta, seasonings, and chicken in an Instant Pot insert before cooking.

Step 3: Add sauce and cheese; stir until melted

Carefully open the lid and set aside. Turn the Instant Pot to saute, and add the butter, shredded cheese, milk, sour cream, and buffalo sauce. Stir from the bottom up to coat the pasta with the sauce. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted.

The pasta will continue to absorb the cheese sauce as it sits. But if you want the mac and cheese to be more creamy, you can stir in a bit more milk to your preference.

How to Serve Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Season to taste and serve warm with fresh chopped herbs (like parsley) if desired, and for more heat, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes is also good.

More Buffalo Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot Recipes that are Quick & Easy

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Close up view of Buffalo. Mac and Cheese in a white casserole dish for serving.
Close up view of Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese in a blue bowl for serving.

10 Minute Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese (Instant Pot or Multi-Cooker)

If you love Buffalo Chicken and mac and cheese, combining these two classics is the ultimate in deliciousness. When you add that familiar flavor of tangy, spicy chicken and toss it with gooey mac and cheese, it's heavenly. When it can be made in 15 minutes, it's a really good day!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 lb dry macaroni elbow macaroni, shells
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk dairy or non-dairy
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buffalo hot sauce

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot to saute. While it's heating, toss cut-up chicken with salt, pepper to taste, garlic and onion powder, and ground mustard. Then add 1 olive oil to the hot Instant Pot.
  • Add seasoned chicken and saute until slightly browned and no longer pink, but not cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Cancel the saute function and scrape up any stuck-on bits.
  • Add uncooked pasta to the insert along with 4 cups of water. Close the lid and turn the release valve to seal. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When it beeps, quick release the pressure.
    Top view of Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese pasta, seasonings, and chicken in an Instant Pot insert before cooking.
  • Carefully open the lid and set aside. Turn the Instant Pot to saute, and add the butter, shredded cheese, milk, sour cream, and buffalo sauce. Stir from the bottom up to coat the pasta with the sauce. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted. If you want the mac and cheese to be more creamy, you can stir in a bit more milk.
  • Season to taste and serve warm with fresh chopped herbs (like parsley) if desired, and for more heat, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes is also good.

Video

Notes

Chicken: Both boneless, skinless chicken breasts and chicken thighs work in this recipe. To save time, nicely ask the market butcher if he will cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes for you. It will save you time and they have really sharp knives!
Buffalo Hot Sauce: You can make this mac and cheese milder or spicier as desired. Choose a buffalo sauce with the heat profile you prefer. I love Whole Foods 365 buffalo sauce because it has all the flavor we love, but itsn’t super spicy. Frank’s hot sauce is utterly delicious too.
Pasta: You can use a traditional elbow macaroni or small shells are nice too, or any macaroni noodle you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 466mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 557IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 301mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buffalo Chicken, Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

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