It's here, and it's glorious: September's Mac of the Month is Buffalo Mac and Cheese with Ranch! This is bound to be the sauciest (and best!) mac and cheese you've ever had thanks to the incorporation of buffalo hot sauce and ranch seasoning.
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When I was younger, I couldn't tolerate hot sauce at all. But over the last several years, I've grown to love it. And when you combine it with ranch? Don't even get me started...!
I knew I wanted to do a buffalo mac and cheese recipe for one of my Mac's of the Month this year, and September felt like the right time because hot sauce is kind of a cozy, comforting food but it's also a good summertime ingredient. But as I write this...I'm surrounded by snow! That's right — we didn't even make it to October before our first heavy snowfall this year.
But back to the mac. This is a really, really saucy mac and cheese. If that doesn't sound like the best thing ever to you, consider adding another half cup of noodles.
Before we get to the recipe, let's talk about some of the ins and outs of this magical treat known as buffalo sauce.
What is buffalo sauce?
Like you, I was wondering exactly what buffalo sauce is too. And no, it's not made of buffalo (a note to 12-year old me).
A Google search told me that essentially, buffalo sauce is hot sauce with butter. No wonder I love it so much.
Buffalo sauce ingredients
I used Frank's Buffalo Wings Sauce, and these are the ingredients listed on the bottle:
Distilled Vinegar, Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Salt, Water, Canola Oil, Paprika, Xanthan Gum, Natural Butter Type Flavor And Garlic Powder.
According to their website:
Frank's RedHot® was the secret ingredient used in the original Buffalo Wings created in Buffalo, NY, 1964, so you know you can trust our wing sauce!
Homemade buffalo sauce recipes appear to be pretty similar to Frank's buffalo sauce. They all include some form of hot sauce, butter, and vinegar. Often with Worcestershire sauce, cayenne powder, and garlic powder too.
If you want to keep things really simple, I also found this recipe for a 3-ingredient homemade buffalo sauce recipe with butter, hot sauce, and garlic! Once I finish up the bottle of buffalo sauce I have right now, I'll definitely be giving it a try.
How to make buffalo mac and cheese
But I know what you're really here for: how to make buffalo mac and cheese! I think you'll find this is one of my easiest and most simple mac and cheese recipes.
- Boil the macaroni noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Grate cheddar (don't use pre-shredded cheese — here's why)
- Melt butter, whisk in flour, ranch seasoning, salt, and garlic powder
- Slowly pour in the milk/cream, let thicken
- Add the hot sauce, mix well
- Add the cheese and stir until it's all incorporated
- Mix the cooked macaroni with the sauce
- Top with chopped chives (optional), serve and enjoy!
See what I mean? Pretty straightforward! Here are the specifics.
Buffalo mac and cheese recipe
Buffalo Mac and Cheese with Ranch
- 3 cups macaroni noodles measured uncooked
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 teaspoon ranch seasoning powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups cream/milk I use about half cream and half milk
- 4 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- ⅔ cup buffalo sauce
- Cook noodles according to package directions and set aside.
- Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside.Begin to melt 4 tablespoon (¼ cup) of butter in a saucepan on medium heat, careful not to let it burn.
- When the butter is melted, add the salt, garlic powder, ranch seasoning, and flour. Whisk well until it begins to form a paste.
- Once the butter and flour are mixed and begin to form a paste, SLOWLY add the milk and cream. Stir constantly, and let the sauce thicken for AT LEAST five minutes. Don't skip this step!
- Once the roux mix has cooked for at least five minutes and is GENTLY boiling/bubbly, turn the heat off.Add the shredded cheddar and hot sauce. Stir well, and let the remaining heat in the pan melt the cheese. This will take a few minutes — be patient!
- Once the cheese is completely melted into the sauce, pour the sauce into the pot with the noodles, stir well.
- Top with fresh chives for garnish if you'd like. Serve and enjoy!
- This is a really saucy recipe - if you are looking for something a little bit less saucy, just increase the amount of noodles you use.
- This reheats really well so it makes great leftovers.
- If you want something spicier, you can use more buffalo sauce or add a dash of cayenne pepper to the roux.
- I like to use half milk and half cream for a great result. It's okay to just use milk, but be prepared for a slightly less creamy (but still delicious) macaroni and cheese recipe.
I'm already so excited to eat these leftovers tomorrow! I hope you love it too. Comment down below once you've tried it!
Oh, and be sure to follow along on my Instagram where you can see more day-to-day vegetarian comfort food and a lot more!
Thank-you so much for reading, it really means a lot.
xo - C