Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Whip-It-Up Wednesday: Buffalo Mac 'N Cheese

We eat pretty healthy around our house, partially for health reasons and partially because we don't eat gluten, which limits things like french bread and chicken nuggets.

My husband's always been a huge fan of homemade mac 'n cheese.  Me, not so much.  I find it to be heavy, greasy and too salty.  One day, my husband brought home a jar of Ragu's Double Cheddar Cheese Sauce.  Scratching my head, I tried to figure out what to do with it.  I saw veggies in my fridge, the cheese sauce, and some Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce.  And my buffalo mac 'n cheese was born.  We eat this all of the time.

gluten-free buffalo mac and cheese

Its a great comfort food and the cheese sauce actually has significantly less calories than cheddar cheese.  You can use chicken, but we use turkey hot dogs instead (since they are lower-calorie than regular hot dogs).  You could even put chopped-up chicken nuggets in it.

Buffalo Mac 'N Cheese
1 jar Ragu Double Cheddar Chese Sauce
2 cups elbow macaroni (we use gluten-free potato macaroni)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup of baby carrots, chopped
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
6 turkey hot dogs, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
8-10 cups of water

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Put water into a big stockpot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, put the noodles, chopped carrots and chopped celery into the water.  After 5 minutes, throw the chopped up hot dogs into the pot as well.

2. Once noodles and veggies are soft (around 10 minutes total), drain, then put in a big mixing bowl.

4. Pour jar of cheese sauce over the top.  Add Frank's Red Hot to bowl.  Put a little salt and pepper in to taste.

gluten-free buffalo mac and cheese

5. Stir until it is blended evenly.  Pour into casserole dish.  You can drizzle a little more Red Hot sauce if you want.  Bake for about 15 minutes until everything is heated and there is a light crust on the top.

gluten-free buffalo mac and cheese

We serve it with a little sour cream drizzled over the top.

Voila!  So easy and so good.  You can also freeze this dish.  The noodles get a little gummy after you thaw and bake them, but it's still tasty.

gluten-free buffalo mac and cheese

Enjoy! ~ Hilary

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