Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Mac ‘n Cheese


While my furry son was busy playing pumpkin bowling in the front lawn the other day when I was at the office, my chicken-lovin‘* son (who is amazingly turning into quite the cook!) kindly prepared a scrumptious dinner for hubby and me to enjoy when we came home.

What a treat!

And ooohhh how I am going to miss this guy when he moves out soon…

Who doesn’t love a yummy macaroni and cheese recipe on a cool Autumn or winter day?  And buffalo chicken… well – I can eat that any which way.  But – mixed with mac ‘n cheese!!  WOWZA!  Holy Swooning Wowza!

This would be such a yummy dish to give to someone (you know when you want to help out when a family member or friend has a baby, a loved one is mourning, a new neighbor moves in across the street, a friend has surgery…) or take to a potluck event, because it is one of those recipes that keeps well and gets even better the next day or two as leftovers when the flavors fully meld.

This is a keeper friends!  Hope you’ll give it a try, because it is another Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese*


  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (Nick made his by combining approximately 60% Franks Red Hot Original Cayene Pepper Sauce,  30% Cholula Hot Sauce, and 10% Sriracha Hot Chili )
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 8 oz pasta (Nick used Penne, but you could use macaroni, shells, or any shape you like)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Add chicken, broth, buffalo sauce and seasonings to crockpot.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Shred fully cooked chicken with fork and return to crockpot.  Add UNCOOKED pasta.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook on high for 30-40 minutes until fully cooked.

Make cheese sauce separately by melting butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour.  Slowly pour in milk while continuing to whisk until smooth.  Bring to a simmer for 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens enough to stick to a spoon.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted and smooth.

Add cheese sauce to crockpot, and stir to combine.  Enjoy!

OPTIONAL:  If you like, top it right before serving with a sprinkle of freshly crumbed bleu cheese to kick it up about 10 notches!!  

Cheers & Hugs,

*Nick found and slightly adapted this recipe from Jennifer @ Slow Cooker Gourmet

*For more yummy Winning Chicken Dinners, just type “Chicken” into the search box at the top right corner of  the blog or click here.

Penne with Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese

Ohhh was this D E L I C I O U S !
Penne with Butternut Squash plated
My sweet friend, Janet, brought us over some butternut squash from her garden the other day.
I was excited to try something new with it, and found this amazing recipe from Giada at the Food Network.
I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so Score!  A simple (and no meat) dinner last night.  I added a big, green tossed salad, and we were set.
(My guys do prefer to have “meat,” but I’ll keep trying with baby steps to slip in alternatives occasionally.)
Penne with Butternut Squash Squash
So seriously – how can you go wrong with…
Penne pasta,
Creamy goat cheese,
Sweet onions and butternut squash roasted to perfection with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper,
Crunchy toasted walnuts,
Fresh, fragrant basil,
and salty grated Parmegiano Reggiano cheese
(well – – – Marty says omit the walnuts and add chicken – – – spoil sport!     Might work – but I LOVED it this way!!)
Penne with Butternut Squash Roasted Walnuts
I just love roasting vegetables.  The way this process caramelizes and brings out the sugars and flavors of vegetables is so amazing!
Penne with Butternut Squash roasted
 So – here is the recipe Giada shares from The Food Network that I tweaked up just a bit.
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 sweet onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever shape you like)
1 1/2 cups goat cheese, crumbled – or how much ever you like
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Arrange the squash and onion together in a single layer on a baking sheet (I always use baking stones). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally making sure to not overbake – or squash will become “mushy” when mixed in with pasta.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente – about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Mix the pasta, goat cheese and pasta water together and stir until the cheese melts into a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Cheers & Hugs,


Grilled Mini Pizzas

We all like our pizza a little different, so why not make personal mini pizzas?  I had some Mama Mary’s 3-packs of mini crusts that were just perfect for throwing on the grill on a warm summer day.p1

The topping choices can be as endless as your imagination and taste. buds.  Chicken would be wonderful (but I think we had it 4 or 5 times already this week 🙂 ).  Ham and pineapple,  steak and mushrooms….

p3For us this past Sunday afternoon, I just chopped up some sweet red and orange and yellow peppers, Vidalia and green onions, added a sprinkle of salt, and sautéed it all with some garlic in olive oil…


I sliced some pepperoni and thick chunks of fresh mozzarella and goat cheese.   Fried up some thick-sliced salty bacon…


Put out a jar of marinated artichoke hearts and sliced banana peppers…

p5 and we put together our own faves, threw them on the grill for about 8 minutes – keeping OFF the direct flame for best results!

And guess what – we all LOVED our own pizza!

(I’ll bet they would even be fun to make with cinnamon and sugar and apple or peach slices or tart cherries and cream cheese!)

Enjoy whatever way you like best for a quick and easy and satisfying meal.

Cheers and Hugs,