Buffalo Chicken Shells & Cheese

I’ve never been disappointed in one of Jessica’s recipes, and this one is no exception.  I normally don’t crave macaroni and cheese in the summer time, as it tends to be on the heavier side, but for some reason the moment I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I changed my tune.  It was delicious.
buffalo chicken shells & cheese

you will need:
1 lb. pasta shells
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup buffalo wing sauce plus more for serving, like Franks Red Hot
2 tablespoons flour
2¼ cups milk (I used 1%)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
6 ounces freshly grated fontina cheese
4 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
4 green onions, sliced
large handful cilantro, roughly chopped

Bring water to a boil and cook pasta al dente according to the package directions. When finished, drain and set aside until you are ready to assemble the dish.

Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Rinse, dry and cube the chicken.  Then season with the salt, pepper, onion powder and smoked paprika. Add to the pot, stir and cover. Cook until chicken is browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with ½ cup buffalo wing sauce and cook for another minute. Pour the chicken mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Using the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour to create a roux. It will be an orangey color after picking up the chicken/buffalo wing bits. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until it’s thickened and fragrant. Pour in the milk and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the mustard, fontina, cheddar, 2 ounces of the gorgonzola and the parmesan. Stir until the cheese melts completely.

Add in the cooked shells and the chicken mixture and toss to coat.  Serve immediately topped with green onions, crumbled gorgonzola and cilantro on top.  If you want some extra heat, drizzle some more buffalo wing sauce on top.

serves: 4
time: approx. 35 minutes
from: How Sweet It Is

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