This Healthy Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is the super quick, easy and delicious weeknight dinner you've been waiting for! 21 Day Fix container counts AND Weight Watchers Freestyle Points included!
Hey loves! How are all the things? Not too shabby on my end, just enjoying the gorgeous weather here on the Cape and being SUPER PUMPED for you to eat this Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese!!
I'm obsessed with this recipe, you guys. There's really just nothing better than being able to take a handful of ingredients and make something that makes mouths SO freaking happy. Especially so darn quickly! Plus, you just really can't go wrong with buffalo flavored anything (like these chicken lettuce wraps, this yummy dip or this crazy-good chili!), amiright?
I have to be honest though, I haven't always been the buffalo-obsessed foodie you see (read?) before you. I did NOT use to be able to take the heat (so I'm holding out hope for my girls who can't take the heat yet either!). But as I and my taste buds have gotten older, I've learned to love a good, spicy kick. That being said, I love that I can control the heat level when making my own buffalo wing-inspired goodies.
How do I control the heat level in this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese?
Easy! If you want it to be spicier, you can either add more Frank's or you can add a little of a different, spicier hot sauce, like Tabasco.
If you don't want it quite so hot, you can either use a little less hot sauce or add in a little more yogurt - my husband always adds in more yogurt because he doesn't like it as hot as I do!
What hot sauce should I use in Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese?
The OG, of course! Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Of course, if you have one that you like better, use what you prefer (as long as it doesn't have any added sugar), but Frank's my man. And NOT the buffalo sauce, you guys (there are all kinds of extra ingredients in there that you don't need), just stick to the original!
Is Frank's Red Hot Sauce 21 Day Fix approved?
Ok, well not exactly. The list technically says Tabasco or Mexican hot sauce - either of which you can use if you prefer. I'm usually a crazy rule-follower, so I totally get it. However, when Autumn has talked about this (in the new Ultimate Portion Fix videos, for instance), she's said that other hot sauces aren't on the list only because they often add sugar. Frank's Original doesn't have any added sugar, so I feel comfortable using it. It's up to you whether or not you feel the same. Always important to check yo' labels!
Do I have to use blue cheese?
No! If you're not into blue cheese, I totally get it. I love it now, but there was definitely a time in my life where I was a bit afraid of it. 😉 If you don't want to use the blue cheese, I would just add an extra ⅓ cup of the cheddar when the rest of the cheddar goes in.
Is this Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Weight Watchers friendly?
Yes! I've added Weight Watchers Freestyle points to this post and although it's a little higher in points than most of my recipes, all of this spicy, cheesy goodness is totally worth the splurge!
How to Make Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese:
Easy! Brown seasoned, chopped chicken on saute in the Instant Pot.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the broth or water to the Instant Pot.
Stir in the dried pasta, then place the browned chicken on top of everything.
Cook on Manual, then quick release.
Stir in the cheese until it's completely melted and combined with the pasta and chicken.
Then stir in the hot sauce.
And the yogurt.
Serve with some crumbled blue cheese if ya like and make sure you have a big glass of water at the ready!
Hope this one is as big of a hit at your house as it is in mine!
*If you’re looking for more Instant Pot recipes with just a few ingredients, click here!
If you make this healthy Instant Pot Maple Mustard Chicken and Potatoes recipe be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix or use #thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making
*Instant Pot Note!: This recipe has only been tested in the Instant Pot 6 quart duo – If you have an 8 qt, you may need to add more liquid or double the recipe. Haven’t gotten your Instant Pot yet? Get yours here!: Instant Pot 6 qt Duo (affiliate link)
Save this Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese to Pinterest! ⇓
- 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into ½" pieces
- salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning chicken
- 1 ½ cups (6 oz) dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (I love Barilla!)
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (2%)
- ½ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- ⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese (not into blue cheese? Just add an extra ⅓ cup cheddar to the recipe!)
- Season the chicken chunks lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Turn on the saute function of your IP and let it heat. Once hot, spray the inside of the pan with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray and brown your chicken. It doesn't have to be all the way cooked through, but most of the way.
- Turn off the saute function, remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add the dried pasta and the broth/water to the pot, making sure the pasta is evenly covering the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken on top of everything. Cook on manual (or pressure cook) for 2 minutes, quick release the pressure when finished.
- Remove the lid and stir in your shredded cheddar until melted (there will be a little bit of liquid left in the pot, before you add the cheese, that's perfect!). Next, stir in the hot sauce and Greek yogurt. Serve with the crumbled blue cheese if ya like!
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: 1 Red, 1 ½ Yellow, 1 Blue
Weight Watchers Personal Points Link: Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 ⅓ cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 491Total Fat: 21g