This recipe for Bacon Buffalo Mac and Cheese from Mr. Food is not for the faint of heart, the cup of wing sauce adds a powerful punch. The original recipe suggests mixing the sauce, dressing and cream cheese in your food processor but if the cream cheese is softened to room temperature and cut into small pieces you can easily combine it with a whisk. If you like a little crunch use a fresh bell pepper, for convenience as well as the smokey flavor, I substituted jarred roasted red peppers. In my 10 inch dutch oven this baked for 30 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom, 15 briquettes in a ring around the outside of the lid and 4 spaced evenly in the center. If you like it a bit on the milder side cut back on the sauce and add a bit more dressing, this might also be good with blue cheese dressing in place of the ranch. It's creamy, cheesy, made for Buffalo wing lovers and will definitely wake up your taste buds.
Bacon Buffalo Mac and Cheese
1/2 pound medium shell pasta
4-5 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1/3 cup jarred roasted red pepper OR 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
1 cup wing sauce
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups Cheddar Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
Cook pasta until al dente, then drain.
If making pasta ahead of time, toss with a little olive oil before storing in zip lock bag or container.
In large bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic, wing sauce and ranch dressing, there may be a few small lumps.
Add cooked pasta, shredded cheese, roasted red pepper and crumbled bacon.
Toss until well combined.
Spread in prepared dutch oven.
Sprinkle with panko bread crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Makes 4-6 servings.
|Sprinkle pasta mixture with panko crumbs|