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Lightened Up Buffalo Bacon Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (4 Votes)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. cellentani pasta (may sub rigatoni, penne, etc.)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped**
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15 oz. can sweet creamed corn
  • 4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  • 2-5 tablespoons Frank's Hot WINGS Sauce (not original hot sauce)**
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • 4 strips (turkey) bacon, cooked and crumbled

Details

Adapted from carlsbadcravings.com

Preparation

Step 1

1.Cook pasta until al dente in generously salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2.Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Saute onions for 5 minutes or until softened and slightly golden. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds.

3.Turn heat down to medium and stir in creamed corn, cream cheese, 1/2 cup milk, 2-5 tablespoons buffalo hot sauce (see note) and spices. Stir until cream cheese is melted, then stir in cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese until melted. Add chicken, bacon and pasta and stir until evenly coated, adding additional milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.




Notes

*If starting with raw chicken (1 pound/2 chicken breasts), this is how I cook mine: Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until browned on one side. Flip chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before chopping into bite size pieces.

**3 tablespoons is average heat, 4 is if you like things a little spicy (this is what I use) and 5 is for the very spicy lover.

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