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BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

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posted: 10/21/16

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is an easy twist on a classic and so delicious. The ultimate comfort food!

A scoopful of the BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese reveals the creamy macaroni cheese and topped with some breadcrumbles.

One of our family’s favorite comfort meals is barbecue chicken with a side of homemade macaroni and cheese. So I thought, why not combine the two into one glorious, cheesy casserole dish? It’s so hearty and filling. We love to dig into this at the end of the long work day. Bonus points if there’s a crisp chill in the air and we can eat it under a cozy blanket on the couch.

A spoon dug up some of the BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is creamy sprinkled with breadcrumbs.

BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Let’s start with the chicken first. This recipe is meant to be easy and no stress, so do yourself a favor and pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. You can use it for all kinds of things, and it shreds up perfectly for this recipe. Or if you have some frozen chicken breasts at home, simply boil them and shred with a fork. You can also cook chicken in your instant pot or slow cooker. Easy peasy!

Next, grab a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce or whip up my delicious homemade barbecue sauce and stir into your shredded chicken. Then set it aside while you make the rest of the mac and cheese.

In a white bowl, the BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese has breadcrumbs and chicken mixed in.

How to Make a Good Roux

The trick to making a good macaroni and cheese is to make sure that you make a good roux to start the sauce.

  1. First combine the flour and melted butter really well with a whisk.
  2. Let the flour and butter heat for about one minute to get rid of the flour taste.
  3. Next, slowly add the milk and watch it thicken up. Like a tablespoon at a time.
  4. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you can see a video of me making this beauty and watch how a roux should look.
In a white bowl, the BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese has breadcrumbs and chicken mixed in.

Breadcrumb Topping

The breadcrumb topping is super easy to make and adds such terrific texture to this recipe. Just melt some butter and stir into your breadcrumbs and spread over the top of the whole casserole. As it bakes it gives the dish a deliciously crunchy crust. Yum!

What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

This dish is wonderful all on its own, or you can serve it with a simple green salad or any side vegetable. Try my Apple Pecan Fall Salad or my crispy Kale Salad for a delicious and well-rounded meal any night of the week!

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BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni cooked and drained
  • 4 TBSPs unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk I used skim
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 TBSPs butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 3 quart baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray and setting aside.
  • Melt the 4 TBSPs butter over medium heat. Once fully melted, add the flour and whisk it in until it is completely combined. Cook until it is just light brown. Add the milk a little bit at a time, starting wit about a tablespoon. Whisk it in until fully combined and then add just another small bit, whisking that until combined. Continue until it is fully combined and all the milk is used.
  • Reduce the heat, and stir in the cheddar cheese until fully melted into the sauce. Then add in the bbq sauce and the chicken.
  • Stir in the noodles. You can then serve it as is or you can bake it.
  • If you bake it, mix together the bread crumbs and melted butter. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the baking dish and then top with the bread crumb mixture and bake for 25 minutes.
Author: Lisa Longley

Video

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BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Rachel @ Rachel Cooks says

    This looks like a major crowd pleaser!

  2. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says

    Yep, this is my two favorite things IN ONE. I want to face plant into this deliciousness every day of my LIFE!

  3. Jenny Flake says

    What a fun recipe!! Gotta try this!!

  4. shelly (cookies and cups) says

    Next level mac and cheese…I love it! That and iced tea, and you have the perfect southern meal!

  5. naomi says

    I want a big bowl of this!

  6. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says

    You have me STARVING for this!

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