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BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese is a comforting casserole, ideal for this new autumnal season!
I’m so excited that October is only a few days away! I wait for this month all year long! I’m always looking for my favorite comfort dishes this time of year. Casseroles often come to mind. This BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese is definitely a comfort dish and I’m so happy to share it with you today!
This is a layered casserole which makes sense since I was inspired by three different Rachel Ray recipes to concoct this dish of comfort. The actual mac and cheese portion of the recipe was inspired by her Italian Mac and Cheese recipe. I switched out the cheeses to a smoky gouda mixed in with the mozzarella cheese to enhance the barbecue sauce. I also replaced the regular diced tomatoes with fire-roasted tomatoes.
Adding a layer of barbecue chicken in between two layers of pasta was inspired by her Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. I, of course, changed that from buffalo sauce to barbecue sauce.
The final top layer was inspired by one of Rachel’s baked bean recipes. She upgrades canned baked beans with this wonderful topping of bacon, breadcrumbs, and green onions. I just knew I had to try it out on this mac and cheese and I feel like it really pulls the whole thing together!
There are many things to love about this BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese. Not only is it super yummy, but it’s really easy to throw together and it feeds a lot of people. Invite some friends over, pop open a bottle of wine, and add a nice big salad on the side. Maybe even watch a scary movie now that the spooky season is upon us! I hope you enjoy this mac and cheese as much as we do!
If you know of anyone who would love this mac and cheese, please share this post with all your friends and family. Just click on the social media icons below! Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy!
BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb macaroni prepared according to package instructions, minus 2-3 minutes.
- 3 cups chicken shredded
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- 1¼ cup smoked gouda shredded
- 1¼ cup mozzarella shredded
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes drained
- 4 bacon slices chopped and crisped
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 green onions chopped
- Combine the shredded chicken and barbecue sauce and set it aside.
- Crisp the chopped bacon in a frying pan.
- Once the bacon has finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the panko breadcrumbs and green onions. Yes, with the bacon grease, too! Set the topping aside until needed.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let the roux cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Gradually, whisk in the chicken stock and half and half. Stir until thick.
- Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the mozzarella and smoked gouda cheeses.
- Once the cheese has melted, stir in the fire roasted tomatoes.
- Combine the pasta with the cheese sauce.
- Transfer half of the pasta to a buttered 9 x 13 pan, then evenly top with the barbecue chicken. Add the rest of the pasta to the top of the barbecue chicken.
- Add the bacon and breadcrumb topping evenly over the top of the casserole.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 – 45 minutes; let rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.