Buffalo Mac and Cheese 3 Ways: Gluten Free, Grain Free, and Vegetarian!

October 8, 2015

We love a tasty food mash-up and when Buffalo wings hook up with mac and cheese, well, that's a good thing, indeed! But not everyone can indulge in a hearty bowl of cheesy macaroni. So for those who have food allergies, or just want a meat-free Buffalo version, here are 3 scrumptious recipes to suit your dietary needs. October 18 is National Buffalo Mac and Cheese Day, so try this full-of-flavor gluten free version (shown at top) featuring protein-rich quinoa pasta and tofu in place of chicken. The grain-free recipe features good-for-cauliflower in place of pasta, and the gluten free version can't be beat. All three recipes are loaded with cheesy goodness and the spicy kick you look for in a good Buffalo wing dish!

Vegetarian Parrano® Buffalo Mac & Cheese
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 ½ cup Quinoa Pasta, cooked according to package
1 (14oz) package extra-firm tofu
½ cup Franks RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
2 cups reduced-fat milk
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of onion powder
1 ½ cup Parrano® cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Step 1. Press tofu for 30 minutes, to get out excess liquid.

Step 2. Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of hot sauce and salt. Arrange pieces on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake tofu for 20-30 minutes, or until it's browned on the edges, stirring halfway through cooking time. Put baked tofu back in bowl and toss with the remaining hot sauce. Bake for additional 10 minutes.

Step 4. While tofu is baking, heat milk in small saucepan over medium heat until warm to touch.

Step 5. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted completely, add flour, salt, garlic and onion powder. Whisk until combined. Let cook until mixture is golden brown, 5 minutes.

Step 6. Slowly pour warmed milk into flour mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue to whisk until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in Parrano cheese until melted.

Step 7. Fold in cooked quinoa. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Serve mac and cheese topped with baked buffalo tofu.

Grain-free Parrano® Buffalo Mac & Cheese
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 medium heads of Cauliflower
2 cups cottage cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
3/4 cup Franks RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
2 cups Parrano® cheese, shredded
2-3 Chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1. Steam cauliflower florets until tender, about 7 minutes.

Step 2. Drain cauliflower, and put on tea towel or cheesecloth. Be sure to squeeze out all excess water so you don’t end up with cauliflower soup.

Step . Mix cottage cheese, egg, spices, and buffalo sauce in medium bowl. Once combined add cauliflower, cheese, and cubed chicken. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.

Step 4. Put in 9x13 baking dish and bake in 350F oven for 25 minutes.

*Optional: sprinkle more cheese on top before baking

Gluten Free Parrano® Buffalo Mac & Cheese
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 cups gluten free pasta
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, chopped
1/3 cup brown rice flour
12 oz  can lowfat evaporated milk
2 cups skim milk
16 oz Parrano® cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Franks RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
Kosher salt, pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1. Boil pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot, toss with olive oil. Set aside.

Step 2. For cheese sauce, melt butter in medium size saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add flour and stir consistently until well blended. Cook for 3 minutes or until lightly brownish in color.

Step 3. Add evaporated milk slowly while stirring constantly to break up any clumps. Add 2 cups of milk, and whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Step 4. Fold in shredded cheese until melted. Add wing sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and cubed chicken.

Step 5. Add mixture to cooked pasta, and stir until combined.

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