Author Notes: When my son was in scouts I would prepare this dish. It's easy to make, everyone loves it and it easily feeds at least 30 plus hungry campers and hikers.
It can also be made, frozen and baked at another time. Making it a great time saver.
Since I have been making this recipe my family never wants just plain mac & cheese. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do - nadine mesch
Makes 3 9x13 casseroles
- 3 pounds elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 cup butter, divided
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 6 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 5 (12.5 oz) cans chicken, drained*
- 1 1/2 cup Buffalo wing style hot sauce, divided
- 7 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 7 1/2 cups half & half
- 3 pounds cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 16 ounces cream cheese, cubed, room temp
- 3 cups sour cream
- 12 slices day old bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 9 -13 inch baking pans with a non stick cooking spray.
- Bring a large kettle of salted water to a boil; add the macaroni and cook for approximately 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt 6 TBSP of butter. Add onion and celery and cook until soft, approximately 6 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and chicken, cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot sauce.
- In a large saucepan, melt 10 TBSP of butter. Stir in the flour and dry mustard, whisking well.
- Whisk in the half & half, and remaining 1/2 cup hot sauce; stir until thickened.
- Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheese and the cubed cream cheese; whisk until smooth. Add sour cream, stir until well combined.
- In a large pot, combine the macaroni, chicken mixture and cheese sauce. stir gently until well combined.
- Spread the mac & cheese in the 3 prepared baking pans.
- In a large bowl, place bread cubes. Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter, and slowly pour the melted butter over bread cubes, stirring constantly to insure all the cubes are slightly coated..
- Sprinkle the blue cheese over the mac & cheese.
- Top with the buttered croutons. Bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes; do not over bake.
- Prior to baking, the casserole dishes can be doubled wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in the freezer to enjoy another day.
- *I used canned chicken in this dish because it was less expensive then buying fresh or frozen chicken. When chicken is on sale, then the price would be more reasonable to use.
- Serves: MANY very happy people
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cheap Feast