Mac Attack Series | Buffalo Mac

April 9, 2018 , In: Eat, Recipes , With: No Comments

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Between Spinach and Artichoke Mac from 2 weeks ago and today’s mac and cheese (buffalo style), I think it’s safe to say that I miss eating creamy appetizers when dining out. These mac and cheeses take their inspiration from creamy crowd-friendly dips, satisfy my cravings, and don’t disappoint when serving them up to a crowd!

“I’m a health nut, but when I eat, I go hard. I’m a Buffalo wing magnet…” -Kevin Hart

There are very few things I miss since cutting out dairy, eggs, and meat. But there is something about the spicy and vinegary kick of buffalo wings that I still find myself longing for. Thankfully, this mac has satisfied that craving in so many ways!

A few years ago I tried buffalo cauliflower. It left me feeling… “meh”. Something about the texture of the coating that never seemed to crisp as recipes promised,  it never left me wanting more. Last year though I gave it another shot when I created a Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich… it was life changing!!! (That recipe is on its way!) It made me look for ways to revisit this whole buffalo cauliflower thing.

Fast forward to a third conversation I was having with the BF about him making buffalo chicken dip, again. (One of his go-to meals to make, clearly!) I asked him how he made his version, and as he was listing ingredients, all I could think was: MAC AND CHEESE!!

buffalo mac

Fair Warning: Addiction Potential

When I make this Buffalo Mac, I snack on the sauce. Ok, maybe a little more than “snack”… I tend to need less pasta than the recipe calls for just to accommodate my “snacking” while waiting for it to finish cooking! That said, I will try to remember to convert the sauce into a crockpot dip and share the recipe. Maybe when football starts… (quickly jots down 10 reminder notes!)

Buffalo Pro Tips:

  • If you’re not a spicy food fan, you can tone it down by adding a few tablespoons of melted (dairy-free) butter to the buffalo sauce before tossing the cauliflower in it and roasting.
  • Cover your casserole! Before you put the mac in the oven to warm through, cover it with foil to keep the sauce thick, creamy and saucy!
Mac Attack Series | Buffalo Mac

Yield: 8-10

Mac Attack Series | Buffalo Mac


  • 1/2 cup Hot Sauce (I like Franks)
  • 1 medium head of Cauliflower, chopped up into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1-lb dry shaped pasta*, cooked according to package instructions
    For The Buffalo Mac Sauce-
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Yukon Gold Potato, chopped (approximately 1 smallish potato)
  • 1 can Cannellini White Beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth, plus more to thin sauce if desired
  • 1 cup Raw Cashews
  • 1/2 cup Dairy-Free Milk, unsweetened and unflavored
  • 1/2 cup Hot Sauce (more Franks!)
  • 2-3 Scallions, thinly sliced. For garnish- optional


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower in 1/ cup of hot sauce and spread into a single layer onto rimmed baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for 20 min. Set cauliflower aside and lower oven temp to 350°F.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. In a small saucepan garlic, onion, potato and veggie broth. Bring to a low boil and cook until potatoes are just past fork tender.
  3. In a high speed blender, combine cashews with veggies and broth from the saucepan, white beans, dairy-free milk, and remaining 1/2 cup of hot sauce. Blend on high until sauce is completely smooth. If mixture seems too thick, add some additional veggie broth (1/4 cup at a time). It should be thick enough to just coat the pasta, it will thicken more in the oven.
  4. Combine pasta and cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Pour sauce over the pasta and mix well to combine. Transfer Buffalo Mac mixture to a casserole dish, cover with foil and bake in 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for and additional 5 minutes.
  5. Top with chopped scallions, if desired, and serve.
  6. *Note: I particularly like shells for this recipe. The smaller pieces of cauliflower can get stuck inside, making for an amazing bite!
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Kaiti J

Welcome to Garnished with Gratitude! I'm so glad you're here. I'm Kaiti, a fan of healthy-ish ways, lists/plans, and I'm a total goofball. I'm here to create a space that provides resources to live your best life! From food and exercise to visualization and inspiration, this site is for you.

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