BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

This is a fabulous homemade macaroni and cheese, BBQ sweetened chicken, green onions and a subtle smoky flavor make this a macaroni and cheese perfect for kids and adults alike! Save yourself some time and use a rotisserie chicken for the shredded chicken-you can then use the legs for another meal and the bones for stock! To save more time, microwave the milk to heat it, instead of dirtying another saucepan. This recipe works better with blocks of cheese you shred yourself versus the cheese you buy pre-shredded in bags (but I would argue that for any recipe).
Course comfort food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author With Two Spoons


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese shredded (2-3 cups)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded (approximately 2-3 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups shredded chicken + additional for garnish optional
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce I use a sweet and smoky version + additional for garnish (optional).
  • 16 ounces macaroni noodles cooked according to package directions
  • green onions finely chopped for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter.
  3. Quickly whisk in flour until a roux (paste) is formed.
  4. Heat milk in a small saucepan (or in the microwave to save time!).
  5. Slowly add heated milk (and make sure it's fully warmed first) to the roux, whisking and simmering.
  6. Add shredded cheese, whisking and simmering until thickened, approximately 10 minutes.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. While thickening cheese sauce, use a small skillet to melt 2 Tablespoons butter.
  9. Brown panko crumbs in melted butter, browning 30 seconds to 1 minute on medium high, set aside.
  10. Place cooked macaroni noodles in a casserole dish or 12 inch cast iron skillet.
  11. Pour cheese sauce over noodles.
  12. In a small bowl, mix chicken and barbecue sauce.
  13. Mix BBQ chicken into the noodles and cheese.
  14. Top with browned panko crumbs.
  15. Bake approximately 35 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and top is browned.
  16. Allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes.
  17. Garnish with green onions and additional barbecue chicken or barbecue sauce, if desired
  18. Serve and enjoy!