Hello! I’m back from a week-long break of no blogging. Sometimes, I’ve just got to step away from the food…
But I can’t stay away too long. I’m always thinking of food and cooking and eating. There are just so many new recipes to try!
Macaroni and cheese is no exception. I’ve always wanted to try adding broccoli to mac and cheese to sort of take away some guilt and to add nutritional value and fiber. This recipe also uses chicken, so it’s one of those one dish meals that I love to make.
I happened to use leftover pasta for this dish but you certainly don’t need to do that, and it’s probably easier not to since you’ll have to cook the broccoli in boiling water anyway.
Top this with just a bit of bacon for some added crunch and flavor, and call it dinner!
- 6 oz pasta uncooked (12 oz cooked, or 3 cups)
- 4 cups pre-chopped broccoli florets
- 3 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
- 12 ounces of chicken (about 1 medium sized breast), chopped
- ½ teaspoon table salt plus more if needed
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2¼ cup low fat milk
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon of all purpose flour
- 5 ounces of low-fat sharp cheddar cheese (about 1¼ cup)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- If using dry pasta, begin by cooking 6 ounces according to package directions
- During the last minute of cooking, add broccoli to pasta water and cook for 1 minute.
- Drain and set aside pasta and broccoli.
- In large saute pan, cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon and all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings
- Add chicken to the pan (with the reserved 1 teaspoon of bacon drippings), and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until no longer pink.
- Add garlic, salt, and turmeric to chicken and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
- Whisk flour with milk and add to the saute pan with chicken and cook over medium high heat until thickened.
- Remove from heat, and stir in ½ of the cheddar cheese and the black pepper
- Add pasta and broccoli to the pan with the cheese sauce and chicken. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt.
- Pour the mixture into an oven-safe baking dish and top with bacon and the other half of the cheddar cheese
- Broil for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese has melted.