Chicken Mac and Cheese

Chicken breasts add extra protein to this favorite pasta casserole recipe.


Chicken Mac and Cheese

by 20  people


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Ingredients
  • 1   pound 
    skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
  • 1 - 2   teaspoons 
    dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  •  
    Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1   tablespoon 
    olive oil
  • 8   ounces 
    dried mostaccioli, ziti, or penne pasta
  • 1   
    medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2   
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 3   tablespoons 
    butter
  • 3   tablespoons 
    all-purpose flour
  • 2   tablespoons 
    tomato paste
  • 3   cups 
    milk
  • 8   ounces 
    smoked cheddar, Gruyere, or Swiss cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  •  
    Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2   cups 
    soft sourdough or French bread crumbs
  • 2   ounces 
    finely shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 3   tablespoons 
    butter, melted
Directions
1.
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet cook chicken, Italian or desired seasoning blend, salt, and pepper in hot oil over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink.* Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
2.
In a large pot or kettle cook pasta according to package directions until just tender. Drain; return pasta to pot.
3.
Meanwhile, in the same skillet in which chicken was cooked, cook onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons hot butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour until well combined. Stir in tomato paste. Add milk. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly; reduce heat. Add the shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is almost melted. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add sauce and chicken to cooked pasta in pot; stir to coat. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart square or rectangular baking dish.
4.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle crumb mixture over pasta mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until crumb mixture is golden and edges are bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
Variation
  • Cooking Club Directions: Prepare casserole as above for each member, except divide the bread crumb mixture into small resealable plastic bags or moisture- and vapor-proof plastic freezer bags. Do not bake. Cover pans with foil to refrigerate, or wrap with moisture- and vapor-proof wrap to freeze. Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze casserole and bread crumb mixture up to 1 month.
Tip
  • Test Kitchen Tip: Use a blender or food processor to make soft breadcrumbs. About 1-1/2 ounces of break makes 1 cup of crumbs.
Variation
  • Reheating and Serving:
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 675, Fat, total (g) 34, chol. (mg) 132, sat. fat (g) 18, carb. (g) 49, Monosaturated fat (g) 12, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 2, fiber (g) 1, sugar (g) 8, pro. (g) 42, vit. A (IU) 1020, vit. C (mg) 2, Thiamin (mg) 0, Riboflavin (mg) 1, Niacin (mg) 9, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, Folate (g) 101, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 1, sodium (mg) 771, Potassium (mg) 415, calcium (mg) 555, iron (mg) 3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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