This recipe for Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese is a delicious twist on a classic comfort food dish. Combining tender chicken breast and fresh broccoli with creamy mac and cheese, it’s a dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds and your hunger. This recipe has become increasingly popular due to its ease of preparation and ability to please even the pickiest eaters. If you want to impress your family and friends with a new take on mac and cheese, try making this recipe for yourself. It’s sure to become a new favorite in your household.
Here is why you might love this Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese Recipe
1. It combines the classic comfort of mac and cheese with the added nutrition of chicken and broccoli.
2. It’s quick and easy to prepare, making it a great option for busy weeknights.
3. The combination of creamy cheese sauce and tender chicken and broccoli creates a delicious and satisfying meal.
Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 lb (453.6 g) macaroni
- 2 cups (184.6 g) broccoli florets
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp (3.9 tbsp) butter
- 4 tbsp (3.9 tbsp) all purpose flour
- 2 cups (495 g) milk
- 2 cups (229.3 g) grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp breadcrumbs for topping
- Cook macaroni according to package instructions and set aside.
- Cut chicken breast into small pieces and cook in a pan until no longer pink.
- Steam broccoli florets until tender and set aside.
- In the same pan used to cook the chicken, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add all-purpose flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper and stir until combined.
- Slowly pour in milk while continuously stirring until mixture thickens.
- Stir in shredded cheddar cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese until melted and smooth.
- Combine cooked macaroni, chicken, and broccoli with cheese sauce until coated.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
2. Cook the pasta al dente, around 2 minutes less than the package instructions, as it will continue to cook in the oven.
3. Use sharp cheddar cheese for a more flavorful mac and cheese.
4. Sauté the chicken before adding it to the mac and cheese to enhance its flavor and texture.
5. Use fresh, crisp broccoli and blanch it before adding it to the mac and cheese to keep it from becoming mushy.
6. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika for a little kick of heat.
7. For a creamier sauce, use half-and-half, heavy cream, or evaporated milk instead of regular milk.
8. Layer the mac and cheese with breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping or grated cheese for a gooey crust.
9. Avoid over-baking the dish to prevent it from drying out.
10. Let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving to let the flavors settle.
Data source: USDA
Main Ingredients Explained
|Main Ingredient||Brief description||Possible Alternatives|
|Chicken||A lean source of protein that is added to the dish||Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan, Turkey|
|Broccoli||A green vegetable that provides vitamins and fiber||Cauliflower, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Green Peas|
|Mac and Cheese||A creamy pasta dish made with cheese and milk||Vegan Cheese, Nut Milk, Gluten-Free Pasta, Whole Wheat Pasta|
Chicken and broccoli mac and cheese should last up to 4-5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
To freeze, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and store for up to 2-3 months. When ready to eat, let it thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through. Always consume leftover food within safe time frames and follow proper food storage guidelines to prevent spoilage.
1. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese: This recipe adds buffalo sauce to the mac and cheese, along with shredded chicken and blue cheese crumbles. It gives the dish a spicy kick.
2. Bacon and Garlic Mac and Cheese: In this variation, cooked bacon and minced garlic are added to the mac and cheese. The flavors complement each other well and make the dish more savory.
3. Vegan Mac and Cheese: Replace the chicken with plant-based protein and use vegan cheese and milk to make a dairy-free version of this dish.
4. Mac and Cheese Casserole: Put the mac and cheese mixture into a baking dish and top with bread crumbs, grated cheese, and butter. Bake in the oven until golden brown and crispy.
5. Alfredo Mac and Cheese: Instead of using cheddar cheese, use a creamy Alfredo sauce to make the mac and cheese. Add cooked chicken and broccoli for additional flavor and nutrition.
What To Serve With
– Side salad with a vinaigrette dressing
– Garlic bread or toasted bread rolls
– Steamed green beans or asparagus
– Roasted sweet potatoes
– Grilled or roasted chicken breast for extra protein
– Fruit salad with berries and grapes
– Roasted Brussels sprouts
– Tomato and cucumber salad
– A simple cup of soup like tomato or chicken noodle
– Corn on the cob or corn muffins
– Grilled seafood like shrimp or scallops.
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