Chicken Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese is comfort food at its finest. Creamy, cheesy and hearty this is a great weeknight meal that will provide you leftovers for later in the week. Make this vegetarian easily by omitting the chicken and adding more vegetables in its place.
Like I mentioned last week I have been living at my parents house in Tennessee while we are waiting to move into our new house in Cleveland.
My Mom makes a mean casserole…chicken and rice casserole, tuna casserole..they are all so comforting and good. She inspired me to create today’s Chicken and Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese.
I am a sucker for a creamy, hearty macaroni and cheese and I like the combination of chicken with broccoli.
With this dish I baked it after combing all of the ingredients to help create a creamy, cheesy dish topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs.
If you are a vegetarian you can easily omit the chicken in this recipe and in its place add an extra cup or two of cooked vegetables (maybe carrots or green beans). You could also use canned tuna in the place of the chicken.
There are a few things I love about this:
1) This recipe makes a big batch that will feed your family and provide you with leftovers for the week.
2) It has a lot of cheese in it…you just can’t go wrong with cheese.
3) The chicken, broccoli and small elbow macaroni noodles make this a great finger food meal for your toddlers and babies. Drew loved eating this all week long.
4) There is no condensed soup in this recipe. While I know it is easy to throw a can of condensed soup in a casserole it adds a lot of sodium, calories and sometimes ingredients that aren’t necessary or something I know.
5) You get protein from the chicken, vitamins from the broccoli and calcium from the milk and cheese.
I promise this won’t disappoint. Dig in!
- 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni pasta, cooked (or pasta of your choice)
- 3 cups broccoli, cooked, chopped
- 1 lb. chicken, cooked, shredded (you can use rotisserie)
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese (divided)
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 cups milk (I used 1%)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 Tablespoons mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked pasta, cooked broccoli and cooked shredded chicken.
- In a large pot heat the butter over medium heat stirring until melted. Add the flour and whisk until thick.
- Add the milk and simmer stirring to avoid burning. Add the paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, 2 cups of sharp cheddar and 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the chicken broccoli mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish.
- Top with the remaining 1 cup of parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the panko begins to brown and the mac and cheese bubbles.
You can change this dish up by adding tuna instead of chicken or omit the meat and add additional vegetables.
Try whole wheat pasta for a healthier option.