Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese
Yield: 6-8 servings
This Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe is made with a delicious cheddar-Parmesan cheesy sauce, and kicked up a notch with fresh broccoli and cooked chicken.
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
- 1 pound dry pasta (I used small shells, but you could use macaroni or any shape of pasta)
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 2 1/2 cups freshly-grated cheddar cheese (I recommend sharp cheddar)
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon finely-ground black pepper, or more to taste
- 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup extra shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook pasta al dente in a large stockpot of salted water according to package instructions. About 2-3 minutes before the pasta reaches al dente, add in the broccoli florets and let them cook alongside the pasta for the remainder of the cooking time. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, as the pasta water is heating, melt butter in a (separate) medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the flour until combined and cook for an additional 1 minute, whisking occasionally. Slowly whisk in vegetable or chicken stock until the mixture is smooth. Then slowly whisk in the milk until it is combined. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a simmer. Then remove from heat, and stir in the cheddar, Parmesan, salt and pepper until the cheese sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.
Once the pasta and broccoli are cooked, pour the cheese sauce on top of the pasta, add in the chicken, and toss until everything is evenly combined.
At this point, you can either serve the pasta stovetop-style as-is. Or pour the pasta into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with extra cheddar cheese and Panko breadcrumbs. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top becomes slightly crispy and the breadcrumbs are slightly golden. Remove and serve immediately.