EASY baked Mac and Cheese loaded with chicken and broccoli - a COMPLETE meal all made in one pot! This recipe requires the specific ratio of water, milk and macaroni that I've specified in the recipe. Don't be alarmed at how much liquid there is when you take it out of the oven before broiling/grilling the top. You will be surprised how quickly the liquid evaporates into a thick sauce. Watch the VIDEO to see how easy this is to make!
Course: Dinner, One Pot, Pasta
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
1 lb / 500g skinless chicken breast or thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces
Mac N Cheese
2garlic cloves, minced
1small onion, finely chopped
2 1/2cupsmilk, low fat
2cupsmacaroni / elbow pasta(Note 1)
1large head of broccoli, broken into florets (or 1 1/2 smaller ones)
1 1/2 - 2cupsgrated cheese(cheddar, tasty or gruyere)
1/4cuppanko(or ordinary breadcrumbs)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Heat oil in a deep heavy based skillet or dutch oven over high heat. Add chicken and cook until just cooked - it's fine if it's still raw inside. Remove chicken into a bowl. (Note 2)
Reduce heat to medium and melt butter. Add garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in half the milk and whisk it in so the flour butter mixture melts. It should thicken quite quickly - around 30 seconds. Pour the remaining milk in, whisking constantly, then add the water, salt and pepper.
Turn the heat up to medium high and cook, whisking occasionally, for around 3 to 5 minutes until you start seeing steam rising from the white sauce when you whisk it.
Add the macaroni and chicken, stir, then top with broccoli.
Place the lid on and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, switch oven to broiler/grill on high.
Remove lid (Note 3), stir through cheese, then sprinkle over panko and parmesan. (Will still look bit watery at this stage).
Place pot under the broiler/grill for 5 minutes, or until top is golden.
Remove, then let it stand for 5 minutes before serving (sauce thickens quickly).
1. Don't use the teeny tiny macaroni, use the macaroni that is about 1.2cm/1/2" long. In Australia, the pasta used in Mac and Cheese is called "Elbows". The pasta labelled as "macaroni" is tiny - almost the size of jasmine rice - and it will cook far too quickly in this recipe.2. Don't worry if you have brown bits on the bottom of your pan. It might mix into the sauce but it shouldn't make the sauce brown. You can see in the video that I have quite a bit of brown bits on the base of the pan but my sauce still ends up being nice and white.3. When you take it out of the oven, there should still be plenty of liquid, quite watery. The pasta will be almost cooked, but not quite. It finishes cooking in the next step, and the sauce thickens too (especially when resting).4. As with all pastas, this becomes less saucy the longer it sits out. So eat it while it's hot and fresh! Leftovers are brilliant to use for Leftover Pasta Fritters.5. Nutrition per serving, assuming this is made using chicken breast and serves 5.