Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Ginny Branch  

A little bit of turmeric enhances the color here; it's a bit of a trick that makes you perceive the sauce as cheesier than it actually is.

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
Total:
Recipe from Cooking Light

More From Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands On: 25 Minutes
Total: 25 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 343
  • Fat: 12.2g
  • Saturated fat: 6.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbohydrate: 31g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Sodium: 647mg
  • Calcium: 265mg

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces uncooked large or regular elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups prechopped broccoli florets
  • 3 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. 2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.
  3. 3. While pasta cooks, place bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add chicken to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with turmeric; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  4. 4. Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, milk, stock, and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pasta mixture and 2 ounces cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 3 ounces cheese and bacon. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and just begins to brown.
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