Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Ginny Branch 
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
25 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 2

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, January, 2016

Ratings & Reviews

steponme's Review

May 08, 2014
Thought it was good for a quick weeknight meal, but wouldn't serve to guest.

Needs more flavor

December 29, 2015
Needs more punch... will try with cream and more cheese next time. Yes, I understand it will no longer be so light of a recipe, but will be much better in flavor. Maybe more garlic too.  As is, qualifies as edible.

Family Favorite!

December 11, 2015
I make this dish every couple months.  My family gobbles it up!

Very good and basic recipe to also manipulate!

October 17, 2015
This was delicious, big hit with the family. You could really elevate this recipe. It's basic and you could add to it. For example, canned diced tomatoes, ancho chili powder, you could also use andouille instead of bacon. I made the recipe as it stated, but for a topping, I took 3 tbsp of butter heated it in a pan and tossed a cup of bread crumbs until they were golden. I then put it in the oven for 30 min at 350 then 2 minutes under broiler to crisp them up. Very good!

Yum yum comfort food

May 12, 2015
I didn't have elbow macaroni so used baby bow-tie pasta.  Came out perfectly.  Very flavorful.  Used slightly more chicken (1 lb) than the recipe called for and it was very filling.  Served with a side of fruit.  Can't wait for the leftovers tomorrow!  Will definitely make this regularly.

klhunter's Review

January 19, 2015
This is so delicious! It's become a big-time family favorite. My variations have included adding a tiny bit of curry and omitting the chicken (while adding more broccoli and bacon), and adding some extra grated cheese and panko bread crumbs on top.

carolfitz's Review

November 27, 2014
Made to recipe using skim milk & accidentally added all the cheddar to the sauce. Used extra 2oz parm/asiago on top, so ours ended up being cheesier (about 45cal more per serving). Think a bit of mustard might be good in the sauce, or dash of red pepper.

mp2908's Review

November 11, 2014
Great. Will make crispier next time under the broiler.

ksmith6103's Review

September 09, 2014
Um...yes. I substituted rotini pasta but regardless, this totally filled my need for everything carb-y, cheesy and oh so bad for you. The turmeric is a great trick and the broccoli helped me hate myself less for eating something my brain was trying to tell me MUST be off limits.

Elsmom110's Review

August 09, 2014
Loved this! Super creamy, delicious for 343 calories!!