This is literally the best Mac&Cheese recipe I’ve ever made. Discovered on one of my fave food blogs, Gimme Some Oven, this recipe will make you want to toss out all those nasty boxes of cheese powder and never look back. It isn’t exactly “healthy,” but the ingredients are real and it’s not loaded with butter like so many are. Plus it includes the protein and veggie, which makes my mom life easier.
After posting the mouth watering picture above to my instagram, I got a lot of DM’s asking for the link so I decided just to share on here. This way, I can also include the changes I made. I rarely ever make a recipe exactly as it says — more often than not I make my own tweaks.
Feel free to check out the original recipe, or use mine below. Hope you enjoy!
- 12 oz dry macaroni (I used gluten free because my nursing baby has a wheat allergy)
- 6 cups of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (the original recipe had less broccoli)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (or butter if you’d like)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups reduced fat milk
- 5 cups grated cheddar cheese (I recommend sharp cheddar)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- garlic salt (some for the sauce, some for the chicken, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon finely-ground black pepper, or more to taste (I add a crap ton to mine)
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 3 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (*see instructions below for how to cook chicken breasts)
- 1/2 cup extra shredded Parmesan
- 1/2 cup GF Panko breadcrumbs
Cut up your chicken breasts into bite size pieces and saute on a skillet with olive oil and garlic salt to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken pieces are white and relatively firm. (If you’re unsure if it’s done, check the temperature with a thermometer — it needs to be 165 degrees fahrenheit or higher).
Boil water in a large stockpot and cook al dente, according to the box’s instructions. About 2-3 minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli florets and let them cook alongside the pasta for the remainder of the cooking time. Drain and set aside. (the idea to add the broccoli to the pasta water and cook them in tandem was from Gimme Some Oven and is genious).
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Whisk in the flour until combined and cook for an additional 1 minute. Slowly whisk in chicken stock until the mixture is smooth (mine was a little lumpy but it didn’t seem to affect the final product). Slowly whisk in the milk and continue cooking until the mixture comes to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the cheese, garlic salt and pepper until the cheese sauce is smooth.
Once the pasta and broccoli are cooked, pour into a large bowl and pour the cheese sauce over it and mix well. Then pour the pasta into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and Panko breadcrumbs.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top becomes slightly golden. Serve immediately.