Sharing a favorite baked mac and cheese recipe today! My Chicken Roasted Vegetable Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food!
Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
Can we talk mac and cheese for a second? I absolutely LOVE creating new mac and cheese recipes. This one I have developed for you today uses Foster Farms cooked chicken breast along with roasted broccoli, asparagus, onions and bacon crumbles. Does not get better than this. So perfect for Sunday dinner when you’ve got lots of hungry mouths to feed 🙂
Try my Perfect Mac and Cheese recipe too! Follow Picky Palate on Instagram for daily recipe inspiration.
Cheesy goodness! You’ll need just a little prep work to get this dish to the table, but it’s worth every minute 🙂
Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe
Dinner time is my favorite time of the day to talk with the boys. I feel like they enjoy telling my husband and I all about their day they’ve had. We hear about little details we wouldn’t have heard from just passing through the house. We laugh a lot, watch food fly from my 2 year old in the high chair and enjoy the connections we have as a little family. I’ve definitely learned that it’s ok if dinner is not perfect and the kitchen table isn’t set like a restaurant, it’s all about the connections and time spent together. That’s my goal this year 🙂 Hope you enjoy!
Tips For Making Mac and Cheese
- Don’t overcook your noodles. The noodle is the base of the entire dish, so it’s crucial that you choose the right kind of pasta. Noodles with lots of nooks and crannies—such as shells, mini penne, elbows, and corkscrews—ensure you achieve maximum cheesiness with every bite. If the dish is eventually being baked in the oven, parboil the noodles and drain when they’re still slightly chewy.
- Don’t forget the roux! Though it might be tempting to use a recipe that doesn’t require a roux, it’s a helpful step that improves the dish’s texture. To begin, cook equal parts flour and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until a paste forms. Whisk in warm milk until it creates a creamy sauce, and then stir in your shredded cheese until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Use a variety of cheeses. To ensure the flavors aren’t too strong for the kids, choose cheeses that everyone will love. A good rule of thumb is to choose one sharp and one creamy, such as sharp cheddar and jack, or gruyere and Parmesan.
Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Mac and Cheese
- 1/2 pound dry small pasta I used elbow
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups milk I used skim
- 2 cups finely shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 2 cups cooked shredded Foster Farms Chicken Breast
- 2 cups roasted broccoli florets
- 1/2 pound roasted asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large roasted onion thinly sliced
- 1 pound cooked crumbled bacon
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside for a few minutes.
- To prepare roux, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until color of roux will gets slightly darker. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cheese until melted.
- Transfer cooked pasta to large dutch oven or pot over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine.
- Add chicken, broccoli, asparagus, onion and bacon, stirring to combine.
- Transfer mac and cheese to prepared baking dish. Top with additional shredded cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve warm.