I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central for the National Pasta Association. I received pasta samples and a stipend to facilitate the creation of pasta recipes as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #MC #PastaFits
How often does your family eat pasta? We have pasta pretty often at my house. Easy pasta dinners are perfect for our busy weeknight schedule. To celebrate National Pasta Month, I have been using the Meal Planning tool at Pasta Fits to look up healthy dinner ideas to try with my family. One of the most popular healthy dinner recipes on the site right now is Chicken, Broccoli and Cheddar Mac and Cheese Squares.
My kids especially love homemade Mac and Cheese, and adding broccoli is an easy way to boost nutrition. I made the following recipe ahead of time and kept it in the refrigerator until we were ready to eat.
Visit PastaFits.org for recipes, nutrition information, contest and promotions, as well as general cooking tips and pasta facts.
Chicken, Broccoli and Cheddar Mac and Cheese Squares
- 4 oz. elbow macaroni
- 2 cups/8 oz. small broccoli florets
- 2 Tbsp./1 oz. butter
- 6 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups/16 oz. skim milk
- 4 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used a White Cheddar)
- 8 oz. cooked chicken (leftover), small dice
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
2. Heat a small pan of salted water. Cook the broccoli until crisp tender (about 2 minutes). Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Chop into ½” pieces. Reserve.
3. Heat a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add butter and, whisking constantly, stir in the flour taking care the flour doesn’t brown. Continue to cook for 2 minutes.
4. Whisk in the milk. It will thicken as it gets hot. Whisk constantly; any lumps will smooth out. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes. Mixture will bubble and thicken. When it no longer changes in consistency, it’s done.
5. Stir in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta, broccoli and chicken. Spread into a 9” x 9” pan. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and press them into the surface. Cool completely (at least 2 hours). Cut into 6 squares.
What are your favorite macaroni recipes? Does you like pasta with chicken recipes? Let me know if you try this easy pasta dish.