Okay so how GOOD is Mac and cheese? SOOO DELICIOUS! I thought I'd add some veggies and chicken to bulk out the recipe, and boy was that decision AMAZING!
250g elbow pasta
300g chicken tenderloins, sliced into strips
1 broccoli, cut into florrets
50g baby spinach leaves
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1 brown onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup plain flour
800ml whole milk
2-3 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, Colby, mozzarella)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp. Fresh parsley, chopped
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions (minus 2 minutes!) set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Using a small pan with a tiny splash of olive oil, add broccoli, spinach, onion, fresh garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until veggies are half cooked though. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add chicken and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until completely cooked through.
- In a large pot, add butter and melt over medium heat.
- Once melted, add flour and mix for one minute. Use a whisk to separate the clumps.
- Add 250ml of milk, stirring to try to dissolve the flour paste into the milk.
- Add remaining milk and continue to whisk until lump free.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder and fresh parsley. Stir through.
- Stir for 5-8 minutes until the milk has thickened to a cream like consistency. A way to check this is, coat a spoon in the mixture and using the back of the spoon, you should be able to draw a thick pathway with your finger.
- Remove from stove and add cheese, chicken and the vegetable mixture. Mix through.
- Add the cooked elbow pasta into the pot and stir through, ensuring to coat well.
- Top with panko crumbs and a sprinkle of paprika.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes ot until the top is lightly golden brown.