STOVE TOP TWISTED TUSCAN CHICKEN MAC AND CHEESE
Twisted Tuscan Chicken Mac And Cheese- Use a large pan or Cast Iron Dutch Oven or Enameled Dutch Oven to fit everything in and avoid unnecessary spillage (anything above 30 cm or 12 inches or over 6-quart is perfect).
- Sear skinless and boneless chicken thighs OR breasts. We prefer organic chicken breasts from Perdue Farms in this, but organic thighs are just as good if you don’t like dark meat. (If you have leftover chicken, you can use it). Learn about Perdue Farms. We wrote up a review about their meat products; they are inexpensive and of excellent quality.
- Use dry pasta… there’s no need to pre-boil anything. ( You don't have to use elbow macaroni, feel free to substitute it with your choice of pasta)
- We use white wine in this recipe as it adds flavor, but you can add chicken broth instead!
Meal prepping can make life easier for new parents. Here are some tips to get started:
- Plan your meals: Decide what you want to eat for the week and make a grocery list.
- Choose recipes that are easy to make and reheat: Casseroles, soups, and stews are great options.
- Cook in bulk: Make enough food for several meals and store them in individual containers.
- Label and date your containers: This will make it easier to keep track of what you have and when it was made.
- Freeze extras: If you make more than you need, freeze the extra portions for later.
By meal prepping, you can save time and stress less about what to make for meals. Plus, it can be a great way to eat healthier and stick to a budget.
TWISTED MACARONI TUSCAN CHICKEN MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE SAUCE
- For the sake of keeping this Tuscan Mac and Cheese as close to the traditional Mac and Cheese we all love, I use butter as the base. You CAN use oil if you like!
- Retain 2 tablespoons of the oil that the sun-dried tomatoes come in. You can use more or less if you like
- I choose to use flour in the sauce to keep the Mac and cheese tradition alive. It does not necessarily create a roux but is similar in taste. If you find lumps from the flour after you first add it in, They do eventually cook through when you add the liquids and begin to heat up.
- When you add your liquids, stir the flour through really well. You’ll see it begin to thicken with the heat.
- Regularly stir the pasta in the sauce mixture, so it doesn’t end up in one big lump of a mess. Stir it every minute or so, and watch the magic unfold!
- For a deeper cream flavor, add 1/2 cup light cream or heavy cream, if you prefer, before adding in the spinach!
- As soon as the pasta is al dente (not too soft), take it off the heat! Remember, it will continue to cook in the hot sauce, and you don’t want to end up with mushy pasta.
- Have fun with the cheese you choose, or follow the recipe and use the combination we used. Remember to taste test and adjust salt and pepper to your tastes (If needed)!
- I didn’t add a crumb topping, but you can if you wish! Just make sure you start in an oven-proof dish; that way, you don’t need to transfer anything. Use the crumb from this recipe.
- I cook my Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese in a cast iron dutch oven or enameled dutch oven pan, so if I add a crumb topping, I can easily pop it in the oven
Twisted Tuscan Chicken Mac n Cheese Recipe
INGREDIENTS | 6 SERVINGS
- 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts pounded to 1-inch thickness (or 4 boneless and skinless chicken thigh fillets) (BUY HERE)
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (sweet or smokey)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon oil, divided (use olive or canola oil)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 6 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1/3 cup white wine OPTIONAL (use chicken broth instead if you wish)
- 9 oz (250g) jarred sun-dried tomato strips in oil (reserve 2 tablespoons of oil and drain the rest)
- 3 level tablespoons of flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups milk OR light cream* or half and half, divided
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
- 10 ounces (300g) of elbow macaroni uncooked (3 cups!)
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup grated cheese Cheddar or Gruyere
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
INSTRUCTIONS FOR Twisted Macaroni Made & Cheese
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, dried parsley, and 2 teaspoons of oil. Heat the remaining oil in a large (30cm or 12-inch) pot or pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden brown, cooked through, and no longer pink in the middle. Transfer chicken to a warm plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
- To the same pan, add the butter and fry the onion and garlic until the onion becomes transparent, occasionally stirring (about 2 minutes). Pour in the white wine and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until beginning to reduce down.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil from the jar and cook for 1-2 minutes to release as much flavour as possible.
- Stir the flour into the pot and allow it to cook for a further minute. Then, add the broth, 2 1/2 cups of milk (or cream/half and a half), herbs, salt, and pepper, and bring to a very low simmer (lower the heat if you need to).
- Add the dry macaroni and occasionally stir as it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir regularly while it cooks (for about 9 – 10 minutes) or until the sauce thickens and the macaroni is just cooked (al dente: tender but still firm). Add the spinach and stir through until wilted.
- Take the pot off the stove and stir the cheese quickly. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup milk (or cream) in 1/4 cup increments until reaching desired thickness. Keep in mind the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Slice the chicken into strips and stir through the pasta (pour in any juices left from the chicken). Sprinkle with parsley, and stir through. Serve immediately!
*This one-pot Tuscan chicken mac and cheese is perfect for a cook once and eat all week meal plan.
**Full-fat milk is preferred for maximum flavor, but low-fat milk is ok. You can also use light cream, heavy cream, or evaporated milk.
***For added cream flavor, add 1/2 cup light cream (or heavy cream if you wish) before adding the spinach. Allow it to get hot before adding in the spinach!
**Buy Organic When Possible
recipe credit: Cafe Delites