Ask my kids what their favourite food is, and 9 out of 10 times they will say mac n’ cheese. In fact, macaroni and cheese is one of those classic comfort foods that even my husband will choose over some of my half-way gourmet concoctions… and unless you are gluten and/or dairy free, you probably feel the same way. But noodles and cheese alone is not necessarily the most balanced meal, (especially the powdered-cheese kind that comes in a box), so turning this simple dish into a casserole is a great way to add some nutritional extras, like protein and veggies, and baking it adds that nice crispy finish. In this recipe I use cauliflower, as I’ve found that once it’s cooked, it just blends in with the creamy noodles and the kids don’t even realize it’s there! Serve it with a green salad or a slaw, and you’re all set for a cozy meal.
Cheesy Baked Chicken and Cauliflower Macaroni:
1 Package of Elbow Macaroni (350g)
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/4 cup Butter
1 Cup Chopped Cauliflower
2 Cups Shredded Medium Cheddar
2 Cups Shredded White Cheddar
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Salt
Black Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Chopped Scallions
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs.
-Preheat your oven to 350ºF
-Cook the macaroni noodles, drain, and pour them into your casserole dish.
-In a saucepan, melt the butter
-On medium heat, sautée the chicken, adding the salt, pepper, scallions, paprika, and then the cauliflower.
-When the chicken is partially cooked, pour in the chicken broth and the milk, and stir.
-Sprinkle in half of the cheddar cheese, and half of the white cheddar, and continue stirring.
-When the cheese has completely melted, pour the chicken and cheese sauce over the macaroni.
-Gently stir everything in the casserole dish, evenly distributing the noodles with chicken and sauce.
-Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over everything.
-Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over everything.
-Bake for 45 minutes, and savour!