Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

- Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Ginny Branch
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Ginny Branch

A little bit of turmeric enhances the color here; it's a bit of a trick that makes you perceive the sauce as cheesier than it actually is.

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yields: Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)


calories 343

fat 12.2g

satfat 6.5g

monofat 3.7g

polyfat 0.9g

protein 26g

carbohydrate 31g

fiber 2g

cholesterol 64mg

iron 2mg

sodium 647mg

calcium 265mg


6 ounces uncooked large or regular elbow macaroni

3 cups prechopped broccoli florets

3 bacon slices, coarsely chopped

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk

1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

How to Make It

Preheat broiler to high.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.

While pasta cooks, place bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add chicken to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with turmeric; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently.

Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, milk, stock, and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pasta mixture and 2 ounces cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 3 ounces cheese and bacon. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and just begins to brown.


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