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I know, I had you all at cheesy chicken. But it’s not just regular ol’ cheesy chicken. Nope. It’s chicken and pasta made with the incredible, delicious sauce you use to make macaroni and cheese. Yep.
See, I was craving comfort food like a MAD man this weekend. I know, after my binge on omelets and pizza you’d think that would have satisfied it, but no, I wanted something cheesy, chickeny and full of nostalgic wonder.
Macaroni and cheese was one of my favorite meals as a kid. My mom is an incredible cook, so we didn’t often see that bright blue box of Kraft mac n cheese very often, but when we did, it was always such a treat. Looking back, I’m a little astounded that we got so excited over bright, fake “cheese” powder and some noodles. But we were kids, what did we know? Safe to say, when I got my mac craving, I didn’t go that blue box, I went to my fridge!
Angel hair pasta paired with a triple cheese sauce topped with freshly made bread crumbs. Well, er, not bread crumbs, per say. I didn’t have any nor did I have the patience/energy to whip out my blender so I just made toast and ripped it a part into bite size pieces.
The extra crunch from the toast was amazingly paired with the soft, creaminess of the pasta. Now, what you are really wondering, how the heck could this be light? Well, for one, I based my sauce on Gina’s and did just some alterations of my own. Instead of using cream, she suggested chicken stock (which I had 2 jars of homemade just sitting in my fridge)! Paired with skim milk and part skim cheese, you have a lighter dish!
Crunchy, creamy, awesome.
Baked Cheesy Chicken Pasta
Serves 8 (1 cup servings)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
- 12 ounces of angel hair pasta
- 1 cup of shredded chicken (easy recipe can be found here!)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup part-skim cheddar cheese
- 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheeese
- 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 basil leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 2 pieces whole wheat toast, crumbled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions until al-dente, about 4 – 6 minutes. Rinse and set aside.
- In a deep pan, heat butter. Over low heat, add flour and stir with a whisk until combined. Add in onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in milk and chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil. Heat until sauce thickens up, about 3 – 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Once sauce is thick, remove from heat and immediately stir in cheeses and chicken. Add in pasta and stir until mixture is evenly coated. Sprinkle with basil, parsley and additional salt and pepper.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with bread and bake for 20 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information per 1 cup:
Fat: 11 grams
Carbohydrates: 32 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 7