Chicken, Macaroni, and Cheese

Wrap this warm and cozy casserole in a hand-decorated apron as a heartfelt Christmas gift.

Makes:
6 servings
Start to Finish:
40 mins
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Chicken, Macaroni, and Cheese

Ingredients
8
ounces dried penne pasta
1
pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
1
tablespoon olive oil
1
teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/8
teaspoon salt
1/8
teaspoon ground black pepper
3
tablespoons butter
1/2
cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2
3
tablespoons all-purpose flour
2
tablespoons tomato paste
3
cups milk
2
cups shredded cheddar, Gruyere, or Swiss cheese (8 ounces)
 
Salt and ground black pepper
2
cups soft sourdough or French bread crumbs
1/2
cup finely shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese (2 ounces)
3
tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; return pasta to pan.
  2. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size pieces. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, Italian seasoning, the 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour. Stir in tomato paste. Add milk. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly; reduce heat. Add cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese is almost melted. Remove from heat; season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Add cheese mixture and chicken to cooked pasta in pan; stirring to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13x9x2-inch foil baking pan with lid.
  4. In a bowl, stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and the 3 tablespoons melted butter. Place crumb mixture in a plastic bag; seal bag. Cover pan with lid. Attach crumb mixture and serving directions to pan (below). Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

(Chicken, Macaroni, and Cheese)
    Per serving:
  • 675 kcal cal.,
  • 34 g fat
  • (18 g sat. fat,
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 12 g monounsatured fat),
  • 132 mg chol.,
  • 771 mg sodium,
  • 49 g carb.,
  • 1 g fiber,
  • 8 g sugar,
  • 42 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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