Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese
What kid doesn’t like some Mac & Cheese? I probably only had it a handful of times growing up, and never at my house (my mom liked to make sure I ate healthy and I thank her for it), but that doesn’t mean that the few times I had it I didn’t thoroughly enjoy myself…..cuz I did! This is a nice adult twist to that kid favorite….courtesy of Rachael Ray. Side note: if you don’t know who Rachael Ray is you’re missing out. She’s got some amazing recipes that you can check out on foodnetwork.com.
To start, drizzle some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or EVOO as RR likes to say)
Next cut your chicken breasts into bite sized pieces by cutting strips down the length of the breast, and then cutting those strips into nice little cubes.
Place diced chicken into the pan and season with salt and pepper.
After chicken has cooked a couple minutes, chop up a small onion (or a quarter of an onion like me since I’m not a big fan of onions) and add it to the chicken. Let chicken and onions cook together for a few more minutes, then turn off the heat and reserve.
While chicken is cooking, boil some water in a large soup pot. When you have the water boiling, throw in some salt and your favorite pasta. I would normally use elbow or macaroni pasta since this is “Mac & Cheese” but for low carb purposes, I elected to use my 5 net carb penne pasta.
When pasta is almost done cooking to “al dente” chop up some broccoli and add it in with the pasta.
Now comes the fun part. The making of the cheesy sauce! Start by adding 3 tbsp of butter to a large sauce pan. That’s right you heard me! Say “yes” to the butter!
Next, add 3 tbsp of flour, 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper, and 1 tsp of paprika.
Whisk until thoroughly combined. This is creating a roux which will help thicken up our cheesy sauce.
Turn stove on high to bring to a quick boil, then turn down to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Next, grate up some sharp cheddar. There are not many things better than freshly grated cheddar. It puts a smile on my face.
Add about 3 cups of cheddar to the sauce and stir to melt it all in so it’s nice and ooy gooy.
Look at that yummy cheesy sauce!
Add 1 tbsp of dijon mustard (I know….I don’t like it either but it makes the sauce have a nice tang to it) and stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now it’s time to combine everything! Drain your broccoli and pasta and add it back to the pot, along with the chicken. Then pour a nice helping of cheesy sauce all over everything and stir it around so that every morsel gets coated in the cheesy goodness.
Put it on a plate, or eat it straight out of the pot! Either way it will make for some yummy in your tummy!