Mac and Cheese Supreme
boneless skinless chicken thighs,  Chicken,  For Cheese Lovers,  Pasta

Mac and Cheese Supreme

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To be clear, the term “supreme” here means “complete meal with meat and vegetables so you have an excuse to eat luscious mac and cheese if you need one”. Super juicy chicken thigh morsels in your mac and cheese with bursts of tang from the tomato and spinach so you can retort “What?! It’s healthy!”.

This isn’t really a ‘healthy’ version or even ‘lightened up’, but we do use whole grain pasta to help with the fiber ratio and we get actual vitamins from the spinach plus cancer-fighting lycopene from the tomatoes. You can diminish more fat by using low-fat cheeses. The whole wheat pasta and chicken will probably make you feel satisfied after one portion. So, you know… there’s room for dessert.

PS- the dish in the pictures has a kind of sepia tone going on due to using white cheddar with the whole grain pasta. Using a yellow cheddar should make yours look more mac and cheesish! Also – this dish makes a bit of a mess! Prepare yourself, enlist a helper or clean as you go…

Mac and Cheese Supreme

A complete meal with juicy chicken thighs, healthy spinach, tomatoes and lots of comfort!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 25 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boneless skinless chicken thighs, mac and cheese
Servings: 4
Calories: 555000kcal
Author: Kenny MacKenzie

Ingredients

  • 4-6 boneless dkinless chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat
  • 10 oz whole grain pasta elbows, shells or farfalle…
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 14.5 oz can of stewed tomatoes with juice chopped
  • 1 tsp salt divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning (southern is great!)
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 4 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (yellow better for color0
  • 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Get the chicken going first. Preheat oven to 400° F. 
  • Toss chicken in a medium bowl with olive oil, 1/2 salt, the black pepper and poultry seasoning.
  • Place chicken in a lightly sprayed cooking dish (square glass works well). Cook for about 35 minutes, check at 30. Chicken should be just 165°. Remove and let cool. Leave oven on.
  • While the chicken bakes, start your pasta. Heat a medium large pot of cold water to boil. Salt. Add pasta and cook til just al dente. 
  • Drain pasta and let air dry on a lined cookie sheet.
  • Chop up your stewed tomatoes a bit and set aside. Reserve juice.
  • Mix together parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large saute pan, melt the butter on medium. Stir in flour and whisk until combined.
  • Add milk slowly and whisk all the time to get rid of lumps. Bring to a light boil.
  • Add spices (1/2 salt, white pepper, mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, hot sauce) and lower the heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes and juices. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop cooled chicken thighs into bite size pieces.
  • Stir in spinach until wilted – 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and add cheddar and monterey cheeses. Stir to combine.
  • Remove from stove and stir in the chicken.
  • Pour mixture into a casserole dish. Top with parmesan/breadcrumb mixture.
  • Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes until topping browns and sauce gently bubbles.
  • Serve and top with fresh ground black pepper and grated cheese if desired!

Notes

I used a whole 6-pack of thighs – comes out yummy but less pasta-centric…

Music to cook by: World of Trance Vol. 3 (great for focus & motivation!)

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