Chicken Mac & Cheese

Chicken Mac & Cheese

Chicken Mac & Cheese

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I made this dish the other night when Danny and Ashley (my son and daughter-in-law) came over to have dinner with us and pick up the kids.  I wanted something gluten free for David but something everyone else would like, too.  I used gluten free pasta, flour and bread crumbs which made this gluten free.  It was very good and we all liked it a lot, but next time I’m going to make it without the tomato paste.  I’m not sure why it’s in there but I would rather it wasn’t.

Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list.  It’s not as bad as it looks.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dried penne pasta
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or desired herb blend, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese (8 ounces)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain; return pasta to pan.

Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and Italian seasoning; sprinkle with 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.

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 shredded 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 greased 2-quart baking dish.  In a small bowl stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons melted butter.

Bake, covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove cover.  Sprinkle crumb mixture over pasta mixture.  Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes until crumb mixture is golden and edges are bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings.

Notes:

(1)     The recipe says this dish makes 6 servings but I was serving 4 adults so I wanted more.  I ended up increasing the recipe by half and baking it in a 9×13 pan.  I had more bread crumbs than I needed so next time I’ll just use the original amount for that.

(2)     I made this dish gluten free by using gluten free pasta, bread crumbs and flour.

(3)     I didn’t care for the tomato paste flavor in the casserole so next time I’ll try making this without the tomato paste.  It wasn’t a dominant flavor but I prefer my cheese not to be tainted with tomato.

from Dinner on a Dollar magazine

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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