I was really craving baked macaroni and cheese one night so I decided to throw in some other items to make a meal out of it. Everyone loved it and my step-daughter asked if I could make it once a week. It is cheesy and fantastic with veggies and chicken added so you don't have to worry about making side dishes. This fed our family of five and gave my hubby leftovers for work. See the last step for make ahead information.
- 1 lb chicken breast, diced
- olive oil
- 8 ounces broccoli florets, cooked and chopped (I used a little over a half of a regular sized bag of frozen broccoli cuts. Use more or less to fit )
- 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked
- 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
- 1 (10 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 6 tablespoons butter (or 3/4 of a stick)
- 2 (8 ounce) bricks sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (I shredded them in a food processor)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over Medium/High heat. Add chicken to the pan and saute until done, seasoning with salt and pepper if preferred.
- If broccoli florets are not already cooked and chopped, do this now. You can buy frozen chopped broccoli to save time.
- Add chicken and broccoli to the already cooked macaroni pasta. Toss to make sure it is well mixed.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cheddar cheese soup, evaporated milk, sour cream, milk, Parmesan and seasoned salt. Add the butter after everything else is mixed.
- Cover with plastic wrap and cut a few slits in the top to vent.
- Microwave for 4 minutes to melt butter and heat the rest of the soup mixture. Make sure butter is melted when finished. If not, stir and microwave for another minute or two.
- To assemble the macaroni, layer 1/2 of the macaroni/chicken/broccoli mixture in the bottom of a sprayed 9x13 glass baking dish. Top with half of the cheese soup mixture. Top with half of the shredded cheese.
- Repeat all three layers one more time.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the cheese on top is melted. If the top is already browned, skip the next step.
- Turn oven to BROIL and allow macaroni to remain in the oven for 5 minutes until the cheese on top is lightly browned. You may even want to keep the oven door open a crack to watch the top and make sure it doesn't burn.
- You can make this a day or two ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Just remove it from the fridge about 45 minutes before baking so it comes up to room temperature and cooks evenly.