Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese — Damn Delicious

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Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese

This lightened-up mac and cheese is the best way to sneak in some veggies for those picky eaters! Also freezer-friendly!

I did something horrible.

I took a trashy mac and cheese, and made it less trashy. By adding broccoli.

Hey, apparently vegetables are good for you.

You’ll thank me later.

Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

This lightened-up mac and cheese is the best way to sneak in some veggies for those picky eaters! Also freezer-friendly!

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pasta shells
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons all -purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Within the last 2 minutes of cooking time, add broccoli; drain well.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Stir in milk, flour, garlic and Dijon, until smooth and slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Stir in pasta, broccoli, chicken, sun dried tomatoes and cheeses until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

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66 comments

Can this be frozen after making?

I would advise against it.

Could you please clarify the step regarding the cheese? Ingredient list calls for Laughing Cow, recipe mentions Monterey Jack? Use both, or one or the other?

Recipe is fixed!

Wow, three years late on this one. Rats!
A couple of the comments mention Laughing Cow, which I’d like to try. Is it just a straight swap from mozzarella/cheddar to LC? Thanks!

What flavor of LC cheese wedge did you use?

I used garlic & herb.

Could I substitute the LC cheese with anything? Like possibly cream cheese? This looks delicious and I’d like to make it very soon! 🙂

You can definitely try substituting the cream cheese but I have no way to know if this will change the taste/consistency of this dish.

How many wedges of LC Cream Cheese do we use?

Monica, I would estimate about 4 wedges but please check your packaging to ensure that 6 ounces are used.

This looks so tasty – love a lightened up version of a comfort food favorite! Thanks for sharing.

Can you clarify how much 1 serving is? 1 cup? looking forward to trying this tonight!

It really depends on how much you and your family can consume but I would say that at least 2 cups should be sufficient per person.

I make this recipe on the regular and the whole family loves it! I like to switch up the different flavors of cheese and I use roasted red peppers (instead of sundried tomatoes) because I usually have them in the fridge and it tastes great. Love this!!

My other half is a meat and potato and anything cheesy creamy kinda guy. He couldn’t get enough of this dish and well……no leftovers for me to take for lunch. LOL. I count what I eat, and I can easily fit this into my daily eating plans. This is absolutely delish! I used the entire carton of the LC garlic and herb cheese and it was perfect.

By the way, your food photos have me hooked to your blog. So glad I found you and I have not been disappointed with any of the recipes I’ve made. And neither has he 🙂 BONUS!!

This looks amazing! I don’t make nearly enough mac and cheese!

You are so smart to use the light Laughing Cow cheese. 30 calories per wedge. I use it on sandwiches in place of mayonnaise. It’s wonderful on 97% lean hamburger sandwiches on low calorie toasted bread. Lay the hot hamburger patties right on top of the toast, after spreading Laughing Cow cheese, my favorite is French Onion. Your recipe looks wonderful and I’ll make it soon.

what happened to your #recipecomingsoon for,the
RANCH CHICKEN THIGHS.

Diane, it’s still “coming soon”!

I love two things about this. The fact that you used Laughing Cow cheese and that you loaded it with yummy veggies! I can’t wait to try it! Or Costco churros, which sound like they must be pretty amazing…

Question, do you have the dietary info on this recipe, per cup? I need to Type 1 diabetic carb counting…

Unfortunately, as I am not a registered dietician, I am not comfortable sharing nutritional information for any of my recipes. I recommend utilizing online calorie counters at your discretion to obtain such information.

Can you clarify what’s going on with the chicken? Do you buy this pre-shredded? Or should I be adding additional prep time to cook/shred the chicken?

Alyssa, I don’t think chicken can be purchased “pre-shredded”. But you can certainly use leftover rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breast shredded with a fork.

Our Costco here actually sells the rotisserie chicken pulled too.

My Costco did for awhile too but it ended quickly. It’s no longer available. Buy a rotisserie chicken and use a mixer to shred the chicken. Comes out nicely shredded.

You can crock pot the chicken. That’s what I did!

This sure is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies!

I tried this tonight and the sauce didn’t work for me. I had the individually wrapped laughing cow cheese that comes in the red wax… that was all I saw. Was that the wrong kind? It turned into a curdled mess. I tried to save it with a little extra milk and some cheddar but it didn’t help. No idea what happened other than having the wrong cheese. Any ideas? I don’t know of any possible ways to save it.

Rella, unfortunately the incorrect cheese was used here. It is best to use the cheese that is cut into wedges.

I just love this lady… She comes up with recipes that appeal to my appetite…

do you cook the chicken before adding it to the cheese & milk mix?? or cook it in the sauce

Renee, the recipe calls for 2 cups shredded chicken breast so the chicken should be cooked and shredded (or finely chopped) prior to using.

Can’t wait to try this! Did you use frozen broccoli?

I used fresh broccoli.

Hi . can i use cheese cubes instead of cheese wedges as I live in NEw Delhi , India and am not sure if we have cheese wedges here ? Thanks .

You can certainly try substituting cheese cubes but without further recipe testing, I cannot speak for how much this will change the overall taste/texture of the dish. Using a substitution may also result in a mediocre outcome but if substitutions must be made, please use your best judgment.

Do you know how many calories are in one serving?

Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, it is best that you use free online resources at your discretion (you can gooogle “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

How do you cook the chicken? Do you bake or boil?

You can poach, bake or cook the chicken on the stovetop – it’s up to you!

I substituted quinoa for the pasta for an even healthier twist..turned out great!!

can i substitute greek yogurt for the milk? I’m lacthose intolerant! Thanks!

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise an appropriate substitute that will not alter the overall taste/texture of the dish. But if substitutions must be made, please use your best judgment.

Thanks for the recipe I needed it for school project

Entire family likes this dish. 3yr old gobbles this up; mom and sis have also added this to their menus. I’m not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes, so I just use fresh Romas. Good leftovers also, if you’re lucky to have any.

I forgot to buy the laughing cow cheese. I used some leftover cheeses in my fridge and it was a complete fail. It’s looks so good. I will try one more time and make sure I use the exact ingredients.

The recipe above doesn’t list Laughing Cow cheese wedges in the ingredients list or in the instructions, yet others are commenting about how great the LC cheese in the recipe is. Is there a typo in the recipe? Thanks!

The recipe has been updated (and improved – promise!) and thus, no longer includes Laughing Cow Cheese.

my printer has run out of ink, but i have handwritten this recipe and hope to try it today.
the pictures look excellent-but, looking at them it does not look as you mixed the broccoli with the other items-it looks as though you placed it when you took the pictures.looks good ,still going to cook as soon as i get the stove hot!!

I see laughing cow cheese mentioned in all the comments but no longer on the recipe. Did the original use laughing cow in place of both cheeses? Confused…..

The recipe has been updated (and improved – promise!) and thus, no longer includes Laughing Cow Cheese.

Hello. I am confused. I read these comments after I printed your recipe for Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese. The ingredients list does not have laughing cow as an ingredient. What am I missing here?

The recipe has been updated (and improved – promise!) and thus, no longer includes Laughing Cow Cheese.

I only see cheddar+mozzarella listed in this recipe.am I supposed to add the LC wedges also,or instead of the listed cheeses?

The recipe has been updated (and improved – promise!) and thus, no longer includes Laughing Cow Cheese.

I’ve been making a variation of this for years but **never** thought of using Laughing Cow cheese! How brilliant! I’ve always used broccoli, fresh tomatoes, seeded & cut into cubes, roasted red sweet peppers if I have any on hand & a thick cheese sauce made with cheddar, mozzarella & cream cheese or left-over tail ends of Boursin w/ herbs (& if I have any bits of feta, chèvre and/or ricotta I toss them in, too). But I’ll be grabbing some LC this weekend! Sounds wonderful.

i cooked this yesterday. easy to do , but as usual, i did not have all the correct items. wrong tomatos, i used can, one type cheese i did not have, chicken came out of a can, and i think fresh broccoli would be better than frozen. over all this tasted real good. but next time i will try to have more of the right stuff, every thing could stay the same except the chicken, it should be home fried or rotisserie from the big box. thanks for the easy and quick way to prepair a meal.

I’m confused. Several comments mention laughing Cow cheese. but I don’t see LC cheese listed in the ingredients. It’s also stated that it’s freezer friendly but commented that you don’t recommend it after making it. at what stage of cooking would I freeze it? Can’t wait to try this. My family has enjoyed several of your recipes!

The recipe has been updated (and improved – promise!) and thus, no longer includes Laughing Cow Cheese. You can freeze after it has been completely cooked in individual servings.

Why do all the comments for this recipe talk about laughing cow cheese but there is no laughing cow cheese in the ingredients… I am confused…

The recipe has been updated (and improved – promise!) and thus, no longer includes Laughing Cow Cheese.

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