Believe it or not, this recipe made the cut for Southern Living’s “Cooking Light Diet” for its January 2016 magazine. If your tastes are anything like mine, one or two unpleasant things can occur after eating mac ’n cheese – 1) it can be way too cheesy (pun fully intended) or 2) it can make me feel bloated – thus taking away the pleasure of eating one of America’s favorite meals.
The nutritional information for this recipe (per serving) is 343 calories; 12.2 grams of fat, 6.5 of which are saturated fats; 26 grams of protein; 2 grams of fiber; 31 grams of carbohydrates; and 647 milligrams of sodium. Darci Rogojin, a Cooking Light Diet subscriber from Seattle, WA says, “This recipe shows off what I love about the Cooking Light Diet: I never feel like I’m missing out on flavor. I love anything cheesy and melty, and when CL finds a way to lighten it up, it’s even better.”
In the interest of total honesty, I will have to make two batches for my family – one with bacon and garlic, one without. That way Alexis and I can chow down on the “plainer” recipe while the rest of the family can enjoy the bacon/garlic taste the recipe is meant to provide. Try it both ways to determine which one you like best. Either way, enjoy!
- 6 ounces uncooked large or regular elbow macaroni
- 3 cups pre-chopped broccoli florets
- 3 bacon slices, chopped
- 12 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 ¼ cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 5 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 ¼ cups)
- Preheat broiler to high. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.
- Cook bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until browned. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon; reserve 1 ½ teaspoon drippings in skillet. Sprinkle chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook chicken in hot dripping 4 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Sprinkle with turmeric; cook, stirring often, 30 seconds.
- Whisk together milk, stock, flour, and remaining salt; add to skillet. Bring to boil, stirring often. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in pasta mixture and 2 ounces cheese. Top with bacon and remaining cheese. Broil 2 minutes.
Makes 6 servings about 1 ⅓ cups each.