Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baked Chicken Macaroni with Creamy Bechamel Sauce

One of my favorite comfort foods is baked mac n' cheese.  I love the creamy cheese sauce, but I don't love the high fat and calories so I've chosen to make a healthier version with bechamel sauce.  It is just as creamy and delicious as regular mac n' cheese, but it won't derail your diet.  It's a great, hearty meal to dig into on the upcoming cold, fall days.  I also serve this dish at Thanksgiving and everyone loves it.


Chicken Pasta 

2 cups whole wheat Penne pasta
1 bone-in chicken breast
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Bechamel Sauce

4 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 Tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 Tsp black pepper, or to taste


For Chicken & Pasta

Cook Penne pasta according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a pot, boil breast of chicken in about 3 cups of water, add more water as necessary.  Add about 1/4 teaspon salt and a 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to chicken while it is boiling.

Lower the heat.  Cover and cook chicken until it is done.

Bechamel Sauce

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add flour and whisk together until a bit brown.  Add milk gradually.  Whisk every time you add milk.  Continue whisking until sauce thickens.  Add salt and pepper, stir together and remove from heat.

Preparing Pasta

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Shred chicken into small pieces.

In a pie dish, add half of the pasta.  Add shredded chicken.  Add 4 Tbsp of bechamel sauce over pasta and chicken and stir.

Add rest of pasta and pour the rest of the bechamel sauce over it.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake in middle rack of oven until top is golden brown.

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