Super-cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta recipe

Ahhh, carbolicious saucy pasta … what’s not to love? For mac and cheese loving kids with a sense of adventure, this dinner is sure to be a winner!

My kids have long loved mac and cheese – which admittedly makes for a fantastic treat but doesn’t have any enough nutritional value to be a menu mainstay. But add a bit of chicken and some vegetables and you can twist my arm, much to the delight of the kids. Start off slow with extras such as broccoli as seen here, but the sky is the limit – peas, pumpkin and bacon would all be tasty additions to a basic mac and cheese.

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Ingredients

225g pasta shells
340g broccoli florets
500g chicken breast, already cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
30g butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Method

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Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta shells. Cook according to the pasta pack directions, adding the broccoli to the pot in the last three minutes of the pasta cooking time. Drain and set aside.

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In the same pot, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Whisk in the flour (or use a spoon if you’re a deft hand at squishing lumps) and cook for around a minute to create a roux.

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Slowly add the milk, stirring out any lumps along the way.

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Add the cheese and the onion and garlic powders, and bring to the boil over medium heat until it starts to thicken into a lush cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Add the chicken, pasta shells and broccoli to the cheese sauce and stir gently until it is all coated. Serve immediately with a couple of teaspoons of extra cheese on top.

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Perfect for the kids before or after sports training when bowl food is best, the recipe is originally from the amazing Alyssa at The Recipe Critic.

Make sure to browse our recipe archives for more great meal ideas and treats to try.

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