I love me some mac and cheese. I do the classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese and I’ve done that amazingly delicious Garlic Bacon Mac and Cheese. But this recipe for Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese is another level of the classic. The chicken and spinach make this heartier and this is a dish that you will want to make again and again.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, 1 inch thick
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 white onion, diced
2 1/3 cup chicken broth, divided
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup quartered grape tomatoes
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
12 oz elbow macaroni
10 oz chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella
1) Heat one teaspoon of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Sear chicken on both sides till golden brown, cooked through and no longer pink. Move to a plate and cover.
2) Add butter to the skillet and cook onion and garlic for about 3 minutes, till onion is transparent. Add 1/3 cup broth and simmer for 5 minutes until reduced. Add the tomatoes and cook for two more minutes.
3) Stir in flour and cook another minute. Pour in the rest of the broth, 2.5 cups of milk, oregano and basil and bring to a low simmer.
4) Pour in dry macaroni and stir occasionally while it simmers. Place heat on medium low and cook for about 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Add spinach and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted and well mixed.
5) Slice chicken into pieces and place on top of the pasta. Serve.