Friday, September 23, 2011

Kicked-Up Baked Mac and Cheese with Chicken

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The temperature has been slowly dropping in DC, so I figured it was finally safe to turn on the oven. I try to avoid doing that at all costs during the summer because normally the sequence of events goes something like this:

Turn on the oven.
Start to sweat.
Turn on the fan.
Put the food in the oven.
Start to sweat more.
Grunt while walking up two flights of stairs to put on shorts and a tank top.
Walk back down two flights of stairs.
Sweat some more.
Remove food from the oven.
Sweat one last time.
Turn off the oven.
Start to freeze from the AC.
Grunt while walking back up two flights of stairs for a pair of sweats.

Yes, I try to avoid this at all costs.

Besides finally being able to turn on the oven, there are a bunch of other things I love about fall. Boot weather, warm soups, apple picking, and comfort foods are just a few of them. But the one thing I absolutely hate is waking up and driving to work when it's still dark out. When is Daylight Savings again? I guess I don't really mind as long as I can have the brisk mornings and the nice, cool temperatures throughout the day. Nothing beats this time of year. Oh, plus it's football season. Go BLUE!!!

One of my favorite types of comfort food to make in the fall is macaroni and cheese. Making it from scratch is so delicious and a lot easier than you would think. This baked mac and cheese recipe doesn't even require much attention or diligence. Normally you would have to constantly stir the sauce over the burner while it thickens, but for this one, all you have to do is cook the macaroni, combine the wet ingredients, and then pour it all over the top. Simple! Plus I spruced it up by adding some chicken and diced jalapenos. Yum! Hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Printable Recipe


  • 1 (12 oz.) box elbow macaroni
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 cups reduced-fat Cheddar and/or Mexican blend cheese, shredded (plus extra for top)
  • 1/4 cup jarred jalapeno slices, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. 

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Season with seasoned salt, paprika and cayenne pepper. Heat a medium skillet and spray with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk two eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk and cheese and stir well. Add chicken and chopped jalapenos and stir until blended.

Put cooked macaroni in the bottom of the sprayed casserole dish. Pour milk mixture evenly over top. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until set. Sprinkle reserved cheese over top during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Enjoy!

Source: SK Original

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