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Cheddary Shells
with chicken and broccoli

Active: 35 minTotal: 35 min
20141208 chicken broccoli and shells nm 005.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Mac 'n cheese with broccoli and chicken is a comforting classic. We promise that the kids will be asking for seconds and the adults are not going to mind this nostalgic dish.
Smarts: Cook the broccoli and pasta in the same pot for less to clean up!


Cheddar Shells with Chicken and Broccoli:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • Broccoli - 1 1/3 lb, chopped
  • Cheese, cheddar - 4 oz, grated ((~1 cup))
  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts - 2, chopped
  • Milk (any type) - 1 cup
  • Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
  • Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Flour - 2 Tbsp
  • Shells - 8 oz
  • Cooking oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Garlic / Broccoli / Cheese - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  2. Chicken breasts - Chop into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  3. Make sauce base - Mix minced garlic with milk, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, salt, and flour.


  1. Bring a large saucepan (saucepan should be able to accommodate pasta and broccoli) of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Add broccoli in the last 1 1/2 minutes of cooking.
  2. When pasta is done, reserve ~1 cup (235 ml) of pasta water and drain pasta and broccoli.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and then chicken to heated oil. Saute for ~4 minutes, until the outside gets a bit golden. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  4. Return pan to heat and pour in sauce base, scraping up any chicken bits that may have been left behind in the pan. Once it starts to thicken from the flour, add in pasta, broccoli, chicken, and cheese. Stir until cheese melts and everything is mixed through.
  5. If the mixture is too thick, pour in some of your reserved pasta water. Keep on adding the pasta water until you get the consistency you want.
  6. Cook until chicken is done and broccoli is cooked to your liking.
  7. TASTE and then season with salt and pepper or a pinch of cayenne or hot sauce. Enjoy!

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This meal has 51 reviews

Easy and tasty. Definitely make sure to cook the chicken all the way through before adding it to the pasta. If you don't the pasta will be overcooked (ours was at least). Needed a little more cheese, but the garlic and dijon added great flavor.

By: Victoria
Posted: Dec 01, 2015
Diet: Original

Simple and delicious!

By: Katie
Posted: Oct 13, 2015
Diet: Original

Not crazy about the nutmeg or the mustard.

By: M
Posted: Aug 02, 2015
Diet: Original

Not cheesy enough for us and not very flavorful

By: Elizabeth
Posted: Apr 03, 2015
Diet: Original

Comfort food... Pretty blah. Quick & easy to make but probably won't try it again unless we make some changes

By: Lyvia
Posted: Mar 09, 2015
Diet: Original

I thought this was going to be boring but man it was really good. The mustard is a nice change and even my 16 month old loved it

By: Matt
Posted: Feb 18, 2015
Diet: Original