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Cheddary Shells
with chicken and broccoli

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
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


  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.

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  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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