Chicken, Dinner, Pasta

Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese Recipe

Today, we’re diving into a culinary adventure that combines the comforting indulgence of mac and cheese with the savory goodness of Tuscan flavors. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with our scrumptious Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe. This dish is a delightful marriage of tender chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and a creamy, cheesy sauce that will leave you craving for more. Let’s fire up those grills and get cooking!

Looking to elevate your comfort food game? This Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese is the answer. It’s a crowd-pleaser that brings together the richness of Italian-inspired flavors with the familiar coziness of mac and cheese. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight family dinner or hosting a gathering with friends, this dish is sure to impress. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile, allowing you to customize it to your liking with various toppings and add-ins. So, why wait? Let’s dive into the deliciousness!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1-inch thickness
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon oil, divided (olive or canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup white wine (optional, can substitute chicken broth)
  • Jarred sun-dried tomato strips in oil (reserve 2 tablespoons of oil and drain the rest)
  • 3 level tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups half anf half
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 10 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

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Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, dried parsley, and 2 teaspoons of oil.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large pot or pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a warm plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add butter and sauté onion and garlic until onion becomes transparent (about 2 minutes). Pour in white wine and simmer for 5 minutes, or until beginning to reduce down.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of reserved oil from the jar and cook for 1-2 minutes to release flavor.
  • Stir flour into the pot and cook for a further minute. Then, add broth, 2 1/2 cups of half and half, herbs, salt, and pepper, and bring to a low simmer.
  • Add dry macaroni and stir occasionally as it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir regularly while it cooks (for about 9 – 10 minutes), or until sauce thickens and macaroni is just cooked (al dente).
  • Add spinach and stir until wilted.
  • Remove pot from heat and quickly stir in all cheese. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, add remaining 1/2 cup milk (or cream) in 1/4 cup increments until desired thickness is reached.
  • Slice chicken into strips and stir through pasta (pour in any juices left from the chicken). Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

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Expert Tips and Tricks:

  • To add an extra kick of flavor, try grilling the chicken before adding it to the dish.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta; it should be slightly firm to the bite as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
  • For a creamier texture, use heavy cream or half and half instead of milk.
  • Experiment with different cheese blends for unique flavor profiles.

Variations:

  1. Swap chicken for Italian sausage for a heartier dish.
  2. Add roasted red peppers for a pop of color and sweetness.
  3. Stir in cooked bacon for a smoky twist.
  4. Use gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free version of the dish.
  5. Mix in artichoke hearts for a tangy addition.
  6. Incorporate cooked broccoli florets for added nutrition.
  7. Try using different types of cheese such as fontina or provolone.
  8. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
  9. Garnish with chopped fresh basil for a burst of freshness.
  10. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for a gourmet touch.

“Taking the Mystery Out of Cooking” Cookbook (Hardback)

$39.95

Learning to cook doesn’t have to be a mystery. In my first-ever standalone cookbook, you will find easy-to-follow recipes to craft delicious meals you’ll be proud of. Perfect for both beginner and seasoned chefs!

What to Serve With It:

  1. Garlic bread
  2. Caesar salad
  3. Grilled vegetables
  4. Crusty bread rolls
  5. Caprese salad
  6. Antipasto platter
  7. Bruschetta
  8. Roasted asparagus
  9. Arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette
  10. Grilled shrimp skewers

Freezing:

  1. Allow the Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese to cool completely before freezing.
  2. Portion the mac and cheese into individual serving sizes or into a larger freezer-safe container.
  3. Seal the container tightly to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Label the container with the date and contents for easy identification.
  5. Place the container in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheating:

  1. To reheat frozen Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
  2. Once thawed, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Transfer the mac and cheese to an oven-safe dish if it’s not already in one.
  4. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the top from drying out.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.
  6. For extra creaminess, stir in a splash of milk before reheating.
  7. Once heated, serve immediately and enjoy the delicious flavors!

Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese Recipe

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 30 minutesCook time: 40 minutesRest time: 40 minutesTotal time: minutesServings:4 servingsCalories:300 kcal Best Season:Summer

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, dried parsley, and 2 teaspoons of oil.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a large pot or pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a warm plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add butter and sauté onion and garlic until onion becomes transparent (about 2 minutes). Pour in white wine and simmer for 5 minutes, or until beginning to reduce down.
  4. Add sun-dried tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of reserved oil from the jar and cook for 1-2 minutes to release flavor.
  5. Stir flour into the pot and cook for a further minute. Then, add broth, 2 1/2 cups of half and half, herbs, salt, and pepper, and bring to a low simmer.
  6. Add dry macaroni and stir occasionally as it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir regularly while it cooks (for about 9 – 10 minutes), or until sauce thickens and macaroni is just cooked (al dente).
  7. Add spinach and stir until wilted.
  8. Remove pot from heat and quickly stir in all cheese. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, add remaining 1/2 cup milk (or cream) in 1/4 cup increments until desired thickness is reached.
  9. Slice chicken into strips and stir through pasta (pour in any juices left from the chicken). Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
Keywords:cheesy, Comfort Food, Creamy, Crowd-Pleaser, Dinner party, Easy to Make, Family-Friendly, Flavorful, Gourmet Twist, homemade goodness, Indulgent, Italian-inspired, Kid-Friendly, One-Pot Meal, Oven-Baked, Pasta Perfection, Rustic Elegance, savory, Versatile, Weeknight Dinner

Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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