WHY THIS CREAMY TUSCAN CHICKEN MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE IS A MUST-TRY?
A One-Pot Wonder: This recipe is a time-saving delight, as it requires only one pot to create a flavorful and satisfying meal. Say goodbye to multiple dishes to clean up afterward!
Bursting with Tuscan Flavors: With the inclusion of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and Italian herbs, this dish captures the essence of Tuscan cuisine, delivering a burst of Mediterranean-inspired flavors.
Creamy and Cheesy Goodness: Indulge in the velvety, cheesy sauce that coats every bite of tender chicken and perfectly cooked macaroni. It’s a comfort food dream come true!
Versatile and Adaptable: Customize this recipe to your liking by adding your favorite ingredients. You can even substitute different cheeses or add some extra veggies for a personal touch.
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (pounded to 1-inch thickness) or 4 boneless and skinless chicken thigh fillets
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (sweet or smokey)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon oil, divided (olive or canola oil can be used)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1/3 cup white wine (optional; you can use chicken broth instead)
- 9 oz. (250g) 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 milk or light cream* or half and half, divided
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
- 10 ounces (300g) elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, paprika, dried parsley, and 2 teaspoons of oil.
In a large pot or pan (approximately 30cm or 12 inches), heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden brown, cooked through, and no longer pink in the middle. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
In the same pot, add the butter and sauté the chopped onion and diced garlic until the onion becomes transparent, stirring occasionally (about 2 minutes). Pour in the white wine and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes, or until it begins to reduce down.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes, along with 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil from the jar. Cook for 1-2 minutes to release as much flavor as possible.
Stir the flour into the pot and allow it to cook for a further minute. Then, add the chicken broth, 2 1/2 cups of milk (or cream/half and half), dried Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a very low simmer (lower the heat if needed).
Add the dry macaroni and stir occasionally as it comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir regularly while it cooks for about 9-10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the macaroni is just cooked (al dente: tender but still firm). Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
Remove the pot from the stove and quickly stir in all the cheeses. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk (or cream) in 1/4 cup increments until the desired thickness is reached. Keep in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Slice the chicken into strips and stir it into the pasta, along with any juices left from the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and give it a final stir. Serve immediately and enjoy!
For a delightful variation, try substituting different cheeses like Fontina, Gouda, or Monterey Jack.
Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, such as roasted bell peppers or sautéed mushrooms, to enhance the flavors and add some extra nutrients.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of milk or cream to revive the creaminess.
In conclusion, our Creamy Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese is a recipe that brings together the best of comfort food and Tuscan flavors. It’s a dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of our family, becoming a beloved favorite that brings us joy with every bite.
The combination of juicy chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and a luscious, cheesy sauce creates a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. With the convenience of being a one-pot meal, this recipe saves time on cleanup, allowing you to focus on what really matters: savoring the delightful flavors and enjoying precious moments with loved ones.
Whether you’re looking to impress your family, entertain guests, or simply indulge in a cozy evening meal, this Creamy Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese is sure to deliver a memorable dining experience. So gather your ingredients, follow the simple steps, and let the aroma of this delectable dish fill your kitchen.
Get ready to dive into a bowl of comfort, where creamy, cheesy goodness meets the rustic charm of Tuscany. This recipe invites you to create lasting memories around the dinner table and savor the joy that comes from sharing a homemade meal made with love.
Try our Creamy Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese today, and discover why it has become a cherished recipe in our household. Trust us, once you take that first bite, you’ll be hooked, just like we were. Happy cooking and bon appétit!