Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells and Cheese
Posted on 29 January 2014
Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells and Cheese by @cookinclassy
Yield: About 5 servings
9 oz large shell pasta, dry (3 1/4 cups) (*sub with whole wheat)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded into small bites size pieces
12 oz broccoli florets, diced into small bite size pieces (4 1/2 cups once diced)
2 1/2 Tbsp butter (replace with olive oil)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups low-fat milk
6 oz 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)*
1 oz parmesan cheese, finely shredded (1/3 cup)
Boil pasta according to directions listed on package adding broccoli during last 3 - 4 minutes of boiling, drain well (reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, just in case you want to thin pasta sauce).
Meanwhile, in a pot melt butter over medium heat then stir in flour. Cook mixture stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking vigorously, slowly add in milk, then season with onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, cook mixture, stirring constantly until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 1 minute then add in cheddar and parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add drained pasta and broccoli and chicken and toss to evenly coat. As it sits it will thicken, you can thin it with a few tbsp pasta water if desired.
*If you want a stronger cheddar cheese flavor use 8 oz. You can also use extra sharp cheddar.