Friday, August 10, 2012

Bacon-Pepper Mac & Cheese with Chicken

* 10 oz uncooked pasta
* 1/3 cup butter
* 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
* 4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 2¼ cups milk
* 4 to 5 slices bacon , cooked until crispy and chopped up
* 3/4  cup chicken (cooked and diced)
* 6 oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
* 4 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
* 1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray  a 9x11 casserole with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
2.  Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the butter in small bowl. Stir bell pepper and onions into butter in saucepan. 
3. Increase heat to medium; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Increase heat to medium-high. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in bacon, chicken and pasta.
4. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses until melted. Pour into casserole. 
5. Stir bread crumbs into melted butter in small bowl. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.
6. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are bubbly.

I used green and red peppers for color, which made the presentation a little nicer.  I also used about 12 oz of uncooked pasta – you definitely have enough cheese sauce to coat all of the ingredients. Hannah wanted me to use elbow macaroni, but you can use whatever pasta you like or have on hand in the pantry.  
I used a mixture of skim and 2% milk - I had both on hand. I added the ¾ cup of chicken because my goal was to make this more of a dinner.  Hannah was having a friend sleep over, and the kids just loved this mac and cheese! 

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome! The Moores vote this one a keeper, too.