No need to hit the drive-thru when you can have my BIG MAC AND CHEESE. All the flavors of a Big Mac, mixed with mac and cheese! Rich, creamy and oh so delicious.
Not a day goes by where I do not absolutely crave one of my Mac and cheese dishes, from hamburger to pizza to two ingredient Mac and cheese, I want them all, all the time! The pasta to sauce to meat ratio is just perfect. The ground meat just blends right into the pasta and makes or a filling meal.
This dish is made with ground chicken, while I have tried it with extra lean ground beef (which is good), I just prefer the chicken here.
Here is What You Need:
Okay, it kinda seems like there are a lot of ingredients for this dish but I promise it is not that bad. I like to create most of my recipes with things I (and you) would typically have in your pantry. While I obviously need to pick up some fresh chicken, you get the point.
Reduced fat cream cheese and chicken broth are staples in my pantry! Definitely stock up on those.
- Minced garlic
- Ground chicken breast
- Tomato sauce
- Pickle juice
- Sugar-free ketchup
- 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- Shredded cheddar cheese
For the pasta, I used rotini noodles. It really does not matter what you use, we just had rotini this time so we chose that. It is really good with elbow too! That gives you a classic Mac and cheese feel.
Be sure your ground chicken breast is, well, ground chicken breast. Only 99% fat-free ground chicken breast is zero points (two on blue). I have made the mistake several times, don’t worry. You can also use ground turkey breast but I like how the chicken breaks up better.
I typically use my homemade tomato sauce for recipes like this. I like to have a little stockpile in my fridge. While this recipe will not teach you how to make it, you can head to that recipe below.
For the pickles juice, you literally just drain out some juice from a jar of pickles. We use dill pickles. It is that easy.
My favorite sugar free ketchup is G Hughes, but I ran out and so did Publix. So I grabbed some sugar free Heinz. It is higher in calories, if you are counting that, but is zero-points as well, if you go that direction.
I recommend stocking up on some G Hughes from amazon. You can order that here.
To make this, you will need a medium sized pot, for the pasta, and a large pan with tall sides for the chicken and sauce. Lastly, and my favorite little utensil, is this meat masher. It breaks up ground meat perfectly and makes cooking a breeze. Grab that here!
Here is What to Do:
The first step is to measure to 6 ounces of pasta. 6 ounces of pasta is ‘technically’ 3 servings and this dish serves 4. But I find that with all the added protein and sauce, this dish works great at 4 servings. Just measure out 6 ounces of the pasta, dry.
Get the pot filled with water and place it over high heat. I dice my onion and gather my ingredients while the water begins to boil.
Once the water starts boiling, add in the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. After the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain well and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, we will begin on the chicken/sauce.
Heat your medium sized pan over medium/high heat. Add the minced garlic and diced red onion then cook for about 3-4 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
The garlic and red onion will look like this when ready for the next step.
Add ground chicken and start breaking it apart while cooking. Once you get that broken up, season with the seasonings. Cook until almost all the pink is gone. It will look like this.
Add tomato sauce, pickle juice, ketchup and stir to combine. Allow chicken to cook completely. I know it seems like a lot of pickle juice but you only get a slight hint to it. We can add more pickles on top for added pickle flavor.
Stir in cream cheese and mix in until melted. Add in the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until melted. It will look a look soupy, but we want that. It will provide a great sauce base for the pasta we are about to add in.
Just add in the pasta and toss very well to coat.
This dish makes four serving at one heaping cup per serving. I measured out a heaping cup and left the other portions for my husband’s dinner and lunches.
Let’s get to it!
Big Mac and Cheese
- 6 ounces elbow pasta dry
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 16 ounces ground chicken breast or 99% fat free ground turkey breast
- 5 tablespoons Allie Carte homemade tomato sauce recipe linked below
- 4 tablespoons pickle juice from a jar of dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons sugar free ketchup (G Hughes brand)
- 2 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup reduced fat, 2% milk cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain well and set aside
- Heat a large pan on the stove over medium/high heat. Spray with cooking spray
- Add minced garlic and cook for one minute. Add diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes
- Add ground chicken, breaking it apart while cooking. Once slightly broken up, season with the seasonings. Cook almost through, until almost all the pink is gone
- Add tomato sauce, pickle juice, ketchup and stir to combine. Allow chicken to cook completely
- Add in cream cheese and stir in until melted. Add in cheddar cheese and stir until melted
- Add in the pasta and stir to combine in the sauce
- Divide evenly into four bowls