Easy Peasy – Broccoli Mac and Cheese-y! Honestly, you cannot get much easier than this broccoli mac and cheese. All it requires is some pasta and a secret ingredient, and that’s it! It is such a delicious way to get your veggies in. I added chicken because I love having the added protein.
This is the perfect dish when you have to work late, or have to run the kids to practice real quick but still want to make dinner yourself. It made really great leftovers for the next day too! I love those dishes that make enough food for lunch leftovers. It is like two meals in one!
I made mine with chicken because I really need the added protein. Cooking the chicken, while very easy, is definitely the most work in this recipe. You can skip the chicken, or add pre-cooked chicken, if you like. However, this recipe calls for you to cook your own chicken.
What You Will Need
The most important thing is a microwave, you’ll see why. Then you will need a medium sized pot, to cook the pasta, and a small pan, to cook the chicken.
Next is all of the ingredients. While I say all, there are not that many.
- Green Giant broccoli and cheese sauce
- Chicken cutlets
- Butter spray
- Reduced fat, 2% milk shredded cheddar
and that’s it! Plus some salt and pepper to taste
I used elbow pasta for this dish to give it that very classic mac and cheese feel. However, you can use any shape that you want.
I’ll attached a photo of the Green Giant steamer that I got for this recipe. I just found it in the frozen veggie aisle at Publix.
I am sure there are other brands or generic versions that you can get. But I used this specific brand and the points/calories are calculated with this one.
I use ICBINB butter spray, I am a loyal and true fan of that brand. I grabbed a pound of Publix brand chicken cutlets. It was about four thin cutlets. I also grabbed the shredded cheese from Publix. Their generic shredded cheese is my favorite.
What To Do
Fill the pot up with water. Set it on the stove over high heat and sprinkle in some salt to taste. Once it gets to a boil, add in your pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Once cooked to your liking, reserve a quarter cup of pasta water, then drain well and set aside.
The chicken cutlets will need to be cut up into bite sized pieces. I cut the chicken up into about 1/2 to 1 inches by 1/2 to 1 inches. It really depends on how big or small you want the pieces.
Heat the small pan over medium/high heat. Grease it with butter flavored cooking spray, it makes all the difference. If you don’t have that, it is fine, I am just obsessed with the flavor. Once the pan is heated, add the cut up chicken. Cook the chicken until almost cooked, about three minutes per side. Once almost cooked, spray the chicken with 20 sprays of ICBINB spray and then finish cooking.
You can use 20 sprays of ICBINB spray before it starts to add on points so use it all. It is so good!
Next step is to cook the broccoli cheese sauce. Just pop that in the microwave and cook it to the package directions.
Then, add the cooked chicken pieces into the pot with the cooked and drained pasta.
Cut open the bag of broccoli cheese sauce and add that into the pasta and chicken. You will use the entire bag.
Give that a good stir to get the pasta coated in cheese sauce. How good does this look already!!
Okay, now you can stop there, or you can add in some more cheese. I went with more cheese, because why the heck not!
Just add in that quarter cup of cheese and mix together until it is all melted.
If you need some more liquids add in a little of the starchy pasta water that you reserved from earlier. I have never needed it but it is always good to have.
I like to cut up the broccoli a little too because sometimes this brand has super big pieces.
And that is it! It can obviously be made easier by not adding chicken or using pre-cooked chicken. You can also skip the extra cheese, but I love extra cheese.
This makes 4 servings with about a heaping cup per serving.
Now, onto the recipe!
Easy Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 6 ounces pasta dry
- 16 ounces chicken breast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 20 sprays butter spray ICBINB
- 1 package Green Giant Simply Steam Broccoli and Cheese
- 1/4 cup reduced fat, 2% milk cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. Drain well and set aside.
- Cut chicken up into bite sized pieces, about 1/2 to 1 inch by 1/2 to 1 inch.
- Heat the small pan over medium/high heat, grease with cooking spray. Once the pan is heated, add the cut up chicken. Cook the chicken until almost cooked, about three minutes per side. Once almost cooked, spray the chicken with 20 sprays of ICBINB spray and then finish cooking.
- Cook the Green Giant Simply Steam Broccoli and Cheese according to package instructions.
- Add cooked pasta, cooked chicken, and the entire bag of broccoli and cheese into a pot and mix together.
- Add in the shredded cheese and mix until melted and combined.
- If more liquids are needed, add in the pasta water, splash by splash.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.