Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Chicken Meatballs

Baked Mac ‘n' Cheese with Chicken Meatballs

Background and History

Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Chicken Meatballs is a delightful twist on the classic comfort food, elevating the traditional macaroni and cheese with succulent chicken meatballs. While the origins of mac ‘n’ cheese date back to ancient times, this contemporary rendition adds a savory and protein-packed element to the beloved dish, making it a family favorite.

Ingredients

2 cups elbow macaroni

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups milk

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

For Chicken Meatballs:

1 pound ground chicken

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated onion

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Cook Pasta

Cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.

Prepare Chicken Meatballs

In a bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, grated onion, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Form into small meatballs.

Bake Meatballs

Place chicken meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Make Cheese Sauce

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, ground mustard, and garlic powder until well combined. Gradually whisk in milk and cook until the mixture thickens.

Add Cheese

Reduce heat to low, add shredded cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Combine Pasta and Sauce

Mix the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce until evenly coated.

Assemble and Bake

Transfer the mac ‘n’ cheese to a baking dish. Arrange the baked chicken meatballs on top. Sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs over the dish. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Garnish and Serve: Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve hot.

Nutrition Facts

(Per Serving – based on 6 servings)

Calories: ~500

Protein: 25g

Fat: 22g

Carbohydrates: 48g

Fiber: 2g

Notes

Experiment with different cheese blends for a personalized touch.

For a spicy kick, add a dash of cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce.

Make extra meatballs for a quick and tasty snack.

Allergy Warning

Check breadcrumbs and seasoning ingredients for any allergens.

Confirm the chicken meatball ingredients for potential allergens.

Adjust the recipe to accommodate lactose intolerance if necessary.

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