Baked Chicken and Noodles
Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken and Mushrooms

Baked Chicken and Noodles

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 large carrots, peeled and diced fine

1 stalk celery, diced

1 teas kosher salt

¼ cup fat free chicken broth

½ teas. black pepper

7 ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into small pieces

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup bechamel sauce

Ingredients for bechamel sauce:

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

4 Tbsp. flour

2 cups fat-free milk

¼ teas. nutmeg

¼ teas. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.  Place a medium skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken breasts until they are cooked through.  Remove chicken from the skillet and cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Set chicken pieces aside.  Place a pot of water over medium heat and bring the water to a boil.  When the water is boiling sprinkle in one–half teaspoon of salt and add the spaghetti pieces and carrot.  Cook the spaghetti to the al dente stage.  Drain the spaghetti and carrots.  Transfer the chicken, spaghetti and carrots to the prepared casserole dish.  Stir in the bechamel sauce, remaining salt, celery, chicken broth, parmesan cheese and black pepper.  Cover casserole dish loosely with foil and bake 25-30 minutes until heated through

To make the bechamel sauce melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Add the flour while whisking constantly until the roux is thickened.  Slowly add the milk while continuing to whish constantly.  Sprinkle in the nutmeg and salt.  Sauce is done when it becomes thick.  Note:  If sauce becomes too thick it can be thinned by adding more milk.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken and Mushrooms

2-3 cups cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese

3 cups whole wheat elbow pasta

3 Tbsp. flour

1 ¾ cups low-fat milk

1 teas. paprika

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Cook the pasta to the al dente stage according to package directions.  Drain cooked pasta.  Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Place a medium skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon of the oil to the pan.  Add the sliced mushrooms to the hot oil and sauté the mushrooms until all the water has been released and has evaporated from the mushrooms, about 5 minute, and the mushrooms are slightly brown.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Remove the mushrooms and garlic from the pan and set aside.  In the pan from which you removed the mushrooms and garlic whisk together the flour and the remaining olive oil to form a paste.  Allow this to cook for about 1-2 minutes until it is fragrant and bubbling.  Slowly whisk in the milk, about ¼ cup at a time.  Whisk constantly while adding the milk.  Add the cooked mushrooms and garlic.  Whisk in the paprika, salt and pepper.  Increase the heat and simmer this mixture until it has thickened.  Once the sauce has thickened whisk in the cooked chicken and ½ cup of the cheddar cheese.  Remove pan from the stone and stir in the pasta until it is fully coated.  Spoon the macaroni and cheese into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining cheddar cheese.   Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the cheese on top is melted.

Recipe makes 8 servings  Estimated WW Smart points 11 per serving