A delicious kicked up version of everyone's favorite. Bacon Mac and Cheese Skillet with Chicken is made easy with store-bought rotisserie chicken & pre-shredded cheese. Easy fix, easy clean up!
It's been a busy 2 weeks! I've been at Christina's house, you know, the other half of the 2 Cookin' Mamas, helping out as she welcomed my new little granddaughter into the world. She is absolutely precious and so sweet. Mom & Dad and are going through that sleep-deprived state so I was glad I could be there to cook and, this was the fun part, keep my grandson Maxx company while Mom & Dad figured out the new baby schedule.
So while I was there I tried out a new recipe for a kicked up mac and cheese. I could have made my favorite Sinfully Rich Mac & Cheese but wanted to give them a little more meaty meal and, from all the empty plates at the end of the meal, I think I made the right decision! I mean, who wouldn't love all that yummy cheese sauce - it just makes my mouth water!
Being that their household is gluten-free I adapted a recipe I found on Picky Palate's website to suit their lifestyle. A few changes like gluten-free macaroni instead of rice, cornstarch instead of flour and mixing all the ingredients together for an easier prep made it a totally different recipe. The sriracha was omitted as well since Chris can't have spicy food while she is breastfeeding. This casserole was baked in the oven, making for a simpler make-ahead casserole, since one never knows when the new arrival is going to let mommy eat. lol
I love the simplicity of the preparation, especially when using store bought rotisserie chicken and pre-shredded cheese, and the fact that all the ingredients are ones you usually stock on your shelves. Of course, the easy clean-up is always a big plus in my book too!
So if you're rushed for time, believe me, this casserole is for you. Bonus if you have young children, cause what youngster doesn't love mac & cheese! Maxx seconds that! Enjoy!
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BACON MAC AND CHEESE SKILLET with CHICKEN
- 6 oz bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup cornstarch (for gluten-free or all-purpose flour)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 - 2-¼ cups chicken broth
- 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used a shredded mix of mild & sharp cheddar)
- 1-2 Tablespoons sriracha (optional)
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (make it fast with rotisserie chicken)
- 4 cups cooked spiral macaroni (gluten-free if needed)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large cast iron skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan & set aside.
- While bacon is cooking, cook noodles in large saucepan. Remove from pan, drain & set aside. (Keep bacon fat in pan.)
- To same saucepan, add butter over medium heat until melted. Whisk cornstarch in until smooth. Add chicken broth slowly and continue whisking until smooth & thick. Season with salt & pepper.
- Turn heat down and add 1-½ cups shredded cheese and stir until melted. Add sriracha if using. Remove from heat.
- Toss noodles in cast iron skillet to coat with bacon fat. Add chicken and bacon to noodles and stir well. Pour sauce over all and mix well.
- Sprinkle remaining 1 cup shredded cheese on top.
- Pop into the oven for 30 minutes. If you like a nicely browned top, turn broiler on for last 5 minutes. Watch carefully as it can brown rather quickly. REMEMBER to remove skillet with pot holders (take it from me - it's just an automatic response to just reach in and grab the handle like you normally would on the stove - and believe me, I speak from experience!)
Adapted from a recipe found on Picky Palate