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Healthy Chicken Mac & Cheese Bake

kept byPsionStorm

Tasty! Healthy! The chicken really takes this to the next level.

This is mostly a recipe from the November 2011 issue of Cooking Light magazine, but modified slightly. We added chicken to make the meal hearty, but it can be easily omitted, or replaced.



1 lb or 2 large chicken breasts
4 1/2 cups (12 oz) uncooked penne
12 oz 2% low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste (for chicken)

  1. Trim fat off of chicken breasts, and season both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook on stovetop grill on medium to high heat until cooked through.  Slice into thin strips or small chunks.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain and place in large bowl
  4. Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until smooth.  Combine cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Add the cheese mixture to pasta and stir well.  Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7 inch glass or ceramic baking dish, coated with cooking spray.
  5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, Panko, and parsely in a small bowl.  Sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat broiler.  Do not remove dish from oven. 
  7. Broil pasta 1 minute or until top browns.



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