Creamy Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Chicken and Baby Kale

Creamy Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Chicken and Baby Kale

Frozen butternut squash cubes add body and nutrients to this simple one-pot macaroni and cheese. We’ve added chicken breast and baby kale to make this a complete meal. Substitute spinach or chopped chard if you like. By using whole-wheat macaroni, you can boost the fiber by 3–4 grams per serving.

Active time: 15 minutes Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (454g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (473g) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup (237g) 2% milk
  • 1 10-ounce (284g) package frozen butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/4 cups (284g) whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups (85g) baby kale
  • 1 1/4 cups (113g) sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


Heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet set over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken. Season with the salt and pepper and cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Add the onions, stir and continue to cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover.

Add the broth, milk, squash, mustard and bay leaf to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mash the squash with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 6 minutes, stirring once. Fold in the chicken-onion mixture and kale with a rubber spatula, cover and cook until the kale has wilted, 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cheese and nutritional yeast into the pasta. Serve immediately.

 Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 317; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 64mg; Sodium: 408mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 30g


Source Credit: MyFitness Pal