Broccoli and Chicken Mac 'n' Cheese

Broccoli and spinach add a splash of color to this flat-belly version of macaroni and cheese. Pureed cannellini beans replace some of the cheese, but you won't miss out on that creamy mouth-feel that you love in classic mac 'n' cheese. Store-bought rotisserie chicken provides protein and saves time.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

8 ounces 100 percent whole-grain pasta shells

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cups broccoli florets, bite size

2 cups baby spinach

One 15.5-ounce can reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed and partially drained

1 cup skim milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large pot, boil the water and add the pasta shells, cooking to al dente, or still slightly chewy.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add the broccoli and spinach, cooking just until bright green and tender. Remove from the pan.

  3. In a food processor, puree the beans, milk, and cheese together until creamy. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken breast, and cheese mixture. Gently stir in the vegetables.

  5. Spray a square glass 9-x-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the baking dish, and cook for 10 minutes, until bubbly and heated through.

Per serving: Calories 547 (From Fat 129); Fat 14g (Saturated 7g); Cholesterol 90mg; Sodium 463mg; Carbohydrate 63g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 46g.

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