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Smoky Chicken Mac’n Cheese

If you’d prefer to have chunks of chicken stirred into the macaroni, cut them into ½-inch pieces before cooking.

Servings 6
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat or brown rice pasta (fusilli, penne, macaroni)
  • 4 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 (14 ounces) Just Bare Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded smoked gruyère, cheddar, gouda, or provolone cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley to taste

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 570 Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 38g
Calcium 46%Iron 17%
Vitamin C 9%Vitamin A 23%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain well.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain fat from the pan, reserving 1 tablespoon fat.
  3. Season the chicken with smoked paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken in the bacon fat for about 8 minutes or until no longer pink in center and nicely browned. Cook to internal temp of 165°F. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat; sauté onion and garlic for about 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in the flour until well combined; stir in the tomato paste. Pour in milk; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheese and cook for 3 minutes or until the melted and pasta is well coated.
  5. Spoon the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce; stir until well coated. Spoon into a casserole serving dish and top with sliced chicken, sprinkled with the bacon and parsley. Or serve in individual bowls. topped with the chicken, bacon, and parsley.