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Macaroni and Cheese Deluxe


2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 cups 1% fat milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz.)
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, washed and patted dry
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 lb uncooked fusilli or radiatore pasta
1 cup broccoli florets


1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Using wire whisk, stir in flour and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Gradually add milk, stirring with whisk until smooth; cook 3 to 4 minutes, until thickened. Stir in cheese, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Cook 2 minutes, until cheese melts. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Sprinkle chicken with remaining tsp. salt and pepper. Rub chicken breasts and bell-pepper halves with olive oil. Grill or broil chicken 50 to 60 from heat source 4 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Grill peppers with skin side facing the heat source until charred, about 3 minutes; then turn and cook 2 minutes. Place peppers in resealable storage bag or place inside a covered pot; let stand until cool enough to handle.

3. Add pasta to water and cook according to package directions. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add broccoli florets. While pasta is cooking, cut chicken into 10 pieces. Peel peppers and cut into 0-thick strips. Add chicken pieces and pepper strips (with any accumulated juices) to cheese sauce. Cook for 1 minute on low to heat through.

4. Drain pasta and broccoli and return to pot. Add cheese sauce and mix thoroughly to coat pasta.

Nutrition per 1-cup serving: 289 cal.; 20 g pro.; 9 g fat; 31 g carb.; 440 mg sod.; 40 mg chol.