Adult Mac&Cheese Casserole

Ingredients:

Quinoa Pasta Noodles         – 2 cups
Broccoli Florets                    – about 12 oz.
Cauliflower Florets              – about 12 oz.
Shredded Cheese                  – about 2.5 cups (See Notes Section for more info)
Shredded Chicken                – 25 oz. (2 12.5 oz cans)
Buffalo Shredded Chicken  – 12.5 oz. (1 12.5 oz can)
Panko Bread Crumbs           – I wish I measured this
Pepper                                     – 3 tsp
Garlic Powder                        – 3 tsp

Steps:
1. Fill a pot about 3/4 way full of water and bring to a boil.
2. Once water is boiling put in Quinoa pasta noodles, broccoli and cauliflower and let cook for 5 minutes.
2a. While noodles and veggies cook set over to 350 F.
3. spray a 9×13 baking dish with Pam or Olive Oil.
4. Once noodles and veggies have cooked for 5 minutes drain water (see Notes section for what I do.)
5. Dump noodles and veggies into baking dish and add all the shredded chicken on top, pepper and garlic and mix together (this can be done in the pot before dumping into the baking dish.)
6. Put 2 cups of the cheese on top and then mix together.
7. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover that with the panko until you have nice thin coating of bread crumbs.
8. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes
8a. To brown the bread crumbs more after the 15 minutes turn your broiler on high for 2 to 5 minutes or until desired browning has taken place.
9. Eat and Enjoy!!
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Some Notes:

  • I usually use my dutch oven (No, not THAT kind) to cook the pasta and veggies in and to drain it I put a lid on it slightly off set and use pot holders to hold it in place while I drain the water out. I do this so I don’t also have to clean a colander later.
  • The cheese – I used a combination of Vermont aged Cheddar and “Mexican Blend” shredded cheese. I did this because my wife isn’t a fan of the Vermont aged cheddar (I love it), so I added in the “Mexican Blend” to help mute the sharpness of the Vermont cheddar, but you can use whatever kind of shredded cheese you want, I won’t judge…… Much.
  • I go this idea from my mom, she would make the best Mac & Cheese casserole when I was growing up; it had ham and green beans in it. I’ll make another post about that recipe later, it’s super cheesy.
    • Another thing that inspired this was I’m trying to make a Mac & Cheese that tastes good and cheesy without being so for those lactose intolerant people in my life that don’t like some of those weird lactose free cheeses I’ve seen around.
  • I call this “Adult Mac & Cheese” mostly because of the veggies, and it doesn’t come from a box and just add milk.

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