When ever its chilly, I crave something spicy. Jake and I love this Tuscan Mac and and Cheese – I’ve made it many times. But, one weekend when it was in the in the 20s, I was craving this mac and cheese but with a spicy kick and that is just what this recipe is! All I added was diced jalapeño, chili flakes, paprika, and chili powder!
The best part – it is all made in one deep skillet or pot!! No separate pasta boiling required. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but I promise its not too difficult of a recipe. You start by searing the chicken on both sides. I used my Lodge deep skillet. Remove the chicken and set aside. In that same pan (without cleaning it or anything) you’ll sauté the onion, jalapeño, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Add in the liquids and spices, boil the pasta, and stir in the cheese! Voila! I also sprinkled some bread crumbs and baked it to add some additional texture.
Spicy Tuscan Mac and Cheese
All made together in one deep skillet or pot!
- 2 6-8oz chicken breast, thinly sliced
- To season the chicken: dried basil, paprika, chili flake, garlic powder, ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 6 oz sun dried tomatoes, julienne cut
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp fresh basil
- 1 tsp fresh oregano
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2.5 cups pasta, your choice
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup gruyere-cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella
- 1/2 cup gouda cheese
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs, optional
- Prepare 2 6-8 oz thinly sliced chicken breast. Season both sides with paprika, garlic powder, chili flakes, ground black pepper, and dried basil.
- Mince the the fresh herbs- basil, thyme, and oregano. Mince about 1-2 tsp of each. Dice the onion, jalapeño and garlic. Shred all the cheeses and mix the cheeses together in a bowl.
- In your deep skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add in the seasoned chicken and sear about 5-6 minutes each side. Remove, set aside and cover.
- Sauté the onion and jalapeño for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Add in the white wine and sauté for 1 min. Stir in the flour.
- Stir in the broth, milk, half and half, pasta, chili flakes, chili powder, paprika and fresh herbs. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat, lower your stove top to low-medium heat and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until macaroni has softened and absorbed most of the liquids. Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Once the macaroni is softened and has absorbed most of the liquid (but not all) stir in the 3/4 of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 12-15 minutes. If you do not have an oven safe deep skillet or pot feel free to skip the baking step and don’t add the bread crumbs on top.
- Once baked, slice the chicken and serve on top! Eat and enjoy!