Healthy Chicken Mac 'n Cheese Recipe

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Bite it! HG's SW Chicken Mac 'n Cheese
HG's SW Chicken Mac 'n Cheese

Mac Attack!

We're totally down with adding grilled chicken to mac 'n cheese. (YAY, PROTEIN!) But we require said mac 'n cheese to be guilt-free. Enter today's delicious recipe...

12 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
3 cups frozen cauliflower florets
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/4 cups) uncooked high-fiber elbow macaroni
1/4 cup canned diced green chiles, drained
3 slices 2% milk cheddar cheese
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese

Season chicken with black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/8 tsp. chili powder.

Bring a grill pan (or large skillet) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Cook chicken for about 6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover to keep warm.

Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Uncover and stir. Re-cover and microwave for 2 - 3 minutes, until hot. Drain excess liquid. Roughly chop cauliflower, return to the bowl, and cover to keep warm.

In a medium-large pot, cook pasta per package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and stir into cauliflower. Cover to keep warm.

Place drained chiles in a medium microwave-safe bowl, along with remaining 1/8 tsp. chili powder. Add cheese slices and cheese wedges, breaking them into pieces. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have melted. Stir well, and add mixture to the pasta and cauliflower. Thoroughly stir to coat.

Slice chicken into strips, and serve over the mac 'n cheese!


Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe (1 heaping cup)
Calories: 300
Fat: 5.5g
Sodium: 665mg
Carbs: 30.5g
Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 5g
Protein: 30g

PointsPlus® value 7*

Fight it! Chili's Southwestern Mac 'n' Cheese with Grilled Chicken
Chili's Southwestern Mac 'n' Cheese with Grilled Chicken

Wrong Direction...

As a SIDE DISH, the plain Southwestern Mac 'n' Cheese at Chili's has an alarming 500 calories and 30g fat (PointsPlus® value 14*). BOO! But this chicken-topped version is from the lunch combo menu. And one might convince oneself that adding grilled chicken to mac 'n cheese and then pairing it with a simple salad or a bowl of soup or chili makes it a smart choice... but one would be wrong! The cheesy chicken mac alone has 600 calories and 34g fat. Factor in the salad, soup, or chili pairing, and your midday meal could cost you up to 1,100 calories and 68g fat! Oof. If you don't want to find yourself regretting your lunch order, skip this dish and click here for our best picks at Chili's. But when the need for creamy mac 'n cheese with grilled chicken hits, whip up our slimmed-down swap. Woohoo!

Serving Size: 1 lunch order (without soup, salad, or chili)
Calories: 600
Fat: 34g
Sodium: 1,800mg
Carbs: 39g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: n.a.
Protein: 35g

PointsPlus® value 16*

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Happy June 25th, National Strawberry Parfait Day. Click here for an incredible guilt-free creation that'll have you wishing every day were National Strawberry Parfait Day!

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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