Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta on foodiecrush.com

“I like the chicken. And the broccoli is pretty good. But I like the pasta the best.” Music to this mama’s ears, especially given I was delivering whole wheat pasta for dinner.

I’m not going to paint a picture that’s all rosy and rah-rah that says my family agrees with me when I say, “Yes! Let’s eat more healthy whole foods!”

The truth is, my family is a little reluctant when it comes to downing a whole bowl of whole wheat pasta. Case in point when my husband walked into the kitchen and saw this dish on the stove, and said, “Oh. * sad face *  Whole wheat pasta, huh?”

Ahhh, not to fear, I have my wiley ways. And things can change pretty quickly around here, including his mind, when I put my mind to it.

 

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta on foodiecrush.com

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta on foodiecrush.com

I for one (in my family) am a fan of the whole wheat, like in my Fresh Tomato and Ricotta Whole Wheat Pasta that is off. the. hook as the kids say. Or do they? That saying may very well be circa 2005. Eeek. Quick Google search and urban dictionary deems it 2002.

Okay, I may be off in my hipness, but not in my taste for pasta.

My secret to converting the family to whole foods feasting is to infuse plenty of flavor into the pasta, the sauce, and the fixins’ that go into this 30-minute meal. Hello, weeknight dinner at home.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta on foodiecrush.com

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta on foodiecrush.com

DeLallo pasta is one of my favorite pastas because of it’s quality, and I’m all about quality in my pasta, especially whole wheat because I don’t want to go through the contortions to convince my family that whole wheat is just as tasty as regular pasta and then deliver them a cardboard flavored noodle.

As Smudge says, “No bueno mom.”

I think what sets DeLallo apart from the rest is it’s texture, it’s toothiness that gives sauce something to stick to. Their whole wheat variety is made with organic semolina from the plains of Puglia, Italy. Yep, it’s the real deal.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta on foodiecrush.com

About the recipe:

To save a step and a clean pan, I scoop the pasta out of the pasta water once it’s done and transfer it to a drainer or bowl. I then add the broccoli to the pasta water and cook it for about 3 minutes or so, then drain it as well.

The cheese sauce starts out with a basic roux of low-fat milk added to lightly browned butter and flour. Make sure your milk is cold, straight from the refrigerator, and you’ll avoid any clumps.

This is my favorite whisk for mixing the roux. Its small, silicone balls on the ends of the whisk get into the corners of the pan and doesn’t leave any scratches.

Be sure to remove your roux from the heat before adding the cheese to the mix. You don’t want the cheese to seize and become a big clump or separate because it’s too hot.

I use shredded chicken from a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save even more time. If you’d prefer to cook the whole deal from home, here’s my 5 tips for simple and juicy roast chicken.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta
 
A hint of stone ground mustard gives a bit of tang to creamy melted cheese mixed into whole wheat pasta, broccoli florets and shredded chicken.
Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces {DeLallo short whole wheat pasta|http://www.delallo.com/catalog/organic-whole-wheat-pasta], such as fusilli or penne
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups shredded fontina cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Scoop the pasta into a drainer or bowl and reserve the hot pasta water. Add the broccoli to the pasta water and cook for about 3 minutes or until desired tenderness. Drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Over medium high heat, melt butter in a large sauce pan and whisk in the flour. Cook while whisking for about 2 minutes. Add milk and whisk continuously to avoid any clumps. Cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Add the chicken breast, the whole wheat pasta and the broccoli and stir to combine. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and garnish with shredded parmesan cheese.
  4. Serve hot.

This post is sponsored by DeLallo Foods. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.  

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