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Baked Macaroni, Chicken, and Spinach Casserole

Mac and cheese is all grown-up, with spinach, chicken, and smoky bacon.

Serves 4
Ready in 45 mins
Prep time 5 mins
Cooking time 40 mins
761 calories per serving


> 8 oz elbow macaroni
> 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
> 6 strips of bacon
> 1 (16 oz) pkg fresh spinach
> 1 (8 oz) pkg fresh mozzarella
> ½ cup panko bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook the macaroni according to package directions until al dente, then drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Set aside. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the chicken for 20 min. or until cooked through. Chop the bacon into thick chunks and sauté in a dry pan for 5 min. or until crispy. Add the spinach in batches and cook for 2 min. or until wilted.
Remove the chicken from the boiling water and cut into chunks. Grease a 9x9-inch baking dish. Chop the mozzarella into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, spinach, mozzarella cheese, reserved pasta water, and chicken together and fold until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly in baking dish and sprinkle with panko. Bake in the oven about 15 min. or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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