Cheesy Chicken Mac nestles little chicken meatballs between shells covered in creamy cheese sauce. Adding spinach, celery and onion kicks up the nutrition.
This week Sunday Supper cooks up hot lunch ideas for back to school lunchboxes.
When I was a kid, thermos soup was our hot meal choice. I was a big fan of chicken and stars but tomato was a close second.
Now children have access to microwaves and parents can purchase containers designed to transport and serve hot food for lunch.
Every kid I know, big and small loves mac and cheese. There’s a thousand ways, probably more to make this tasty dish. I think my favorite is Lobster Mac & Cheese. That might be a bit pricey for everyday lunch.
So I got to thinking about what else do kids like in their mac and cheese? How about meatballs?
Better yet, how do chicken meatballs with some veggies sneaked in sound to you? A little spinach, some celery and onion…yes that’s it!
Cheesy Chicken Mac
- 2 cups shells
- 1/2 pound ground chicken
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- preheat oven to 350
- Saute celery and onion in 1 tablespoon oil until soft. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix chicken, veggies (egg if adding) and enough bread crumbs to lightly hold mix together.
- Divide into 18 mini meatballs. Brown meatballs in a large skillet in 1 tablespoon olive oil. (oven safe skillet is ideal)
- Place meatballs in an oven safe pan. Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
- While meatballs bake, add milk, cornstarch, butter, mustard, salt and pepper to a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat when sauce thickens. Stir in cheese.
- Combine pasta, meatballs and sauce. Serve.
Food for Thought…What do you like to add to mac and cheese to kick it up a notch? I’d love to hear your ideas in a comment below!
Sunday Supper Hot Lunch Ideas
Hearty Hot Lunches
- Beef Stroganoff by The Crumby Kitchen
- Cheesy Chicken Mac by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Lasagna Joes by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Lunch Box Walking Tacos by Soulfully Made
- Potato Spinach Gnocchi by Caroline’s Cooking
- Raisin Bread Chicken Grilled Cheese by Pies and Plots
- Tuna Quesadillas by Basic N Delicious
Soups and Stews
- 5 Bean Chili by My Blissful Mess
- Broccoli and Cheese Soup by Palatable Pastime
- Kielbasa Rice Bowl by The Freshman Cook
- Make It and Take It Burrito Bowl by Our Good Life
- One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese by Sunday Supper Movement
- Paleo Mason Jar Ramen by Bites Of Wellness
- Turmeric Cauliflower Soup by Cricket’s Confections
- Vegetable Beef Soup with Roasted Garlic by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
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