My children just love mac and cheese, so much I think, if I allowed it, it is the only food they would ever eat. My youngest child would eat macaroni and cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That is why I went searching youtube for great Macaroni and Cheese alternatives, or as I like to call them, a Mac and Cheese Spin off.
One of the best I found, and my children agree, is this Cheesy Stuffed Shells with Chicken. I helps me sneak a little healthy protein in my children's diet.
Let me know what you think or if you have other ideas for great mac and cheese spin offs in the comments below (scroll down below the video)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ shallot, diced
- 1 cup leeks, sliced
- 12 oz. jumbo shells
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups (8 oz.) Fontina Cheese
- 1 ½ cup chicken, chopped
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Heat oven to 375. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add shallots and leeks, cook over medium heat, cook and stir until lightly browned (about 7-10 minutes).
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and cool under running water. Pat shells dry.
In a large bowl, fold together ricotta, 1 cup of the Fontina, chicken, sundried tomatoes, parsley, shallot-leek mixture.
Season with salt and pepper. Then, stir in the eggs.
In another bowl, mix together marinara sauce and heavy cream. Pour ½ marinara sauce into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Stuff each shell with a one round tablespoon of the filling. Place stuffed shells in baking dish.
- Drizzle remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining Fontina cheese.
Bake the shells until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.