One-Pot Barbecue Chicken Mac and Cheese
This One-Pot Barbecue Chicken Mac and Cheese is so rich and creamy, you’ll never believe it’s lightened up! With a decadent cheese sauce that’s jazzed up with sweet, spicy and tangy barbecue flavor, this is a great meal to serve the whole family. My little one loved it as much as my husband and I did! The idea to make this came to me because my husband started putting barbecue sauce on his mac and cheese whenever we made it, and we all started eating it that way. I figured adding chicken would make it even better and turn it into a heartier meal, and I’m loving the results!
I absolutely love one-pot meals, because they’re easy for weeknights and I hate washing dishes. The pasta in this One-Pot Barbecue Chicken Mac and Cheese cooks right in the pot. No need to boil separate water or wash a colander! You can throw together a quick salad on the side and dinner is served. Not only is this dish flavorful, and easy, it’s lightened up at just 347 calories or 8 WW Freestyle SmartPoints per serving!
Looking for more lightened up pasta options? Check out the pasta section of my recipe index for favorites like Chicken Pot Pasta, Pasta with Chickpeas, Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon, Beef Enchilada Pasta Skillet, Turkey Sloppy Joe Pasta, Italian Wedding Pasta Skillet, Pizza Lasagna Roll-Ups, Sausage Ricotta Pasta, Lemon Chicken Orzo, Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet, Beef Stroganoff, Beefy American Goulash, Slow Cooker Kickin’ Chicken Pasta, Beef and Sausage Manicotti, Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini Skillet, Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna Roll Ups, Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake, Tomato Soup Mac & Cheese, Spaghetti Pie, Sausage Tortellini Skillet, Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups, Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells, Spicy Sausage Pasta and many more!
One-Pot Barbecue Chicken Mac and Cheese
Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings
- 1 ½ lbs uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 tablespoons barbecue sauce (I use/recommend Stubb’s Original, if you use another brand, look for one low in sugar/carbs)
- 4 tablespoons light butter (I use Land O’Lakes)
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ cups skim milk
- 2 ½ cups water
- 10 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
- 6 oz 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I use Cabot)
- *Place the chicken breasts in a Dutch oven or other large pot and cover with water to about 2 inches over the chicken. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts – mine are generally done at 15, so check one then) until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Discard the water from the pot and rinse and wipe out the pot to use again. Chop the chicken into small, bite-size pieces and move to a mixing bowl. Add the barbecue sauce and stir to coat. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in the pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne until combined with the butter and continue to stir for a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk until combined and smooth. Add the water and whisk in to combine.
- Increase the heat to med-high and stir occasionally until boiling. Reduce the heat to med-low and add the macaroni. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the shredded cheese until well combined. Add the chopped chicken with barbecue sauce and stir until thoroughly combined. Cook for another few minutes until all ingredients are heated through and serve.
*If you already have cooked chicken breasts on hand you can skip this step and use a pound of cooked, chopped chicken. Place it in a bowl and mix it with the barbecue sauce.
WW Freestyle SmartPoints:
8 per (1 cup) serving (SPs calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
9 per (1 cup) serving (PP calculated using a WW PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below)
Nutrition Information per (1 cup) serving:
347 calories, 34 g carbs, 4 g sugars, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 32 g protein, 2 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
an Emily Bites Original