This Caprese Mac n Cheese with Chicken recipe has a creamy pesto cheese sauce, freshly torn basil and sun-dried tomatoes atop elbow noodles. Keto friendly and low carb (read more below for how!)
With Summer gardening in full swing, my garden is fit to burst with fresh tomatoes. I’m growing four different varieties so at any given time there’s plenty of fresh tomatoes to be had.
Needless to say, I’ve been eating a lot of caprese salads, especially considering my basil is growing equally as out of control!
Not a bad problem to have, mind you.
I’ve been having a lot of fun coming up with different types of Mac n Cheese recently, especially making different keto friendly and low carb versions of macaroni and cheese, so I thought I’d take two things I’ve been making a lot of and mix them together.
A typical caprese salad consists of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil so here we’re taking those prime ingredients, changing things up a little and wha-la, an awesome one pan dinner of Caprese Mac n Cheese with Chicken.
How to Make This Caprese Mac n Cheese with Chicken Keto/Low Carb Friendly
I’m using a low carb friendly elbow noodle in this recipe. However, if you don’t want to buy the low carb elbow noodles or don’t have access to them, you could also substitute Cauliflower like I do in all of my Cauliflower Mac n Cheese recipes. It would still be very good.
Caprese Mac 'n Cheese with Chicken
- 1 8 oz. package elbow noodles regular or low carb or 2 cups cauliflower florets cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cup shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 3 tbsp cream cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- a few pieces of sliced mozzarella
- 1/4-1/2 cup basil pesto more or less for preference
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped tomatoes or 3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes I used a 1/4 cup mix of both
- basil leaves for topping
Cook elbow noodles according to package directions. If using cauliflower, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add cauliflower florets and cook 3-5 minutes (don't overcook or they'll get mushy).
Drain the pasta or the cauliflower and put it back in the pot. Add in heavy cream and cheese, stirring well to combine. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and continue stirring until melted and well incorporated, about 5 minutes. Mix in pesto and then stir in the tomatoes. Add chicken and combine well.
(Optional but highly advised) Put the "Mac" n cheese in a cast iron skillet or oven safe dish, top with the sliced mozzarella and basil leaves. Broil until the mozzarella turns golden brown.