BBQ mac and cheese with chicken and cauliflower
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 12 cups shell pasta
- 12 cups cauliflower
- 1 ⅛ lbs precooked chicken pieces
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 12 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 2 ¼ tsp onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¾ tsp cayenne
- 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
Preheat oven broiler on high. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan or casserole with ¾ tbsp olive oil. Set aside.
Cook shell pasta in lightly salted water about 9 minutes, until just done but still firm. Strain, cover and set aside. Do not rinse pasta.
Meanwhile, cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Add remaining ¾ tbsp olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook 4 more minutes, until cauliflower is just beginning to soften.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until well combined and bubbly. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Continue to cook, stirring often, until milk thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add shredded cheddar, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined, then remove from heat.
Add cooked pasta, chicken and cauliflower to pot. Gently stir until everything is coated with sauce. Transfer to prepared baking pan and broil until top is browned and bubbling, about 6 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.