Loaded Pulled Chicken Mac & Cheese


Mac & Cheese is comfort food heaven. Full stop.

I’ve yet to meet a person who’s not obsessed with a solid Mac, and scratch-made is so next-level delicious you’ll never go back to that boxed stuff. This Mac is fully-loaded with cheesy goodness, killer pulled chicken, and a bacon-y crunch factor. Guaranteed smile-inducing food for your friends & family. Make this dish y’all!!!  

Loaded Pulled Chicken Mac & Cheese

Makes 6 – 8 servings

Pulled Chicken & Bacon

1/2 pound smoked bacon

2 large best quality (free-range) chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

Zest of ½ a lemon

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

Pinch of ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Breadcrumb Crunch

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil


1 pound (500 grams) uncooked pasta shells

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cloves garlic, minced  

3 cups whole milk

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Your favourite hot sauce, to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Lay the bacon strips on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until cooked to crispy golden happiness. Crumble and set aside.
  1. While the bacon is cooking, crack on with the chicken. In a large bowl combine the chicken, olive oil, zest, spices, salt, and pepper, and toss to mix. Heat an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken breasts. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and transfer to the oven. Pan-roast the chicken for 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through and perfectly shred-able. Transfer to a board to cool for a few minutes, then shred with 2 forks. Set aside.
  1.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  1.  Combine the Breadcrumb Crunch ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Set aside. Awesome.
  1. Next, crack on with the cheese sauce. Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium-heat and melt the butter. When melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute until the roux is bubbling away. Whisk in the minced garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then, in a slow and steady stream, whisk in the milk until smooth. Season with the sea salt and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring often, until thickened (5 – 6 minutes). Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, until melted and smooth. Add a hit of cracked pepper, then set aside.
  1. While the cheese sauce is simmering away, cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions (al dente, please). Drain and set aside. Easy Peasy.
  1. Combine the pasta, pulled chicken, and 1/2 the crumbled bacon, then pour in that glorious cheese sauce and stir well to ensure every noodle is well coated. Transfer to a baking dish, then top with remaining bacon and Breadcrumb Crunch mixture. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cheese until golden brown, bubbling, and completely intoxicating. Serve and Eat Delicious!


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