Jazzed Up Annie’s Mac and Cheese

by Chelcie on January 31, 2012

So I have decided to share what I just ate for dinner about 3 minutes ago with you guys RIGHT away because it was that GOOD

Growing up, Annies Mac and Cheese with chicken nuggets and peas was one of my favorite dinners. So why not put all of those together into one delicious healthy casserole?!

Not trying to brag..but this was one of my more genius ideas:)

First bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta, and in another skillet saute 2 chopped garlic cloves in 1 tsp olive oil

Then add in about 2 cups of baby spinach

Once the spinach has cooked down a bit, add in 1tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp black pepper

Add in a bag of frozen peas, and cook for another 3 minutes and then turn the heat off and set aside.

Then add in your Annies to the boiling water

Cook the pasta for about 8 minutes, drain, and place back in the pot with 1 tsp butter, 1/2 cup milk, and the dry cheese packet

Stir all together, and then add in 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken, (I used leftover chicken from last night), the spinach and pea mixture, and about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Stir all together and place in a baking dish

Cover with a light sprinkle of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. Turn the oven to broil and cook for another 3 minutes


This dish has the perfect green veggies to pasta ratio so that you can eat a nice portion without feeling guilty or weighed down

I will be making this again and again and again

And yes..I know I say that about everything..but this time I’m like..super serious.


Note: I like to make this up to step 6, cover, and place in the fridge until dinnertime. Its a great make ahead meal!


nom nom nom nom

While we were eating dinner Molly (the roommate) told me she was going to start commenting on my blog to encourage people who read it to make my recipes

thanks moll, what a pal :)

This dish kind of reminds me of tuna noodle casserole, another one of my favorite meals growing up!

p.s. two recipes in one day?! things are getting pretty wild around here…


Question for ya!: What was your favorite meal to eat as a kid?

I was never a picky eater, but I always loved the casserole type dishes..or anything with goat cheese:) Some things never change :)