Creamy Shells and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli | PBS Food

Creamy Shells and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

Yield: 4 servings


  • 8 oz shell pasta
  • 12 oz broccoli florets
  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 10 oz freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • big pinch of garlic salt
  • big pinch of black pepper


  1. Bring the pasta to a boil in a large pot until tender. While the pasta is cooking, steam broccoli in the microwave by zapping it for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. The broccoli should be bright green and just slightly tender.
  2. Drain the pasta and set aside. Set the steamed broccoli aside as well.
  3. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously until the mixture is slightly lighter than the color of peanut butter. This is called a roux and it’s used to thicken the cheese sauce.
  4. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking while you pour. Continue whisking until no lumps of roux are left. Stir continuously for about five minutes, until sauce thickens. Add the cheese, dry mustard, a big pinch of garlic salt and pepper. Keep stirring until all the cheese melts.
  5. Add the steamed broccoli and chopped chicken to the cheese sauce. Stir well. Add the cooked pasta and mix until well combined and heated through. Season again with more garlic salt and pepper and serve!
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