Necessity is the mother of all innovation. I was out of milk one fateful day, without knowing it, and began making some Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese before I discovered this sad fact. From there, I could have gone with the age old practice of not straining all the water out of the noodles in order to have enough moisture to mix in the powdered cheese-but, ya… no thank you. Luckily, I noticed where the milk normally was there happened to be some heavy whipping cream, which I usually use for making sauce for Chicken Pesto Tortellini (which might just be one of the most ridiculously delicious and easy to make meals on the planet).
I then mixed a little of the heavy whipping cream with the strained noodles (no need for butter here) and the result was Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese taken to a whole different level of creamy goodness. Give it a try. Just don’t go too heavy on the heavy whipping cream, lest it end up a bit tangier than you might have hoped for. I don’t actually measure it, but just give it a little splash, stir, then add as necessary until all the cheese is uniformly distributed.
Pro-tip: If you’re eating for one, remove about 1/3 of the noodles in the mac ‘n cheese box and put it aside in a zip lock bag or other container to be used for a different meal. This increases the cheesiness of the end mac ‘n cheese, while also cutting some of the calories out of what you would have eaten. If you add chicken breast and some crumbled extra crispy bacon, you can even bring it down to about half the box of noodles and the end product is practically gourmet… err, well, at least compared to straight boxed mac ‘n cheese.
As promised, here’s an extremely easy and fairly quick to make Chicken Pesto Tortellini recipe that is ridiculously tasty (recipe is for 1 serving, multiply as needed):
- 1 cup cheese stuffed tortellini
- 1/8th cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/8th cup pesto
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream (depending on how much sauce you like- I personally tend to go with the half cup.)
- broccoli (however much you like)
- 1 chicken breast
Cook the chicken breast (I usually boil it to keep it extra moist) and steam the broccoli. While you’re doing that, boil or steam the tortellini. Next, pour the whipping cream in a sauce pan and mix in the pesto, Parmesan cheese, broccoli, and diced chicken breast, then bring the sauce to a simmer. Once simmering, strain the tortellini and mix it in with the simmering sauce. That’s it!