Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Mac n’ Cheese

Start to finish: 35 minutes
Impresses: 1

For the mac:
16-ounce box elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup flour
4 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon garlic salt
4 ounces The Creamery Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
8 ounces Cache Valley Creamery Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 ounces Cache Valley Creamery Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
2 cups roasted chicken, diced
2 cups fresh spinach
½ cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced

For the topping:
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
¼ teaspoon garlic salt

For the mac:
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni 1 minute shy of package instructions. Drain, toss in olive oil and set aside.

Return the pot to the stove over medium heat. Add butter to melt. Whisk in flour until absorbed by the butter to create a roux.

While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the milk to ensure the mixture fully incorporates and is free of lumps. 

Reduce heat to medium-low and add in garlic salt. Cook to thicken while constantly whisking, about 5 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and stir in cheeses until fully combined and melted. Return noodles to pot and add in chicken, spinach and sundried tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Serve immediately by dishing into bowls and topping with bread crumbs.

For the topping:
Bring a skillet to medium-low heat. 

Add butter to melt then stir in panko, parsley flakes and garlic salt.

Toast, stirring constantly, until browned and aromatic, about 5 minutes. 

Set aside until ready to top the mac n’ cheese.