Nourish PA: Baked Mac-and-Cheese with Tomatoes, Peas and Chicken

Boxed mac-and-cheese gets a serious upgrade in this clever recipe. Perfect for a stress-free weeknight dinner, we add pantry staples to the prepared mac, thicken it up with a creamy roux (a sauce made from flour, butter and milk), and top it with bread crumbs or crackers for a nice crunchy crust.

Recipe notes:

  • Draining and rinsing canned products, like tomatoes and chicken, can reduce the sodium content by up to 23%.
  • For vegetarians, feel free to omit the chicken.

Baked Mac-and-Cheese with Tomatoes, Peas and Chicken

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
10 min 25 min 35 min


  • 1 box macaroni-and-cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Italian cheese
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 (12.5-ounce) can chicken, drained and shredded with a fork
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs or crushed crackers


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare macaroni-and-cheese as directed on the package.
  3. Once prepared, return the macaroni-and-cheese to low heat. Add milk, cheese and flour, and stir until combined.
  4. Add in chicken, tomatoes, peas and seasonings. Stir until combined.
  5. Pour into a greased casserole dish or 8×8” baking pan. Top with bread crumbs or crushed crackers.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. To brown the bread crumbs, broil for 3 minutes or until the top is golden-brown.

Special thanks to our sponsors...

Find out how you can support PA Eats.