Macaroni & Cheese with Ham and Broccoli

Mac cheese

Guest post by Erin Bradley

Enjoy leftovers in a new way and that your kids and hubby are sure to love! Easy, all-in-one homemade Mac & Cheese with leftover ham (or chicken) and broccoli is a quick weeknight meal that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
16oz. dry noodles of choice
1 dash salt for water
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 1 lb. package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 to 2 cups cooked, diced ham or chicken 

1.       Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2.       Cook noodles according to package directions in lightly salted, boiling water. Drain and return to pot.
3.       While noodles are boiling, whisk together 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. flour over medium heat.
4.       Slowly add 2 cups of milk, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about ten minutes.
5.       Remove pot from heat and add in 2 cups shredded cheese.  Stir until smooth.
6.       Meanwhile, break apart larger broccoli florets into smaller pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add the meat and mix together.  Pour contents on top of drained noodles. 
7.       Pour cheese mixture on top of noodle mixture and stir well.  Pour entire mixture into baking dish.
8.       Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of mixture.  Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.  Serves 8

As a wife and working mother of three girls ages 6, 4, and 2, Erin Bradley enjoys embracing the many life experiences that come with raising young children.  Erin seeks to follow and serve the Lord daily while working hard to provide for the needs of her family. Finding new ways of organizing her home and simplifying different areas of her life has become one of her many passions to make more time for the important things.


Spicy (or Not!) Chicken Fiesta Soup

This is a healthy meal that tastes great and is super easy to put together making it a perfect match for busy moms. I adapted this recipe from a friend’s and my family loves it!

Chicken Fiesta Soup

2 c cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1 can Rotel (keep liquid)
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can corn (keep liquid)
1 8 oz package Neufchatel cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tsp Chili powder (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips. (Serves 6-8)


Recipes- Chicken

Chicken Pot PieThis is part of a series on meals on a budget. In this post, I will share budget-friendly menu ideas and freezer tips, recipes, and time-savers all related to Chicken.

Chicken Recipes

We eat chicken twice a week and I prepare it different ways. I typically buy the split chicken breast, but will purchase a whole chicken if it’s on sale for a reasonable price.

How I prepare Split Chicken Breasts

Remove skin from chicken, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Rub seasoning salt on the meat and place in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add in 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk, and 1 sliced onion. Fill pot with water until chicken is covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce temperature to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.

When chicken is done, remove from pot to cool. Strain broth through cheese cloth to save. Once the broth is cool, place it in quart-size containers to use or freeze.

Debone the chicken and chop into bite-size pieces. The cooked chicken can be used in casseroles, soups, or other recipes calling for cooked chicken.

  • Pot Pie (serves 8)

2 c cooked chicken
2 cans Cream of Something soup (chicken, mushroom, celery-whatever you prefer)
1 can mixed vegetables, drained
1 package frozen pie dough
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine first three ingredients in a bowl. Thaw dough according to package directions. Place dough into pie plate. Spread chicken mixture onto pie crust. Cover with the second crust. Seal edges and cut 6 1” slits in the top. Brush the egg mixture over the top of the crust. Bake in preheated 350* oven for 1 hour, until center is hot and top is golden brown. Cover the crust with foil if it browns too quickly.

  • Broccoli, Chicken, & Rice Casserole

1 c cooked chicken
2 c cooked rice
1 can Cream of Something soup
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Combine first three ingredients and spread into a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake covered at 350* approximately 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove cover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes to brown cheese.

  • Chicken Enchiladas (serves 8)

2 c shredded cooked chicken
2 cans Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese soup
1 can Rotel
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
16 flour tortillas

Combine chicken and 1 can of soup in a bowl to make filling. In a separate bowl, mix the second can of soup and Rotel. Spoon filling into center of tortilla and roll tightly. Place tortillas seam-side down in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour the soup and Rotel sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350* oven for 30 minutes until heat through and cheese is bubbly. Serve with sour cream if desired.

  • Chicken Poppers

2 lbs boneless, skinless breasts
1 c Italian bread crumbs
¼ c parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 c milk

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a Ziploc bag. Dip chicken in egg and immediately place into bag of breadcrumbs. Toss to coat. Remove and dip in milk. Place in crumb mixture and coat again. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400* until outside is crispy and inside has reached 170*.