Cozy Curry Shmack N'Cheese
Semi-Scratch Recipe (Ideal for Beginners)
This is a classic example of my “kitchen sink” style of cooking. It starts with using what you have, and seeing how you can freak it. The idea for this dish specifically came from combining some leftovers I had to make a quick, but filling meal.
Accommodate your dietary needs and restrictions as needed, since the use of dairy/nondairy or GF products doesn’t drastically affect the chemistry of the recipe. It’s mainly about taste and feeling here.
MOST GLUTEN FREE AND/OR Plant-Based SUBSTITUTIONS WORK 1:1 FOR THIS RECIPE
Recipe Yield: About 4 Servings
1 ½ Cups Elbow Macaroni
Note for balancing a plant-based meal: If your curry has a legume (like chickpeas or lentils) in it, use a rice-based pasta to make it a complete protein. If not, try a legume-based pasta to bulk it up!
3 Cups of Water
Play with this if you're not using leftovers.If you’re cooking a protein (say chicken, etc.) any store-bought curry sauce or dry seasoning packet will do.
Butter or Cooking Oil
¼ Tsp Turmeric
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1 cup Milk or Cream
(I prefer coconut when I’m making this dish, it compliments the curry)
2 Chicken Breasts, Cut into cubes
(Sub for a plant-based option, or omit if your leftovers have a protein in it already)
Handful of sliced Crimini Mushrooms
Handful of Spinach
½ Yellow Onion, Diced
Bring water to a rolling boil in a medium sized pot.
Add 1 Tsp of salt to the water and 1-2 Tbsp of butter or oil.
If using a GF pasta, add 3-4 Tbsp of butter or oil.
Add pasta and reduce to medium heat, let it simmer for about 7 minutes.
In a separate saucepan at low-medium heat, toss in your onions. As the onions become translucent, add chicken breast and let simmer.
When the chicken is almost fully cooked, gently and slowly incorporate the cheese and milk until creamy.
If the mixture is too thick/gooey or sticky, add butter or milk until the desired texture is achieved. If the mix is too runny, then add more cheese and/or let simmer longer without the lid on.
If you’re using a curry spice packet or sauce, add it now. If you’re using leftovers, wait 'til Step 6.
Just before the pasta is fully cooked, drain ⅔ of the water and stir in spinach and mushrooms. Lid the pan and let it steam on low heat for 2 minutes. The residual moisture will cook out.
Once the chicken breast is done, add the sauce to your pasta.
If you’re using leftover curry, add it now, and make sure to thoroughly reheat it.
To finish, stir in the remaining seasonings to taste.
Serve warm and enjoy!