No-Guilt Southwestern Mac and Cheese

No-Guilt Southwestern Mac and Cheese

Tasty fall comfort food makes for a quick and easy meal!

Serving Size: 6


  • 16 oz raw skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup salsa, favorite variety and heat level
  • 3 cups steamed fresh cauliflower (or use frozen)
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked high fiber elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup canned diced green chilies, drained
  • 5 slices 2% milk American cheese
  • 4 wedges Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Pound chicken to ¾ inch thickness and season chicken with black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, ¼ tsp chili powder. Place in a VacMaster® bag with ½ cup salsa. Vacuum package the chicken and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  • Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Cook chicken approximately six minutes per side until it reaches 160° F internal temperature. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Steam fresh cauliflower until tender-crisp, drain water and rough chop. Place in a bowl to hold. If using frozen cauliflower, cook according to package directions, drain water and rough chop.
  • In a medium pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and stir into cauliflower. Cover to keep warm.
  • Place drained chilies in a microwave safe bowl and add remaining ¼ tsp chili powder, cheese slices and cheese wedges, broken into pieces. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each time, until cheeses are melted and smooth. Stir a final time and add to the pasta/cauliflower mixture. Stir to coat all pasta and cauliflower.
  • Slice chicken into strips and serve on top of the macaroni and cheese. If preferred, the chicken may be cut smaller and mixed into the macaroni and cheese as well.

VacMaster TIP:

For more intense flavor, vacuum package chicken and store in the refrigerator overnight.