This Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese is my all-time favorite comfort food. Loved by kids and adults alike, it is simple to make out of things I have in the pantry; this dish is perfect for sharing with a friend on a fall or winter day.
Before I was married, it was a staple for hanging out at home with friends. Oh, how I miss the days of watching Pride and Prejudice, quilting, and eating this chicken curry deliciousness. Each of my friends put their own spin on it. Now it is one of my favorite dishes to take to anyone needing some extra love.
Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese is one of the few meals everyone in my house eats without complaint. I called this dish “Cheese Doodles” to get my kids to try them; it was a success! As teenagers, they still request these “Cheese doodles!”
98% of the time, I double this recipe and put it in a 9×13 dish since I have teenagers who can eat the whole thing in one sitting.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
Now put on a cute apron, wash your hands, and let’s get started!
What’s in Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese?
Chicken (Duh… It’s Chicken Curry Mac and Cheese)
Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese is a great way to use up any leftover cooked chicken you may have lying around. My favorite kind of chicken to use is rotisserie chicken. I dice it up into hearty chunks. Shredded chicken also works great in this recipe. I often put frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with some chicken stock for 6 hours on low. They come out ready to shred and toss in. I have also had success with a can of chicken. My kids liked this the best when they were small.
You can’t have Mac & Cheese without cheese. I prefer shredded medium cheddar in this recipe but have been known to use leftovers from other meals. Have burritos one day? Use the leftover Mexican cheese blend. I do this one often, and it is delicious. The pre-shredded bags of cheese were a lifesaver when I worked full time and tried to get dinner on the table promptly after work. Now that I am on a tight budget, I use my food processor to shred all the cheese I need for the week easily.
Uncooked Elbow Macaroni Noodles
The first time I made this Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese, I was a cooking novice, and this was one of the first meals I didn’t mess up. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I was shocked that I didn’t have to cook the macaroni first. It boils right in the milk as it bakes in the oven. Seriously, like magic!
Cream of Chicken Soup
Because this Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese is as much about convenience as it is about being scrumptious, I use whatever brand of cream of chicken soup I stocked up on when it went on sale. Any brand will do. I have not yet made my cream of chicken soup from scratch. I was raised on the can; if it was good enough for my grandma, it is probably good enough for me. But if that’s your thing, go right ahead and make it. It turns this simple dish into much more of a process. But by all means, do whatever floats your boat or toots your horn.
Milk, Curry, and Salt Tie it All Together
I have only used cow’s milk in this recipe, but I assume any will work. The important thing is that there is enough liquid to cook the macaroni. The curry powder and sea salt add just enough flavor to make this dish like no other mac & cheese you have had. The curry is the not-so-secret ingredient that really kicks it up a notch!
How to Make Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and gather your ingredients. If you are lazy like me, you can put all the ingredients into your baking dish and mix them right there. This method is the easiest for cleanup, but it tends to be more challenging to stir it well without all the stuff spilling out. I find that it mixes more evenly in a bowl. I’m willing to clean one bowl for this.
First, place the cream of mushroom soup and milk in the mixing bowl and stir.
Add salt and curry powder, stirring to mix the seasonings well.
Dump in the cheese.
Next, stir in the uncooked elbow macaroni noodles. I know… it was shocking to me too.
It will look like this before you pour it into an 8×8 or 1.5-quart baking dish.
Put it in the dish and cover it with foil. Cook it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove the foil, stir it well, and put it back in the oven uncovered for another 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
When the edges are golden brown, remove it and let it cool for a minute. It will be VERY HOT. This is where my kids try to eat it out of the dish before I get a chance to serve it; I am always afraid they will burn themselves. However, they are old enough now to have counted the cost, and I think they determined it is worth it.
Serve with green beans or a salad. My kids will try to tell you that it is just fine on its own; one of these days, they will enjoy the veggies. Maybe you can puré some and sneak them in.
If you plan to show up unannounced, this is a great meal to take to a friend uncooked. It can stay in the fridge for a couple of days, and they can cook it when they are ready. I write on the foil, “Cook at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 15 or until the edges are golden” Enjoy!
Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese (Cheese Doodles)
- 1 8 X 8 pan
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 bowl
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken diced
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp curry
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Spread in 8 X 8 baking dish.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and bake another 15 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Looking for something lighter? Try the best Summer Cobb Salad!