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.

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Now put on a cute apron, wash your hands, and let’s get started!

What’s in Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese?

Ingredients for Chicken Curry Mac and Cheese. There is an image of chicen, milk, cheese, elbow noodles, salt, and curry powder.

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.

Cheese

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.

Milk and cream of chicken soup in the mixing bowl.

Add salt and curry powder, stirring to mix the seasonings well.

Milk, cream of chicken soup, salt, and curry powder

Dump in the cheese.

the cheese is being added to the chicken curry mac & cheese

Next, stir in the uncooked elbow macaroni noodles. I know… it was shocking to me too.

Adding the elbow macaroni noodles to the chicken curry mac & cheese

It will look like this before you pour it into an 8×8 or 1.5-quart baking dish.

macaroni noodles have been mixed into the chicken curry mac & cheese

Put it in the dish and cover it with foil. Cook it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

the baking dish is covered in foil

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.

foil has been taken off and it is ready to be stirred

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.

completed chicken curry mac and cheese with a helping missing

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.

Enjoy!

Pro Tip

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!

finished chicken curry mac and cheese

Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese (Cheese Doodles)

Carrie
This Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese is a comfort food that my kids devour. It can easily be thrown together with things I usually have on hand for a friend in need.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • 1 8 X 8 pan
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
Keyword comfort foods, easy, comfort, mac & cheese

Looking for something lighter? Try the best Summer Cobb Salad!

This is the best Summer Cobb Salad in a bowl with the chicken, bacon, sweet corn, avocado, tomatoes, and feta cheese showing.
https://messyjoyfuljourney.com/best-summer-cobb-salad-to-share-with-friends/
Pinable image for Chicken Curry Mac & Cheese. It reads "The perfect dish to take to a friend in need of some love.
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37 Comments

  1. I’m always on the lookout for quick meals. I don’t always have time to cook. I’ll try this one but with penne pasta. For whatever reason we don’t like elbow pasta in my house.

    Would this work in the stovetop instead of baked?

    • I’ve actually never tried it on the stovetop, I’m not sure how it would work. However, it is easy to prepare ahead of time and stick in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. I do this often and it works great!

  2. Hey Carrie, this looks delicious! I love curry it’s so tasty. I live in New England and with the cooler weather coming in, this will be a perfect recipe to make. Can’t wait!

  3. I have a mac and cheese lover who’s also a very picky eater. I wonder if this might get her to branch out just a tiny bit and try some new flavors!

    • The trick with this one is to cut the chicken into really small pieces. I have a super picky kid and he loves this one, but if I leave the chicken in big chunks, he picks it out. lol

  4. Curry powder has become one of my favorite spices! I’ve never thought to add it to mac and cheese.

  5. This sounds like something your grandma would have made–but maybe without the curry powder. i don’t think she ever used it. Love you!

    • The curry powder is what kicks it up a notch! I wish she was still around so that I could make it for her!

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  8. 5 stars
    This looks so good! My youngest daughter is actually very anti-mac and cheese, if you can believe that! I’m going to give this recipe a try and see if I can change her mind 😉 Thank you for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    Okay seems like I could make this one without burning the kitchen down. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  10. 5 stars
    I love mac and cheese and curry this sounds like such a great and different combination cannot wait to try this.

  11. Anoher yummy recipe to try. I love all things mac and cheese but have never added chicken curry….sounds amazing! I love that you called this recipe Cheese Doodles for your kids! Definitely makes it sound fun! Pinning this for later!

  12. 5 stars
    I love this spin on mac and cheese, what a great flavor combo! Thanks for the recipe.

  13. 5 stars
    this looks delicious! I love curry it’s so tasty never thought of putting it into mac and cheese though

  14. 5 stars
    This chicken curry Mac and cheese looks so delicious. I absolutely love Mac and cheese and the combo with chicken sounds perfect!

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