Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary

About two years ago, Brian and I were back in my home town and decided that we’d make an impromptu stop at Michael Symon’s restaurant, Bar Symon. We had heard rave reviews from family and friends about both the atmosphere and the food. Of course, I fell in love with the place immediately.

The restaurant was situated in a shopping center in Avon, Ohio. It was a quaint space with masculine, gray toned decor, a flying pig logo and a perfect bar full of an incredible selection of beer. The menu was simplistic and full of Michael Symon staples like pierogies and pork. Since our first visit, we dined there numerous times and although everything was beautiful and more importantly delicious, nothing stood out in my mind like their Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese and Rosemary.

The Mac and Cheese was creamy, tangy and perfectly infused with fresh rosemary. The roasted chicken made it hearty and “manly” enough for Brian to accept as a main course. It’s one of those dishes that forces you to instinctively close your eyes and truly enjoy what is dancing around in your mouth. It was love at first bite and I knew I had to find a way to replicate it at home. You can probably imagine how jazzed I was when I discovered that the recipe was from Symon’s book, Live to Cook.

I must say that I was pretty amazed that such a gorgeous plate of food consisted of such a short list of ingredients. And the ingredients are not the only thing that’s simple about this recipe – the prep work is also a breeze. I used leftover roasted chicken from the night before, but you can make it even more simplistic by picking up a rotisserie chicken from your local market. Although I was pretty upset when I learned that Bar Symon was closing its doors last fall, I’ll remember it for turning me on to one of the most delectable mac and cheese recipes that I’ve ever eaten and will be forever replicating in my own kitchen.

I hope you’ll join Katie and I this week and share your favorite recipe that uses fresh herbs for our Shenandoah Growers Organic Fresh Herbs Holiday Recipe Exchange. Shenandoah Growers offer high-quality, organic, fresh herbs that are perfect for all of your Holiday recipes. You can connect with Shenandoah Growers on Facebook and Twitter for product information and delicious recipes.

Head on over to Good Life Eats and check out Katie’s recipe for Fresh Herb and Citrus Turkey Brine.

Mac & Cheese with Roasted Chicken

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound dried rigatoni
1 quart heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
8 ounces goat cheese
2 cups shredded roasted chicken
salt and pepper to taste


1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Add the oil and rigatoni to the water and cook according to the directions on the package, 10-12 minutes.
2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, pour the cream into a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary and garlic to the cream and bring it to a simmer - take care not to let it boil over. Allow the cream to reduce by about half.
3. Stir in the goat cheese and chicken and continue cooking cooking it till the cream coats the back of a spoon.
4. Thoroughly drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce. Coat the pasta in the sauce and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Serve hot.

-My Baking Addiction adapted from Live to Cook

Shenandoah Growers even has holiday trio packs that include living organic Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage, so they’re perfect for holiday cooking. Festively wrapped with an elegant holiday greeting card, they also make an excellent hostess gift. Look for the Holiday Trio Pack in your local supermarket.

How To Participate

For a chance to win a $200 Cash Card:

  1. Write and post a recipe on your blog featuring FRESH HERBS.
  2. Include “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Shenandoah Growers Organic Fresh Herbs.” in your blog post.
  3. No blog? Just leave your recipe in the comments section.
  4. Add your link to the widget on either GoodLife Eats or My Baking Addiction (we have the same widget code, so only add it on one site).
  5. Submit your post before Nov. 14, 11:59 PM.
  6. Anyone can participate in the link up, but the prizes will ship to US addresses only.
  7. More detailed info are available here.

Link Up Your Recipes:

Love any of the recipes featured in today’s Holiday Recipe Exchange? If so, be sure to to use the Ziplist Web Recipe Clipper to add your holiday favorites to your online recipe box.

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This Week’s Prize:

$200 cash card.

Prizes provided by Shenandoah Growers Organic Fresh Herbs.

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95 Responses to “Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary”

  1. Sarah — December 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I came across this recipe via Pinterest and made it tonight for dinner. It was fabulous! I loved the balance of the goat cheese and rosemary with the rich cream. Thanks for posting it!!


  2. Susan — December 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Made this tonight and instead of the heavy cream I substituted a mixture of whole milk and half and half, plus 2 tsp cornstarch to thicken the sauce. It was a little on the bland side – maybe a Tbsp or two of butter melted in would have made it taster richer without adding as much fat. Or maybe a few tbsp of parmesan would have amped the flavor. The garlic/rosemary combo was nice though and I think this is worth experimenting with more for a healthier version. (I’m sure the full fat version is delicious as written)


  3. Jenna — January 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I just stumbled across this recipe as I was looking for a unique & fresh take on basic mac n cheese … oh my goodness. I just made this for a company potluck and it was the first thing to go. It was SO good – I prepared the sauce the morning of and only cooked my rigatoni for a few minutes – then I combined everything in a crockpot and set it to warm until lunch – it was perfect. The noodles were perfectly done and the sauce was sooo creamy. Thank you so much for sharing!


  4. Laurel Wycoff — January 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

    You are inspiring me to cook more w fresh ingredients and get my kids away from packaged products full of preservatives! Totally want to try this recipe as my 5 year old is “addicted” to mac and cheese and I Hate the boxed kind.


  5. rebekah — February 1, 2012 at 10:16 am

    SOO Bland. was so excited about this. But, the flavors were not that great. I even added some shrooms and roasted asparagus. Still bland. It was very pretty and fairly easy, but I won’t make it again


  6. Rachel — June 5, 2012 at 2:11 am

    this looks delish! will definitely have to try making it.


  7. Kate — June 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Plan on making this tonight once I figure out how many calories it would be. Worried about the heavy cream and might have to find a substitution. Looks delicious though.


  8. Mr. P — June 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Where did you get those little dishes? Are they cast iron, they look so rustic and I would really like to find them!


    • Jamie — June 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      They are made by Lodge, I picked them up at Cabbella’s. Hope this helps.

    • Mr. P — June 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm


      You are too awesome! I was able to find them on the Lodge website and will now be picking up 6 of these little guys. Though I hope the girlfriend doesn’t get too upset at my “constant and spontaneous buying of random dinnerware”!


  9. Michelle — September 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Hello! Came across this recipe on Pintrest and want to make it tonight. I was wondering what the garnish you have on top is in the photo? It doesn’t look like rosemary…



    • Jamie — September 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      The garnish is flat leaf, Italian parsley. I hope you enjoyed the mac and cheese. Have a great day!

  10. Margaret — October 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Wow, I made this and I am so disappointed! What a waste of expensive ingredients… :(


  11. Ann — October 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    This looks delicious. My inner grammarian is going a little nuts , though. Simplistic means to reduce to a false simplicity by ignoring complicating factors. I think you just mean that his restaurant and the recipe are simple.


  12. sfitz33 — October 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Love the idea of this dish, but not a huge fan of goat cheese. Could you think of any other cheese that would work? Thank you!


    • Jamie — October 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      I think you could play around with substituting in cream cheese; however, I have not attempted this swap so I can’t comment on the actual result. Have a great day.

  13. Lauren — November 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I don’t understand the bad reviews here. I made this last night and thought it was delicious! Based on the reviews I use a good goat cheese – Laura Chenel and used 1/2 & 1/2 and cream. I added a good amount of ground pepper as well and don’t skimp on the rosemary either – you need it all. We had it along side french green beans with sliced almonds and a squeeze of lemon and it was perfect. Thank you!!


    • Jamie — November 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      I am thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe – it’s actually one of our faves – sometimes, we even add bacon! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving for feedback! Have a great day.

  14. Madeline — January 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I mentioned this in an article I wrote about comfort foods. Feel free to check it out!


  15. Michelle — February 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    This looks delicious! Has anyone tried freezing it? A friend pinned this and I’m wanting to make some of her pinned recipes for her freezer so she has meals after her baby’s birth. I thought that way she would have yummy dinners and tested recipes in one gift. I’d love any feedback anyone has! Thanks!


  16. ATasteOfMadness — June 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Oh my goodness. I didn’t think mac and cheese could get any better, but here we are. This looks fantastic!


    • Jamie — August 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you so much! Definitely give the recipe a try and let us know how it goes. Have a great day and thanks for following MBA!


  17. Charlie — June 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

    What a great recipe thanks – I love goat’s cheese so any excuse to use it is good for me!


    • Jamie — August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm


      You’re welcome, and I’m with you on goat cheese! Let us know how the recipe goes when you decide to make it. Have a great day and thank you so much for following MBA!


  18. Michelle K — July 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight, I added portabella mushrooms and a little extra goat cheese (love goat cheese). It was FABULOUS! Husband enjoyed… with left-overs for his lunch. Thanks for making it an easy choice.


    • Jamie — August 13, 2013 at 10:11 pm


      The mushroom addition sounds so good! Thank you so much for stopping in to let us know that you enjoyed the recipe. Have a great day and thank you for following MBA!


  19. Joanne — November 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Love the recipe, can’t wait to try it. Sorry to be a nerd, but it should be “Join Katie and me this week … ” (Take Katie out and you wouldn’t say Join I this week”). Sorry pet peeve.


  20. Crista Yokoyama — May 30, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    I made this last night and thought it was delicious! I did however add more salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary since some of the other reviews said it could be bland. I also subbed with gluten free pasta. It was perfect. Thanks!!


  21. Dee — January 12, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve made this twice in the past few months and it’s delicious. I did, however, make a few changes. I added a little salt and pepper to taste and substituted half of the heavy cream with light cream. I also substituted white beans for the chicken just to save time, but still add some protein and it’s yummy. I didn’t quite use the full pound of pasta either as I thought it’d end up too dry. I also used dried rosemary. Tastes great. For those who think it’s too bland, try adding salt at the end and don’t use the full pound of pasta. Also add dried rosemary. I added a lot to mine.


    • Jamie — January 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your revisions. I am so glad you had the chance to try the recipe and enjoy it.


  22. Chaos in my Kitchen — September 2, 2015 at 10:23 am

    It looks delicous! I would probably add just a splash of white wine and a pinch of nutmeg. What do ou reckon? I got to to try this!
    If you are looking for a vegetarian recipe with rigatoni and cheese take a look at my site and try my
    Rigatoni with Spinach and Gorgonzola! 


  23. Kayla — December 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest a few months ago and now make it regularly. My family (including my super picky kids) LOVE it. Thanks for sharing!


    • Jamie — December 7, 2016 at 4:49 am

      You’re very welcome, Kayla!

  24. Ellie — January 8, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Hi, I’ve made this multiple times and everyone in our family loves it. I am planning on making this dish for some friends that are expecting a baby and want to make them some freezer meals. Any idea what temperature or how long to defrost it to cook it evenly?


    • Jamie — January 9, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Hi, Ellie! I suggest thawing the dish in the refrigerator overnight and then heat on the stove. I’ve never tried this from frozen, so I’m interested to hear how it goes. Let me know!

  25. Ellie — February 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I can’t see where all of the negative reviews for this recipe are coming from. I have made this twice now, first coming across it on Stumble Upon a few years ago, and it is a definite keeper. As a college student living on her own and trying to cook for herself as much as possible, the ingredients for this are easy to find at my local Aldi and easy to put together after a day of classes (that means not too expensive AND convenient!). I add a bit more garlic because I’m really into that kind of thing, but other than that I follow the recipe as it’s written and it’s delicious. I’m sure mushrooms would be a great addition as well, I just didn’t have them on hand. 

    All in all, a deceivingly simple and tasty dish. 


    • Jamie — February 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Ellie! I really appreciate it.

  26. Ann — May 9, 2017 at 10:10 pm


    First thank you for the recipe. It is fairly easy to make and good for a quick weeknight dinner. However, I would agree that it doesn’t have a robust enough flavor – and if you’re foodie, you’ll realize it needs adjusting based on your preference…certainly not something I would fault the author, just personal taste preference. That being said, it’s a good base and definitely a great compliment between the goat cheese and the rosemary. 

    My adjustments: reduce the rigatoni, sauté the chicken in an herb butter sauce also add some to the sauce, don’t skim on rosemary, add lots of salt and pepper, and consider carmalizing some onions.

    Note, at least for me, the sauce had a little curdy, bumpy texture.



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