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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.

Two small baking dishes full of mac and cheese on a stone surface next to forks

Mac & Cheese with Roasted Chicken

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 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.


Adapted from Live to Cook

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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

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  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.
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  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.

Recipe Theme Schedule:

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Tuesday 9th of May 2017


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.


Sunday 5th of February 2017

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. 


Monday 6th of February 2017

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


Sunday 8th of January 2017

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?


Monday 9th of January 2017

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!


Tuesday 6th of December 2016

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!


Wednesday 7th of December 2016

You're very welcome, Kayla!

Chaos in my Kitchen

Wednesday 2nd of September 2015

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! 

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