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Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Mac-N-Cheese

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Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Mac-N-Cheese
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Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Mac-N-Cheese

Added by: on Feb 2nd, 2014
This is a great party recipe, as well as a weeknight dinner for some hungry appetites! RO*Tel, chicken, chiles, & Mexican Shredded cheese are combined for creamy cheesy yumminess! This can be made in an hour, then baked & ready to serve! I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts as .. more >
Rating:
0
Prep Time:
60 min
Cook Time:
60 min
Ready In:
2 h 5 min

Servings

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Original Recipe Yield: 12-16 servings
 

Ingredients:

  • pounds 3-3½ boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ground cumin
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • cup ¼-½ reduced stock from roasted chicken breasts
  • 3 cups reduced fat milk
  • 1 cup Goya tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons heaping Wow-a-Chihuahua Tex-Mex Seasoning Blend
  • 3 bags 8-ounce shredded Mexican cheese blend (6 cups)
  • 2 can 10-ounce RO*TEL Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
  • 1 can 4-ounce diced green chiles
  • 1 pound box penne pasta…I prefer Barilla Protein Plus
Nutrition Facts
Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Mac-N-Cheese

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 991

  • Total Fat: 60.9 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 35.2 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 252.2 mg
  • Sodium: 1904.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 43.4 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
  •     Sugars: 6.5 g
  • Protein: 68.6 g
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Directions:

1

Preheat your oven to 400˚. Place the chicken breasts on a nonstick-coated aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle cumin generously over the chicken. Roast the breasts for 30-40 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool, about 15-20 minutes.

2

Shred the chicken into slightly larger bite-size pieces. Place in a bowl & set aside.

3

Pour the chicken juices accumulated from roasting into a saucepan. Reduce the juices to a ¼-⅓ cup…set aside.

4

Begin your cheese sauce, which is really a variation of a classic béchamel sauce……very fancy term, yet so easy…in a medium-size (3-4 quart) saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour using a whisk continuously to combine the 2 ingredients, now called a roux. Continuously whisk the roux over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the roux begins to bubble well…add the reduced chicken stock, whisking while the roux increases in its bubbling. Reduce the heat to low.

5

Add the milk, a cup at a time, whisking continuously until the 3rd cup has been added…….you have now created a béchamel sauce……continue whisking the béchamel until it has thickened, which takes about 4 minutes……to test if the sauce has thickened, simply put a wooden spoon in the sauce……if the sauce coats the back of the spoon, you are done……sometimes, people get confused by this, so no worries……after 4 minutes, remove the sauce from the heat……you will be fine!

6

Add the tomato sauce, again whisking continuously until well combined.

7

Add 1 heaping teaspoon of the Wow-a-Chihuahua, whisking to combine…next, add 4 cups of cheese (2 bags), a cup at a time, whisking continuously so that the cheese is melted & the sauce is completely smooth before adding the next cup of cheese. The sauce is perfect when you raise your whisk & the sauce “stretches” with the whisk. Remove the sauce from the heat.

8

While you are making the sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta & cook until al dente. Drain & return to the pot, tossing with a touch of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other.

9

Drain the cans of RO*TEL & pour into a separate mixing bowl. Add the can of green chiles, mixing together well.

10

Add the shredded chicken, mixing well to combine. Add the second teaspoon of Wow-a-Chihuahua & mix well to combine.

11

Add the pasta to the chicken, tomatoes & chiles.

12

Preheat your oven to 300˚.

13

Transfer the chicken, tomatoes & pasta to a 4-5 quart lidded dutch oven or casserole dish that was sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the cheese sauce over the chicken & pasta using a ladle. I order to distribute the sauce evenly, use a spoon to lift the pasta as you pour the cheese sauce…the sauce will nice flow over all the chicken & pasta.

14

Cover the pasta…with its lid, if using a dutch oven, or foil if using a casserole…& bake for an hour.

15

About 10 minutes before the dish is done baking, sprinkle the last 2 cups of Mexican shredded cheese over the top of the pasta…bake until bubbly & browned.

16

Remove from the oven…let sit for about 5 minutes so the cheese sets a bit & serve…I like to have a variety of hot sauce on hand for those who need an extra kick of heat!

Cooks' note:
Wow-a-Chihuahua is a wonderful Tex-Mex, gluten-free seasoning blend that is available both online & at The Fresh Market…it has great flavor, & having all the spices in one blend is a wonderful time saver!
I made this dish for over 30 people last week, and it was a total hit! The proportions are for 12-16, which I think is a more resonable amount…it makes great leftovers…if you have big eaters in your family, then this is a great recipe to make on a Sunday & you will have leftovers on Monday!

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