This Southwestern-seasoned macaroni and cheese casserole has plenty of chicken and four different Cheddars.
Gourmet Macaroni And Cheese Recipes
Recipe IV: Mi Casa Chicken Pasta Casserole
Mi Casa Chicken Pasta Casserole Recipe
Terryl Propper was the 2007 Chicago Area Regional Winner of the Tillamook Macaroni & Cheese Recipe Contest with this Southwestern-themed mac & cheese. It uses orecchiette and four different Cheddars.
- 1 pound orecchiette* pasta
*Orecchiette literally means “little ears,” although some people find them more dome-shaped than ear-shaped. They work well with chunky meat and vegetable sauces.
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 4 large cloves garlic, crushed through press
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3/4 cup chopped multi-color bell pepper
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups half and half
- 2-1/2 cup Southwestern-flavored chicken strips (thawed if frozen)
- 1 4-ounce can green chiles, drained
- 8-ounces Garlic Chile Pepper Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8-ounces Pepper Jack Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8-ounces Garlic White Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 10-ounces Vintage White Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup Vintage White Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup crushed multicolored tortilla chips
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 sprig of cilantro
- Mini hot peppers
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat and add onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until onions are transparent. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add flour and continue stirring for about 1 minute, being careful not to brown the mixture. Slowly add the half and half, stirring continuously after each addition, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the chicken stock a little at a time and continue stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. Add the green chiles.
- Remove from heat and add the Garlic Chile Pepper Cheddar, Garlic White Cheddar, Pepper Jack and Vintage White Sharp Cheddar cheeses. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted.
- Add the chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour macaroni and cheese into a large casserole dish.
- Spread 1 cup Sharp Vintage White Cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. In a separate pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and combine with tortilla chips. Sprinkle on top of the casserole and bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro. Decorate plate with a sprig of cilantro and a mini hot red pepper. Serves 8+.
NEXT RECIPE: Pacific Northwest Macaroni & Cheese
WHEN YOU THINK “MAC & CHEESE,” THINK BEYOND ELBOW MACARONI.
In fact, most award-winning recipes use other shapes.
See the different pasta shapes in our
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