The flavors of chicken enchiladas meet everyone’s favorite comfort food in this tasty version of mac and cheese! Chicken enchilada macaroni and cheese is sure to be a hit.
Happy Friday! For some reason, this week seemed to drag on. I blame the weather… it’s been cloudy and cool for June. That’s all changing this weekend, though! We have a heat wave coming. I’m excited for warm temperatures, but at the same time I wish we could just get some normal temps instead of well below/above average.
I’ve been working nonstop in my garden trying to soak up the last of the cool-weather crops like spinach, lettuce, peas, and kale. So.Much.Kale.
Chicken Enchilada Macaroni and Cheese
My level obsession for this mac and cheese is REAL. I could not stop eating it when I made it and I thought about the leftovers constantly! I couldn’t wait for the next meal to heat some up. THAT’S how good this is!
There was one last serving left in the fridge that I anticipated eating for lunch all morning, only to find out that Kyle took it in his lunch. 😐
Imagine the devastation when I opened the fridge and it wasn’t there! Next time I’ll have to hide it better. 😉
Okay, let’s talk about how to make this tasty mac and cheese.
Chicken enchilada macaroni and cheese starts out like any other mac and cheese: béchamel sauce. The main difference is that we add a ton of flavor to this béchamel. Onions, tomato paste, spices… and of course, lots and lots of cheese.
Toss in some cooked chicken and pasta, pour it into a baking dish, and top it with the super crunchy topping. Crushed up tortilla chips! Just mix ’em with some of the spices and melted butter and then sprinkle the topping all over your mac and cheese. Pop it under the broiler until golden brown and bubbly and then you’re ready to dig in!
And believe me, you won’t be able to stop digging in.
No matter how hot it gets outside, comfort food is always welcome inside… at least in my house! I see myself making this one a lot more than I should. 😬
Have a fantastic weekend, y’all!
- 1 (12 oz.) Box Gluten-Free Penne*, I recommend Barilla brand
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Onion, finely diced
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Gum-Free Gluten-Free Flour*
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 3 ½ Cups Whole Milk
- 2 Cups Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese
- 2 Cups Shredded Chicken
- ½ Cup Crushed Tortilla Chips
- 2 Teaspoons Reserved Spice Mix
- 1 Tablespoon Melted Butter
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add in your pasta. Cook 1 minute less than the package instructions. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
- While you’re waiting for your water to boil, combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Reserve 2 teaspoons for the topping.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepot over medium heat and add in the onion. Sauté for about 1 minute, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Sprinkle in the spice blend and stir for 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour and tomato paste – the mixture will be very thick.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and continue whisking to remove any lumps. Cook the béchamel for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened; stirring frequently.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth. (This is optional, but I like a super smooth sauce).
- Preheat the broiler.
- Stir in the cheeses, a handful at a time until melted. Stir in the chicken and cooked pasta.
- In a small bowl, stir together the tortilla chips, spices, and butter.
- Pour the pasta into a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the crushed chips topping.
- Pop the mac and cheese under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly. Keep a very close eye on it, so you don’t burn the top!
- *Use regular pasta if you don't need gluten-free!
- *All-purpose flour can be used in the same quantity if you don't need this gluten-free.