The inspiration for this Mexican Chicken Pasta Bake is my love of Mexican food and pure comfort food. This dish is comfort food at its best. The dish starts with a cheese sauce as its base. It has some wonderful Mexican spices added into each layer of deliciousness. It has creamy noodles for texture, chicken for some protein and substance, and it is finished off with a layer of melted cheese. YUM. The cheese sauce is developed with my Roux and Cheese Sauce Recipe. This recipe happens to be the most visited page on my blog. I guess a lot of people like cheese.
The learning for this comfort recipe is to add flavor in all layers. Just because a dish is pretty basic and a dish you would find in a diner, it does not mean it does not have depth to it. The first thing I got started in the recipe was my pressure cooker chicken. I spiced the chicken up with some adobo powder and added arbol chilies to the stock in the pressure cooker. These two spices added a little kick but not too much by any means. The chicken was so tender I pulled it using two forks. Next, the cheese sauce is spiced with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and plenty of cheese.
The layers keep coming. The assembly begins by softening onions spices again with the adobo powder, Spanish paprika and cumin. I love to use the same spice throughout the development of a dish. Once the onions are softened, the chicken is added back in and spiced some more. A big can of tomatoes with green chilies is added and the juice is cooked out. The cheese sauce is then dumped in followed by the pasta and some fresh cilantro. Put it into a baking dish and topped with a whole bunch more cheese. Stick it under the broiler to get a browned topping.
The development of the cheese sauce.
And an idea of the spices used for the pasta.
The layering of the pasta dish in the Dutch Oven.
Putting the chicken pasta in a baking dish and topping with more cheese before the final broil.
The Mexican Chicken Pasta Baked out of the oven.
Mexican Chicken Pasta Bake
- 4 Whole Chicken Breasts
- 6 Whole Arbol chilies
- 4 1/4 Cups Chicken Stock divided
- 4 Tbsp Adobo Seasoning divided
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 8 Ounces Smoked Gouda divided
- 8 Ounces Pepper Jack shredded
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Whole Medium Yellow Onion diced
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 2 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Cup Coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp Spanish Smoked Paprika
- 1 Lb Pasta
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Ears Corn grilled
- 15 Ounces Tomatoes and green chilies
- 3 tbsp Cilantro
Spice the chicken with 2 tbsp of the adobo seasoning. Add the chicken, the arbol chilies and 4 cups of the chicken stock. Cook for 50 minutes. When complete, let cool a little and shred with 2 forks.
Cook the pasta according to the box instructions and set aside.
In a skillet, melt the butter and add the flour. Once combined, slowly begin adding the coconut milk and remaining chicken stock. Let the sauce thicken, then add the two cheeses (4 ounces of the smoked gouda).
Grill the two ears of corn and remove from the cob.
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Soften for 4 minutes or so. Add the chicken and the remaining spices. Mix well. Add the tomatoes and green chilies and cook until the liquid has been cooked out. Add the corn, mix well. Top with the cheese sauce and mix thoroughly. Finish by adding in the pasta and the cilantro. Stir everything well.
Pour the chicken pasta into a baking dish. Top with the smoked gouda and place under the broiler until a good melt and browning is achieved.
Serve and enjoy!