See, this isn’t called “Cheesy Chicken Pasta,” it’s Queso Chicken Pasta. That means it’s Mexican food that had a baby with a baked pasta dish. And a delicious baby it is.
It’s from Evil Shenanigans, which are the best kind of shenanigans. I’m pretty sure the only thing I changed was that I used a chipotle pepper instead of a jalapeno (because that’s what I had on hand, and also anything smoky is more delicious than not-smoky) – that and halving it so it was suitable for two people and a bit of leftovers, rather than two people and enough leftovers for a small army.
Queso Chicken Pasta
enough pasta for 2 people
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 a chipotle in adobo (seeds scraped out because I’m a wuss… leave them in if you’re more B.A. than me), minced
1/4 tsp cumin
a few coriander seeds, maybe cracked under the flat of a knife blade if you can keep them from rolling long enough
1/2 tbsp flour
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp cream cheese – which is, helpfully, just about the amount in one of those single-serving packets you can buy
3 oz “nacho taco” shredded cheese blend
1/4 cup Ro-Tel tomatoes (I know, this is a pain – it’s about half a small can, if I remember correctly), drained
1 cup cooked chicked, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350.
Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than the package dictates.
Drain it and set it aside.
Spray a smallish casserole dish with cooking spray.
Get a pot and heat the oil in it over medium heat.
Throw in the onion, garlic, and chipotle and saute for 3 minutes.
Add in the cumin, coriander, and salt, and continue sauteeing for another 2 minutes.
Next, add the flour and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes, making sure that all the flour is incorporated.
Pour the milk in, slowly, whisking the whole time, until smooth.
Simmer the mixture until thickened.
Turn off the heat (but I left it on the same element, so some residual heat is all well and good).
Whisk in the cream cheese and 2/3 of the shredded cheese, until anything of a cheese nature is melted.
Stir in the tomatoes.
Pour your pasta (remember your pasta? You had some, a long time ago) into the casserole dish.
Add the sauce and the chicken, and mix everything so that it’s all nicely coated.
Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until bubbly and melty and glorious.