Chicken Mac & CheeseThis Southwestern-seasoned macaroni and cheese casserole has plenty of chicken and four different Cheddars.




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June 2008

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Pasta

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


  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour macaroni and cheese into a large casserole dish.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

In fact, most award-winning recipes use other shapes.
See the different pasta shapes in our


Recipe copyright Tillamook. Other material Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the property of their respective owners.