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Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese


  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb dry elbow macaroni
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 1 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 C Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, to taste 
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Season your chicken liberally with one tablespoon of cajun seasoning. If your cajun seasoning doesn’t include salt, add some.
  2. Place a 12″ deep skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Let it preheat for a couple of minutes until the oil is shimmering. Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer – don’t crowd the pan; cook in batches if needed. Cook on the first side until it’s nicely seared and the edges are becoming opaque. Flip and continue cooking on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. 
  3. After you’ve seared all the chicken, add the bell pepper and garlic to the pan. Stir together and cook until the chicken is cooked through. 
  4. Remove the chicken, garlic, and bell pepper from the pan and set it aside. Add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt, then sprinkle the flour over it. Stir them together into a roux and allow it to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  5. Pour in the chicken broth and milk, and whisk everything together, making sure to scrape the roux off the bottom of the pan so it can be incorporated. 
  6. Stir in the macaroni and cajun seasoning. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally until the macaroni is tender – about 15 minutes. 
  7. When the macaroni is al dente, stir in the Velveeta and about one-third of the sharp cheddar cheese. Once the cheese has melted and is incorporated totally, fold in the chicken and peppers you cooked earlier. 
  8. Once mixed, spread it into an even layer and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle the black pepper and smoked paprika over the surface, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, just until golden brown and bubbling. Dassit! 

Notes

  • Check the post above the recipe for instructions on making a creamy stovetop version.  
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
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