Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Pasta

This is my new favorite pasta.  I know, I have probably said that about a billion times on this blog but for real, this pasta is totally boss.  Yeah, I said it, BOSS.

Mr. Schwartz and I sat down to steamy bowls of this the other day and couldn't get over how good it was.  During and after each bite we would each say "this is SO good" "no seriously this is the best thing you have ever made" "not to toot my own horn but this is SO good" "oh my Good I could" eat this every day."  Yeah, we like this pasta.  It actually tastes like cheesy enchiladas. Like for real.

Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta just shy of al dente.  Very shy.   I actually cooked it for 6 minutes instead of the suggested 12 minutes.  I hate soggy pasta in pasta bakes.  It needs to be al dente enough that it will finish cooking in the oven.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Pasta
3 chicken breasts,
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
1 lb penne pasta
1 red pepper, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
28 oz enchilada sauce, mild or hot
4 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 the fat and it was great)
1 1/2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese (I liked Kraft with a Touch of Philadelphia 4 Cheese Mexican Blend)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start by heating the largest skillet you have on medium heat.  Spray with a bit of cooking spray and place the chicken breasts in the skillet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook until the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink in the middle.  Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and cut into bite sized pieces.  Set aside.

While the chicken is cooking bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta for about 6 minutes or just a little over half of the suggested cooking time.  You want the pasta very al dente because it will finish cooking in the oven.  Once cooked, strain the water and set aside.

In the pan you cooked the chicken, add the butter scraping the bottom of the pan.  Once the butter has melted, add the flour and cook for about 2-3 minutes to get the floury taste out.

Pour the enchilada sauce into the pan and whisk until thick and bubbly.  Add the cream cheese and stir until fully incorporated.  Add in the red pepper, green onions, chicken and pasta into the pan.  Stir until everything is coated with the sauce.

Pour into a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pour the pasta into the pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese melted.

Top with additional red pepper, green onions and a dash of hot sauce.


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