This was a relatively easy recipe to put together. I have knocked off points because my partner feel this dish needed more salt, some chipotle or some Mexican seasoning to enhance the pasta bake. Also I found the dish to be a bit greasy from all the butter. Perhaps some more diced tomatoes and chilies to replace some of the moisture and taste in the sauce and make a the sauce thicken with less butter or a cornstarch slurry.
Southwestern Chicken-Pasta Bake
Southwestern Chicken-Pasta Bake incorporates all the flavors from that region. This hearty baked dish is an excellent way to use leftover chicken, and it freezes well for future meals.
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Stand: 15 Minutes
- Calories: 576
- Fat: 32g
- Saturated fat: 19g
- Protein: 31g
- Carbohydrate: 41g
- Fiber: 2g
- Cholesterol: 130mg
- Sodium: 449mg
- 12 ounces linguine
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 6-oz. can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
- 2 cups four-cheese Mexican blend
- 4 cups diced cooked chicken (from a rotisserie bird)
- Chopped cilantro, optional
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°F; mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes or as package directs. Drain.
- 2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and 2 tsp. salt; sauté until onion is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes longer.
- 3. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and 1 cup cheese. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute or until cheese melts.
- 4. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken and pasta. Scrape into baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Preheat broiler to high and broil casserole for a minute to brown, if desired.) Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired; serve.
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