This 30 minute Green Chile Chicken Pasta gets covered in a cheesy sauce made with sautéed onion, garlic, cumin, green chiles and rotisserie chicken pieces. Pure and easy comfort food, this chicken pasta recipe is made in minutes. Light in heat, but packed with flavor!
Green Chile Chicken Pasta
This is one of the very first recipes for the site and was in much needed attention with new photos and recipe update.
Tender pasta shells covered in a beautifully seasoned cheesy sauce made with cumin, sautéed onion, garlic, green chiles. Add some rotisserie chicken torn into pieces and a complete meal is ready for the table.
In this recipe I make the sauce from a roux base, add milk and whisk and it then becomes a bechamel sauce. Adding cheese then transforms it into a mornay sauce. Fancy French names, but it’s basic cooking techniques in sauce making and often times you do these already without even thinking!
What’s a Roux?
A roux is the basis for most sauces. It’s made from equal parts flour and fat (butter, oil or say bacon fat) cooked together and used to thicken sauces. The flour is added to the melted fat or oil in the pan, gets blended until smooth, and cooked to the desired level of brownness. The lighter the roux, the lighter color the sauce. The darker the roux (it gets a nutty flavor) the darker the sauce.
What’s a Bechamel sauce?
Bechamel sauce is also known as a simple white sauce and is made from a light, white roux and milk. It’s considered one of the mother sauces of French cuisine dating back to the 17th century.
What’s a Mornay sauce?
A Mornay sauce is a Béchamel sauce made with shredded or grated Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white Cheddar. A Mornay sauce made with cheddar is commonly used to make macaroni and cheese. I used a sharp cheddar cheese for this recipe.
What kind of green chile to use?
In order of my preference: New Mexico Hatch chiles, Anaheim/California chiles, or Poblano chiles. These are mild chiles, not a lot of heat.
For this Green Chile Chicken Pasta I like to use Hatch chiles, but feel free to use any mild green chile you prefer.
Often times Hatch green chiles are not available and the canned, diced green chiles are perfect. Hatch, Ortega, Old El Paso or Del Sol are top brands in most markets.
This Green Chile Chicken Pasta works.
Not only does it provide that creamy comfort you love in a good mac and cheese dish, but the flavor from the green chiles and cumin give it an incredible taste. If the sauce gets too thick, you can thin it with the addition of more milk.
I like to use small pasta shells for this one and the addition of the convenient rotisserie chicken you can get at most markets or Costco makes it an easy mid-week meal for the family, too. Enjoy!
For other Mac and Cheese dishes, try my:
- Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Bake
With a crunchy bread crumb topping, this is loaded with bacon and diced jalapeño for a fantastic flavor punch. Great to serve at BBQs, picnics and family gatherings!
- Bacon Mac and Cheese Casserole
The perfect cheesy pasta dish. Topped with crunchy Panko breadcrumbs and baked to a bubbly, golden brown it’s an undeniable indulgence.
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
This baked Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is super creamy with 3 cheeses, lots of chopped Buffalo sauced chicken and a fantastic bleu cheese breadcrumb topping baked to a golden brown.
- Chili Mac and Cheese Casserole
Mac and Cheese is an American classic comfort food and in this Chili Mac and Cheese Casserole it goes a step further with a Mexican influenced salsa addition to ground beef and a crunchy breadcrumb topping.
Green Chile Chicken Pasta
- 1 lb roasted chicken breast meat, shredded
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 14 oz Hatch green chiles (two 7 oz cans, See Note 1)
- 8 oz small pasta shells
- Using rotisserie chicken, shred to have at least 2 cups, save remaining for other use (depending on size of rotisserie chicken).
- In a large Dutch oven over medium low heat melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic with the cumin for several minutes.
- Add the flour and stir to combine. We are making a roux, it should cook and turn a golden color on medium heat. Add the chicken stock and stir to make a thick paste. Next turn the heat to low and add the milk. Stir to incorporate completely. By adding the milk to the basic roux and chicken stock we have made a béchamel sauce.
- Meanwhile in another large pot cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain and set aside, saving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta water and cheese to the béchamel sauce and whisk to melt in. Next add the roasted green chilies.
- Add the cooked pasta and chicken to the Dutch oven that has the green chili cheese sauce. Toss to coat evenly and serve.
- Substitute canned chiles with 4 fresh seeded, roasted and chopped green chiles like Hatch, Anaheim or other mild green chile. Feel free to add a diced jalapeño for heat too, if you prefer.