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Chicken Enchilada Pasta Recipe

This recipe was originally from the Better Homes and Garden site, but of course, I changed it.  My family of four enjoyed it, and we had leftovers for lunches.


1 12 oz package dried jumbo shell macaroni
3 3/4 cups chopped large green and/or red sweet peppers (3 large)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 medium)
1 4oz can of diced, green chilies ( or - 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, or 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (approx 2 cans of chicken breast, drained and chopped) (or - 2 cups cooked turkey, shredded, or 1 lb ground chicken, browned)
1 16 oz can refried beans
1/2 1 1/4 ounce package taco seasoning mix (3 tablespoons)
2 10 oz can red or green enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cups nacho-flavor tortilla chips (Doritos), crushed


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again. Set aside.
  • In 5qt, oven safe skillet - heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot, add sweet peppers, red onions, and hot pepper and cook about 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir in chicken, beans, taco seasoning mix, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1/2 cup of the green onions.
  • Stir in the remaining enchilada sauce and the cooked shells.
  • Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with chips and remaining green onions.


  • The original recipe uses a skillet and a baking dish. By using an oven safe skillet, you save one large dish that has to go through the dishwasher, but if you don't have one, just bake it in whatever covered dish you have.
  • I used a chipotle chili because I had an open can in the fridge. I would say that it made it 1/2 a star hot, using the Thai restaurant scale. You should use what you kind of peppers you want, and add more to make it hotter, if you want. 
  • The original recipe called for that pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese. I just used Tillamook Sharp Cheddar because I had some and we like it. You should use what you like, but don't buy that pre-shredded stuff. Shred it yourself and you will be amazed how much better it tastes without the anti-caking agent that they put on shredded cheese.
  • To crush the Doritos, I just put some on a paper towel, folded the towel over, and let my four-year-old wail away with a tenderizer mallet. This was noisy, messy, and totally unnecessary, but it was a lot of fun, and he got to help make dinner. 



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