Skip to main content

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.

Ingredients

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

Preparation


  • 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.

Notes

  • 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. 

Gear



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reducing CO2 in your home the nerd way

For Christmas my wife gave me a Netatmo weather station because I am a home weather station nerd. The Netatmo is very cool, but it has an unexpected feature: it measures indoor Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels. As soon as I set it up, the Netatmo began to alert that our indoor CO2 was at an unsafe level. The notes said that outdoor CO2 is usually around 400 ppm, and numbers above 1500 ppm could be unhealthy. On that first day, my house was at around 1300 ppm. Prior to that, I never gave indoor CO2 levels a thought. I began to do some research and discovered high levels of CO2 can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, strained eyes and itchy skin.  My family does have all of these issues, especially on the weekends when we are home all day, but I never connected that to indoor air quality. Previously, I installed a Nest thermostat . The Nest is very smart and saves energy by learning your habits and programming itself. Unfortunately, it is so efficient, that t

Rooftop Playgrounds

This week I have had some meetings in a tall building in downtown Seattle, and when I took a moment to look around and enjoy the view I have noticed playgrounds on rooftops. I saw this daycare playground: and this playground on top of a school: I think that this is a really cool use of space. A friend that grew up in NYC said that her school had a rooftop playground, too. The delinquent in me wonders how many toys and balls go over the side, but I bet the teachers are pretty strict about that. Downtown Seattle has always seemed a little unfriendly towards kids and it is neat to see spaces being carved out.

How To Make School Lunches More Nutritious: Re-Define Words

If you are a parent of a child who attends public school in Washington, and if you have even a vague recollection of the food pyramid , you probably will have noticed that the lunches that are served in school cafeterias are frequently at odds with the rules of good nutrition. The school is not wrong, however. They have just re-defined words and you are not keeping up. Pop quiz:  Cheese belongs to what food group? *bzzz* - wrong. You said that cheese was in the diary food group , right? No! Pbth! How boringly accurate of you. Cheese magically transforms into a protein when it is served on pizza or in a bread stick! I know that you may be dubious, but I contacted Wendy Barkley, RD,  who is the Acting Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs in the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and she assured me that it is so. To quote her email to me: " Pizza remains an option for schools for their menus.  The cheese on pizza is counted as a protein in t