This easy, stove top Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese is ready in 30 minutes and packed with flavor! The perfect weeknight dinner recipe that’s family-friendly and easy to adapt with pantry-friendly ingredients.
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I am all about quick and easy dinner recipes. More often than not I have ideas of making enchiladas, or lasagna, or fish tacos…but then my afternoon gets busy and before I know it my family is hungry for dinner!
Say hello to your new best friend. Easy and versatile, you’ll love this Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese recipe!
Why this recipe works
From start to finish you can be enjoying dinner in under 30 minutes! Use a rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken from your weekend meal.
While you’re making the sauce, you can have your pasta cooking! It comes together so easily.
This Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese also works so well because you can truly adapt and adjust it based on what your family likes and what you have on hand.
All you need is a saucepan, a stove and a few ingredients and you’re on your way to dinner!
- Pasta shells – The shells hold the sauce perfectly in this dish, but seriously, any kind of pasta will work! Elbow noodles, rotini, bowtie. . .you get the point.
- Cheese – Colby jack blend is my go-to for this mac and cheese. However, feel free to use your favorite like Sharp Cheddar or a Mexican shredded cheese blend.
- Chicken – Cooked chicken can be diced or shredded for this recipe. Use leftover chicken OR make life easier by grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store on your way home from work.
- Red enchilada sauce – I use the stuff straight from the can. Green sauce would make a tasty twist too!
Step by Step Instructions
STEP 1. Cook pasta
Cook and drain according to package directions. I like to get this going while I prepare the sauce.
STEP 2. Make the sauce
Add enchilada sauce, heavy cream and spices to a saucepan on medium heat. Whisk often, heating until the mixture just begins to bubble.
STEP 3. Add cheese
Lower the heat to a slight simmer and mix in the shredded cheese until smooth and melted. Add the cooked chicken and noodles and stir to combine, making sure the chicken is warmed through.
We serve ours as a full meal since it has meat in it! Add a big salad on the side and some crunchy french bread, if you like.
Absolutely. Leave the chicken out for a vegetarian friendly meal. If you have members of your family who are vegetarian and others who are meat eaters, like my family does, serve the meatless version first, then mix the cooked chicken into the pot.
You’re in luck! I’ve got a Beef Enchilada Mac and Cheese that you’ll enjoy as well.
Keep any leftovers in the fridge in a covered container. It’ll stay good for about 2 daysu002du002dleftovers are good reheated for lunch the next day!
Easy, delicious AND kid approved? Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese does it all! Add this to your dinner menu this week!
More Chicken Dinners
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Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound medium pasta shells cooked and drained
- 1 pound chicken cooked and shredded
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 can red enchilada sauce 10 ounce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups colby jack cheese shredded
- In a large pot (or saucepan), heat cream, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt on medium heat. Whisking often, heat until mixture just begins to bubble.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add in cheese. Stir until smooth. Mix in the cooked chicken and the cooked noodles.
- Serve hot and enjoy immediately!
- Leave the chicken out for a vegetarian friendly meal. If you have members of your family who are vegetarian and others who are meat eaters, like my family does, serve the meatless version first, then mix the cooked chicken into the pot.
- Keep any leftovers in the fridge in a covered container. It’ll stay good for about 2 days–leftovers are good reheated for lunch the next day!
If i quadruple it would it fill two 13×9 pans completely to the top ?
I just made this for dinner tonight. It was simply delicious. Actually, it is addicting. This will be a new dinner favorite in our house. Thank you so much.
So glad it’s making your dinner rotation 🙂
I made this tonight for dinner. I only had frozen chicken, so I threw chicken in the crockpot in the morning, and just seasoned it some taco seasoning and added a bit of water and let it cook in the crockpot all day. Then I just shredded the chicken, and added it when the rest was ready. We love cheese in this house, so I think next time I make it, I will add more cheese! Everyone in the house liked it, even my super picky daughter! So simple and easy to make, which is pretty perfect for our ridiculously busy schedule!
Yum! So flavorful and cheesy!
This is fusion food at its cheesiest and gooey-est best. Looks totally delicious!
great recipe, thank you, love that you add chicken to this to make it a full meal! Red enchilada sauce, I get it makes sense for a quick weeknight dinner
Great video! So easy, so cheesy. I love how simple this is, but still full of flavor.
Thanks Candace!!! I love easy dinners like this…especially ones that involve cheese 🙂
Weeknight dinners like this make me so happy!!! My whole family would gobble this right up. I was wondering how you incorporated the “enchilada” factor since the picture looks mac n’cheesey rather than enchilada saucy. But when I read the recipe, I was doubly loving it because we always have some frozen chipotle enchilada sauce on-hand that I make for another dish but we always end up with wildly too much. I think the flavors in that would go quite well with these flavors. And gosh, you are reminding me that I need to always stick an extra chicken breast in the oven every time, so that I have one on hand for dishes like this! This whole thing looks great! I’m pinning it to make for when the weather cools off a bit!
Chipotle enchilada sauce sounds amazing…and it would be GREAT in this mac and cheese!!!! ENJOY (and thanks for pinning) 🙂