|Mexican Baked Pasta with Chicken
Ready to Bake
A real crowd pleaser, an easy Mexican inspired pasta dish with chicken, penne pasta, and black beans. The flavors of Mexico and the Southwest abound! Cumin, chile powder and oregano along with sauteed green pepper, onion and garlic all come together to add depth to this easily doubled, maybe tripled casserole. Prepared salsa binds the mixture and shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers gives that wonderful cheesy heat.
Although in the Secret Recipe Club, we have a month to choose a dish from an assigned blog, it was difficult for me to decide what to make from all the delicious recipes that Mary of Barefeet in the Kitchen had to offer. Several times, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to make and then Mary would post another tantalizing dish. Finally, I chose her Baked Mexican Cellentani, but used poached chicken instead of ground beef that I had leftover from making pot pies earlier in the week. Mary has a great collection of slow cooker recipes, one in particular, the Split Pea, Potato, Ham and Leek Soup in the Crockpot, I did make, but we enjoyed it all before I could photograph it. Another slow cooker breakfast dish, Favorite Slow-Cooked Almond Raisin Oatmeal, I plan to make later in the week.
Mexican Baked Penne Pasta with Chicken
1/4 pound mini penne pasta
1-1/2 cups poached chicken, large dice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1- 16 ounce jar prepared salsa-your favorite-mild, medium or hot
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained well
1-1/2- to -2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese with Jalapenos
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook the pasta, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper, onion and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the poached chicken and spices. Stir to combine.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the skillet mixture, the salsa and the black beans. Toss gently to combine. In a 8-inch square dish or a round casserole dish, pour half the pasta mixture in and sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat with remaining pasta mixture and cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve with chopped avocado and sour cream, if desired. Serves 2-4.
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