Salsa Verde Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese
    Servings Prep Time
    4-6 10minutes
    Cook Time
    Servings Prep Time
    4-6 10minutes
    Cook Time
    This mega creamy (lightened up) Salsa Verde Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese is crazy flavorful infused with salsa verde, pepper jack and sharp cheddar and super easy to make! A new family favorite on the table in under 30 minutes (including the option of chicken and veggies)!
    • 1pound cellentani pasta(may sub rigatoni, penne or macaroni)
    • 1pound chicken breastschopped into bite size pieces
    • 1tablespoon olive oil
    • 1cup chopped zucchini
    • 1cup sweet corn
    • salt and pepper
    Cheese Sauce
    • 2tablespoons butter
    • 2tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup AP flour
    • 1 1/2cups milk
    • 1cup mild salsa verde(I like Herdez)
    • 112 oz. can evaporated milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
    • 1/2teaspon ground cumin
    • 1cup freshly grated Pepper Jack cheese
    • 1cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1/4-1/2teaspoon ancho chili pepper,(optional)
    • Hot sauce to taste(optional)
    1. Cook pasta in generously salted water just until al dente according to package directions.
    2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook just until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink. Add zucchini and corn and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through and zucchini is crisp-tender. Remove to a plate and wipe out skillet.
    3. To the now empty skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat then whisk in flour. Cook, while stirring for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low then gradually whisk in milk, salsa verde evaporated milk, salt and cumin.
    4. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened (but not overly thick). Remove from heat and stir in pepper jack cheese until melted followed by cheddar cheese until completely melted. Taste and add ancho chili powder if desired.
    5. Add pasta and toss until evenly coated. Add chicken/corn/zucchini and stir until evenly combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and hot sauce if desired.
    Recipe Notes

    Feel free to swap out the zucchini and corn for whatever veggies you want.  Ground beef would also be delicious instead of chicken.  If you don’t use the chicken, zucchini and/or corn just know that your pasta will be a little extra cheesy  – which is never a bad thing :).