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+ servings

Salsa Verde Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese

his 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!  I’ve also included the option to add chicken, corn and zucchini for a complete meal all in one and on your table in under 30 minutes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 -6


  • 1 pound cellentani pasta (may sub rigatoni, penne or macaroni)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • salt and pepper

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Homemade Salsa Verde (or mild storebought Herdez)
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspon ground cumin
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ancho chili pepper, (optional)
  • Hot sauce to taste (optional)


  • Cook pasta in generously salted water just until al dente according to package directions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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 :).