Taco Mac and Cheese

The perfect taco mac and cheese recipe: A creamy three cheese macaroni and cheese featuring seasoned shredded chicken and your favorite taco toppings.

Taco Mac and Cheese Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

You know when you’re so tired that you’re nodding off and are doing all that you can to will your body to stay awake for a little bit longer? That was totally me on Friday night and probably at the super late hour of 9pm. OMG I know. I’m super exciting. Getting up early has it’s downfalls. But no…seriously, this was brutal. We were having a movie night watching ‘Now you see me’ (have you seen it? It was actually pretty good. Definitely recommend it.). I was doing great until the halfway point and then it all started going downhill. And by downhill I mean I was fighting and straining so hard to keep my eyes open. The weird thing is that if I closed my eyes, it’s like that was enough to chill out my super tired self and I could sit and listen to the movie. Weird. But it helped me get through it. And no, I didn’t watch the last half with my eyes closed… well obviously but it was just off and on. Do you ever have those moments?

I know we could have just turned it off and finished the next day but I’m super weird about making sure our movies are back in the mail by Saturday because otherwise if there is a new movie being released on Tuesday, we have zero chance at getting it. So in the mail Saturday or we wait weeks. The problem with relying on Netflix for movies. It’s all a game.

Taco Mac and Cheese Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

This taco mac and cheese, on the other hand, is totally not a game. It’s the real deal. The absolute best and only taco mac and cheese recipe you will ever need. I’ve been thinking about making this since sometime over the summer and finally got around to making it a few weeks ago. Hands down our favorite mac and cheese to date, which is saying a lot because we’ve tried a lot of different mac and cheese recipes!

Our typical taco night is with ground meat, but I wanted big chunks of shredded chicken breast in this dish. It makes all the difference!

Change things up on your next taco night with this creamy three cheese macaroni. It features seasoned shredded chicken and (any and all!) of your favorite taco toppings, from jalapeños to sour cream, tomatoes, green onions, avocado and so much more. Trust me, you’ll love it!

Taco Mac and Cheese

A creamy three cheese macaroni and cheese featuring seasoned shredded chicken and your favorite taco toppings.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dinner, Pasta
Servings: 8 plus

Ingredients

  • 2 C shredded chicken or slightly less than 1lb
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning *
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2-3 oz mild cheddar cheese freshly shredded
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
  • 6 oz Monterey Jack cheese freshly shredded
  • 3/4 lb large elbow noodles

Topping:

  • 1 C Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese freshly shredded
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

Garnishes:

  • Chopped scallions
  • Sour cream
  • Cherry tomatoes sliced
  • Jalapeños

Instructions

  • Cook 1lb of chicken breast using desired method, shred. Add to a medium skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and water. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken has absorbed the seasoning and the mixture is no longer sitting in liquid. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta for 10-11 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a double boiler over simmering water, melt butter. Add flour, whisking well to combine. Slowly add milk and heavy cream, stirring gently. When liquid is warm, begin adding cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir frequently until cheese is fully melted.
  • Drain pasta. Add to an un-greased 3qt baking dish. Spread shredded seasoned chicken throughout, stir and toss to distribute throughout. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and chicken, gently stirring to coat well.
  • In a small bowl, combine melted butter, Panko breadcrumbs and cheese. Sprinkle over pasta. Lightly spray with olive oil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes

1 batch homemade taco seasoning may be substituted for store bought.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

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