This recipe combines two of my favorite things, first being Mexican food and the second, being that this is a baked dish.
Prepare in the morning, reheat and bake in the evening, or make all at once & enjoy this pasta filled with fresh ingredients and flavor.
The Orzo pasta, allows all the flavors to be present, by not over powering the sauce and vegetables with too much noodle in one bite.
This makes great left overs too! When I make this, I keep half for my family and give the other half to friends or family. Serve with fresh pico and some Cojita cheese rounding it out to be one fantastic meal.
Enjoy from my oven to yours.
Creamy pasta dish made with fresh vegetables, herbs, and chicken making this a flavorful dish with Mexican flavor.
- 1 lb. Orzo pasta, boiled to al dente and drained
- 2-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, sautéed or grilled, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 ears of corn, cooked and kernels removed or 1 ½ cups of corn (I prefer fresh or frozen)
- 1 – 1 ½ cup fresh cilantro, torn into small pieces
- 2 fresh jalapenos, diced
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 to 1 ½ cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
- ½ cup Cojita Mexican cheese
- 1 cup fresh pico, simple recipe: 1 large tomato diced, ½ white onion diced, ½ lime juice, 1/3 cup cilantro, salt, garlic powder to taste, pinch pepper
Heat oven to 350. Lightly spray baking dish with cooking spray, I use a 1-2 qt. oval one, but you can use square too.
Cook pasta as directed and drain, set aside.
Make sure all the vegetables are diced, chicken is cooked and cut into 1 inch cubes, toss together and set aside in a bowl.
In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, cook until it starts to turn a light golden brown color. Gradually stir in broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in milk, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Add Monterrey Jack cheese and stir until melted, remove from heat. Add in vegetables and chicken, green chiles, then add in pasta. Stir until well combined. Pour into prepared pan, place cover in oven until pasta is warm and bubbly about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve, top with Cojita cheese and fresh pico.
Pico: combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl, stir tougher, season to taste and serve.
Kids review: They loved the pasta. At first they didn’t want to try it because they thought it was rice but after they learned it was like a Mexican Mac & Cheese they were willing to give it a go and it was a hit.