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Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese is a delicious chicken pasta with a kick! Perfectly cooked pasta covered in a creamy cheese sauce, this chicken mac and cheese is the perfect kid-friendly recipe!

close up photo of the cajun mac n cheese in a killet
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This creamy and flavor packed Cajun chicken mac and cheese is such an easy weeknight recipe that will always hit the spot. Cooked up in 35 minutes, your kitchen will smell absolutely wonderful as you prepare dinner. Your family will be asking for seconds of this chicken pasta!

Looking for other tasty pasta recipes? You should definitely try my Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta and my Spicy Arrabbiata Pasta! They are one of my favorite weeknight meals that can be made in a jiffy.

Why you’ll love this Chicken Mac and Cheese

  • Deliciously seasoned chicken. Juicy chicken pieces are packed with cajun spices.
  • A crunchy topping. Children love crispy textures so we top our chicken mac and cheese with panko breadcrumbs and bake until golden.
  • An easy mac and cheese recipe. This all comes together with ease, only a few pantry staples needed. Perfect for weeknights!

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning: cajun seasoning, onion powder, salt, pepper.
  • Pasta Shells — you can also use any types of pasta that has a lot of nooks and grooves for the cheese sauce to coat.
  • Butter — always use unsalted butter when cooking!
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Cheese: velveeta cheese, sharp cheddar.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs

How to make this Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese

  • Preheat the oven and prepare the pasta: Preheat oven the to 400 F. Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  • Cook the chicken: Marinate the chicken in cajun seasoning and pan sear them in an oven safe skillet until golden brown on the outside. The set aside. Wipe the skillet with paper towel to remove excess liquids.
  • Toast the panko: In the same skillet, melt 2 tbsps. of butter over medium heat then stir in the Panko crumbs and Cajun seasoning. Toss around until it’s “lightly” golden and then remove from heat. Set aside.
cajun cheese sauce in a skillet
  • Make the cheese sauce: In the same skillet, melt 3 tbsps. of butter and add in the flour. Mix well together well to make a smooth paste texture. Add the milk, chicken broth, black pepper, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix and simmer on medium heat until the sauce thickens up a little.
  • Add the cream cheese and let the cheese melt up. Then add in the cheddar cheese and continue to stir until the cheddar cheese melts and the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
canjun chicken and macaroni added to the skillet
  • Combine everything: Stir in the cooked pasta and chicken and mix well to coat with the cheese sauce Remove the skillet from heat. Top with 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese and cover with the panko crumb mix.
man n cheese topped with cheese and bread crumbs in a skillet
  • Bake the chicken mac and cheese: Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crumbs become golden brown.
  • Enjoy: Remove the pan from the oven and serve immediately. Garnish with some fresh pepper flakes and chopped parsley.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • I prefer using a less spicy version of Cajun seasoning to keep this Cajun Chicken Mac N’ Cheese a kid-friendly recipe! If your kids love spicy foods then regular cajun works wonderfully.
  • Slowly adding the milk while whisking constantly helps the sauce thicken faster and saves time.
  • Don’t worry if much of the cheese still not completely melted. It will finish melting once the pasta is added.
  • This chicken mac and cheese is pretty much cooked before baking, so don’t over-bake and end up with dry macaroni and cheese.
  • If you’re worried about overcooked pasta, you can cook your pasta 1 minute less than the instructions on the box.
  • If you like the flavor to be very bold, you can add extra Cajun seasoning in the Mac N’ Cheese recipe.
  • Don’t forget to use an oven-safe skillet or dish to make this delicious recipe! 
top down shot of the mac and cheese in a skillet

FAQs

Can I use rotisserie chicken for this chicken mac and cheese?

If you already have rotisserie chicken on hand, you can easily add it to the recipe.  Sprinkle it with cajun seasoning and mix in after skipping the cooking step in the directions.  It works perfectly well for this recipe and saves time in the kitchen which means more time with your family. 

Can I add vegetables in this mac and cheese?

If you want to add a vegetable on the side, anything your family enjoys will work. You can also mix a vegetable into the dish before baking. I like cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, peas, and even bell pepper pieces in this recipe for added texture and nutrients. Mix and match your favorites to make this truly an all in one meal. 

Can I make this Cajun Mac and Cheese in advance?

For sure! This is a creamy and cheesy recipe, so it reheats really well in the microwave or in a low temperature oven until heated through. You are safe assembling and baking a day in advance then reheated through in the oven until hot.

Can I freeze chicken mac and cheese?

You can definitely freeze chicken mac and cheese for a freezer meal. To freeze, allow the chicken mac and cheese to cool before transferring it to a freezer safe container like an aluminum pan. Once in the container, you can freeze the mac and cheese for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, allow the cajun chicken mac and cheese to thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven.

chicken mac and cheese served on a plate

More Mac and Cheese recipes

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4.82 from 50 votes

Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese

A very comforting meal that’s an all time favorite for many families across the world. Made with added chicken that’s full of flavor. You are going to love this recipe! 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

Chicken

  • 1.5 lb. chicken breasts, or tenders, cubed
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil, light tasting
  • 2 tsps. cajun seasoning

Mac N’ Cheese

  • 8 oz. elbow or shell pasta, uncooked
  • 3 tbsps. butter
  • 2 tbsps. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. onion powder 
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth, low sodium or pasta water
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, or Velveeta Cheese
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, fresh ground
  • 1 tbsp. cajun seasoning 

Topping

  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, plain
  • 2 tbsps. butter
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, for the topping
  • 1 tsp. cajun seasnoning, low or non sodium

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  • Marinate the chicken and pan sear them in an oven safe skillet until golden brown on the outside. The set aside. Wipe the skillet with paper towel to remove excess liquids.
  • In the same skillet, melt 2 tbsps. of butter over medium heat then stir in the Panko crumbs and Cajun seasoning. Toss around until it’s "lightly" golden and then remove from heat. Set aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt 3 tbsps. of butter and add in the flour. Mix well together well to make a smooth paste texture.
  • Add the milk, chicken broth, black pepper, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix and simmer on medium heat until the sauce thickens up a little.
  • Add the cream cheese and let the cheese melt up. Then add in the cheddar cheese and continue to stir until the cheddar cheese melts and the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and chicken and mix well to coat with the cheese sauce.
  • Remove the skillet from heat. Top with 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese and cover with the panko crumb mix.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crumbs become golden brown.
  • Remove and serve immediately. Garnish with some fresh pepper flakes and chopped parsley.

Video

Notes

  • If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, prepare in a normal skillet and transfer to a baking dish.
  • I prefer using a less spicy version of Cajun seasoning to keep this Easy Cajun Chicken Mac N’ Cheese a kid-friendly recipe!
  • Slowly adding the milk while whisking constantly helps the sauce thicken faster and saves time.
  • Don’ worry if much of the cheese still not completely melted. It will finish melting once the pasta is added.
  • This mac and cheese is pretty much cooked before baking, so don’t over-bake and end up with dry macaroni and cheese.
  • If you like the flavor very bold, you can add extra Cajun seasoning in the Mac N’ Cheese recipe.
  • Don’t forget to use an oven-safe skillet or dish to make this delicious recipe! 

Nutrition

Serving: 6servings | Calories: 1182kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 237mg | Sodium: 1248mg | Potassium: 1053mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4564IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 826mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! The macro is for one serving. Unfortunately the cheeses and cream add a lot of calories.

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this a couple times and it is immaculate. Best pasta I’ve ever had. Pretty budget friendly too.

  2. 4 stars
    The food was pretty good, just wished the beginning section that says “Ingredients you’ll need” would actually have included all the Ingredients I needed

    1. Hi Morgan,
      Thanks for the review. The ingredients you will need area in the blog post is usually brief. Always check the recipe card.

  3. 5 stars
    This is SO good! I’m usually not a huge Mac and cheese lover because most taste bland to me. This one is so flavorful! The chain flavor really makes it amazing. The breadcrumbs are insane. Love it.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely scrumptious. My 17 year old son described it as “divine”. Will definitely make this again 😋