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+ servings
top down shot of the mac and cheese in a skillet

Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese

5 from 10 votes
Created by Mariam E.
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 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
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.

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: 765kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 841mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3226IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 494mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Rate the recipe below and mention @cookinwithmima and tag #cookinwithmima so I can see your recreations.