Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese gives regular macaroni and cheese a kick and a little oomph! The Cajun spice adds lots of flavor, and the chicken will be the protein you need to keep you satisfied longer.
Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Cajun seasoning is a spice that gives any recipe a kick! Adding Cajun spice to my macaroni and cheese, topped with Cajun spiced chicken gives my Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese just enough of an edge to make it something special! Did somebody say Cajun? With so much focus on the Cajun seasoning, I encourage you to make your own. I have a Cajun season recipe that is easy to make, and you might have all the spices you need at home already! Plus, when you make your own seasoning, you can determine how hot or not to make the spice.
Besides the Cajun seasoning, here are the ingredients you need on hand.
- Chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Elbow macaroni – can use any noodle that you prefer
- Unsalted Butter – salted butter also works, you just may want to add less salt
- Whole milk – skim or 2% can work in a pinch
- Salt & Pepper
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
How to Make Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
The first step in preparing Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is to prepare the chicken breasts. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with Cajun seasoning. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet, swirling the oil to cover the entire skillet. Next, cook the chicken breasts for about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the heat, slice them, and put them off to the side while you make the macaroni and cheese. To keep the chicken warm, put it on a warm plate with a foil tent covering the chicken.
How to Make Cajun Macaroni and Cheese
Once you cook your noodles, get out your saucepan and start heating up and mixing all the cheeses and other ingredients together. There are a couple of times where you will be taking the pan on and off the heat, so be aware of that.
Start by heating the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for a couple of minutes. Alright, it’s time to remove the pan from the heat for the first time. Gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan back on the heat and keep whisking! After 3-5 minutes, add your Cajun seasoning and stir to combine. Remove from the heat for the second and final time. This is the point where you add the cheeses and melt them with all the other ingredients. Finally, add the diced tomatoes and stir it all together.
How to Get Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
I am on a mission to make sure no one has grainy homemade mac n cheese ever again… and in my research discovered this awesome tip. Do NOT put the pan back over the heat to melt the cheese. The ingredients in the pan are already hot enough to do the job of melting the cheeses. If you get cheese too hot that is when you will end up with a grainy texture. After you have stirred in the cheese, pour the mixture over the cooked noodles and watch the cheese melt as you mix everything together.
How to Serve Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Once your ingredients are all mixed together, don’t forget about the Cajun chicken! Top the macaroni and cheese with your Cajun chicken slices and serve while hot. Add salt and pepper to taste, and you could even sprinkle on some parsley to give your Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese a little more color and flavor. This is a beautiful presentation and an even more beautiful flavor! Enjoy!
- 4 chicken breasts, seasoned and sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
MAC AND CHEESE
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk, warmed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Season both sides of the chicken with Cajun seasoning.
- Heat oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes, flip and repeat. Remove from heat.
- Slice chicken and cover to keep warm and set aside.
MAC AND CHEESE
- In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minute (or until the mixture turns light brown).
- Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
- Return the pan to the heat, whisk another 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
- Add the Cajun seasoning and stir to combine.
- Add the cheeses, stirring to melt.
- Pour the sauce over the top of the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine.
- Add diced tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Top with the sliced chicken breast
- Season with salt and pepper, and top with chopped parsley.