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Friday, January 11, 2013

Chicken Queso Pasta

Two things I loved when I was growing up - my grandma's mac and cheese and queso dip.  For me, queso has either been a mixture of ground beef and Velveeta (my mom made this a lot) or Velveeta and Ro*Tel.  My grandma's mac and cheese was made with Velveeta and is to this day, the best mac and cheese I've had.  (although, we all have her recipe, yet none of us can duplicate it.... there must be some missing ingredient she did not tell us about, or there truly is something to be said about the "love" you put into your cooking).

Even now, as an adult, I adore both things.... you all know that I still eat mac and cheese, as I post recipes here for it all the time.  But most of you probably don't know I still eat Queso any chance I can get.  Hence, how the idea for this pasta came about.  One weekend I was thinking of queso dip AND mac and cheese.... and wouldn't you know it... I thought "hey, why not combine the two???"

Not only was this a delicious masterpiece but also a great homage to my grandma and mom!!!!

Chicken Queso Pasta
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sauteed or grilled and cut into bite size pieces
2 cups elbow pasta
8 oz Velveeta cheese
5 oz Ro*Tel
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 cup half and half (or more if necessary)
garlic powder (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and return to pot.  Place pot over low heat and add the Velveeta, Ro*Tel and jalapeno.  Stirring to help the Velveeta melt.  Stir in the half and half until you reach the right consistency.  Stir in the cooked chicken.  Taste for seasoning - add garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Crunchy Topped Tilapia with Po'Dunk Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Spicy Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli
Three Years Ago:  Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta


StephenC said...

Oh, ick, you used Velveeta? (Bravo to you.)

Yenta Mary said...

Oh, my word! A perfect, inspired idea! I've written about taste memory before - you remember what Grandma made, and even though you have the recipe you can't seem to quite replicate it ... oh, that happens all the time. Because you're right - the love is such a critical ingredient. And we remember foods at Grandma's house, or with family, or in some other context, I think, which infuses what we remember and which we simply can't recapture even if we can buy the same items at the grocery store to make the dish with ....

Mom said...

Timing is wonderful! I just made mac & cheese last night for the first time in I don't know how long! I can't make this right away, but it will go in my "To Make" file! Thanks for the tribute.

Cranberry Morning said...

Memory comfort food - and on a Friday as well (my comfort food day). Brilliant, Jenn!

Angie's Recipes said...

I don't think I have ever had velveeta...the pasta looks really delicious.

Pam said...

Total comfort food. I bet I would want more than one bowl of this pasta!

Mom said...

Don't let the Velveeta fool you - I HATE Velveeta EXCEPT for mac & cheese! Try'll like it!

Mary said...

What a homey treat. This sounds delicious and your photos get better and better. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Lea Ann ( said...

My mom and aunts used to make macaroni and cheese using velveeta. It was the best. It was actually named the "Estabrook Women Famous Mac and Cheese". I'll have to take a look at the recipe and see if there's one little sneaky ingredient you may not remember. But I agree, sometimes with a complete recipe, it just doesn't taste as good as when mom made it. Sometimes I think my chicken doesn't taste as good, but my mom used farm fresh chickens from the back yard. Anyway, your chicken recipe sounds delicious. Looks like something I wouldn't be able to stop eating.

Chris said...

Our best ever mac and cheese that we have been using for years has velveeta in it. I don't like it for anything else really but mac and cheese without it isn't the same.

Big Dude said...

When I was a kid, we only had two cheeses that I remember - Velveeta and longhorn and mac and cheese had a little of both, made totally on the stovetop. Of course you can't go wrong adding Rotel to most things.

Candace said...

That kind of queso dip is still my most favorite. I love it with hamburg and even more with sausage. It's the queso that I grew up with. There was never a Christmas eve that this wasn't prepared at my house. I love that you've combined this with pasta. Down south, we use similar ingredients to make Chicken Spaghetti. I like it better than regular Italian spaghetti. Yum yum yum!