The perfect blend of creamy, cheesy goodness and zesty Mexican flavors. Elevate your weeknight dinners with this easy-to-make dish that’s ready in 30 minutes.
Table of contents
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to prepare: With simple instructions and common ingredients, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute gatherings.
- Crowd-pleaser: The blend of Mexican-inspired flavors and comforting pasta make this Chicken Taco Bake a hit with both adults and children alike.
- Customizable: The recipe can be easily adapted to suit individual preferences, with options to change the type of pasta, cheeses, or even add more toppings.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
You’ll need the following for this easy dinner casserole:
- rotini pasta
- chicken breast
- all-purpose flour
- chicken stock
- taco seasoning
- dried oregano
- granulated garlic
- black pepper
- canned green chiles
- salsa or pico de gallo
- heavy cream
- pepper jack cheese
- colby jack cheese
- chopped fresh cilantro
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Step One: sauce part one
Start by preheating your oven to 375℉. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter to ensure easy removal of the baked dish later.
Create the roux: In a 4-quart or larger Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Gradually stir in the all-purpose flour, making sure to cook and stir the mixture constantly for about 2 minutes to create a smooth roux that will thicken the sauce.
Step Two: sauce part two 😊
Thicken the sauce: Slowly pour in the chicken stock while whisking continuously to combine it with the roux. Keep heating the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens.
Add seasonings and vegetables: Incorporate the taco seasoning, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, green chilies, and salsa into the thickened sauce. Keep stirring over medium heat until the mixture starts bubbling.
Stir in the cream: Add the heavy cream to the sauce and mix well, bringing the sauce back to a simmer.
Add the cheese: Lower the heat and gradually stir in 2 cups of Pepperjack cheese and 1 cup of Colby Jack cheese, making sure to keep stirring until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Step three: mix
Combine pasta, chicken, and cilantro: Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and mix in the cooked rotini pasta, cooked and shredded chicken, and chopped fresh cilantro until everything is well combined and coated with the sauce.
Step Four: assemble and bake!
Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Colby Jack cheese over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly around the edges.
🥫 Storage instructions
After serving, allow any leftovers to cool completely to room temperature.
Carefully transfer the cooled leftovers into an airtight container or multiple smaller containers if you prefer portioned storage
Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.
Yes, I always do.
No, unless you usse spicy salsa or the extra hot green chiles. For a spicier dish, choose hot taco seasoning and salsa, and consider adding more green chilies or even some diced jalapeños.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- When cooking the pasta, aim for an al dente texture, as it will continue to cook when baked in the casserole. Overcooked pasta will be mushy after baking.
- Allow the baked casserole to rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This helps the dish set and makes serving easier.
- When adding cheese to the sauce, do so gradually and over low heat to ensure even melting and prevent the sauce from becoming grainy or clumpy.
📘 Related Recipes
🍽 Serve it with
- Tortilla chips and guacamole
- Black beans or refried beans
- Green salad with a variety of leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado, dressed with a light vinaigrette or lime-cilantro dressing
📖 Here’s the recipe
Chicken Taco Pasta Bake
- 16 ounces rotini pasta Cooked and Drained To Package Instructions
- 1½ pounds chicken breast Cooked and Shredded
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 4 ounce can green chiles
- ½ cup salsa or pico de gallo
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese Shredded
- 2 cups colby jack cheese Shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 375℉ and prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
- In a 4 quart or larger dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the chicken stock and whisk to combine, heat over medium and continue whisking until thickened.
- Stir in the taco seasoning, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, green chilies and salsa. Heat over medium and stir until bubbling.
- Stir in the heavy cream and allow to come back to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the 2 cups of pepperjack cheese and 1 cup of the colby jack cheese. Continue string until all the cheese has melted.
- Remove the dutch oven from the heat and stir in the cooked rotini pasta and cilantro.
- Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the other 1 cup of colby jack cheese over the top and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the edges are hot and bubbling.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before serving, top with more salsa and cilantro. Enjoy!
2 thoughts on “Chicken Taco Pasta Bake”
Excellent recipe to add to our favorite Mexican inspired dishes rotation.
My only question was at what point would you recommend adding the shredded chicken? I swear I’ve read it through a few times and don’t see it.