Smoked gouda stars in the creamy sauce for this Baked Chicken Pasta recipe. This dish is a flavorful treat, perfect for celebratory dinners.
Macaroni and cheese holds a special place in many people’s hearts. It’s the dish of comfort and childhood memories. It’s the easy dinner that college students gravitate to. It’s the thing mom used to make. But macaroni and cheese doesn’t have to be limited to that.
It can be bold and rich like in Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese or decadent and flavorful like in Smoked Cheddar and Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese.
It can also invoke the flavors of other favorite dishes like Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese.
Or it can be elegant, too, like in this recipe for Baked Chicken Pasta with Smoked Gouda Sauce.
This recipe combines a smoky, creamy cheese sauce with pieces of browned chicken, strips of sweet roasted red peppers and bits of sundried tomatoes with pasta. It’s mixed together and then baked with a buttery breadcrumb topping for a delightful, crunchy, creamy dish.
This is a decadent dish, but that’s what makes it perfect for celebratory dinners.
Serve this alongside a good salad and some crusty bread. And, if you are so inclined, follow it with an elegant dessert.
The leftovers, you should know, make excellent lunches as well.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus ¼ cup, divided
- 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp, divided
- 4 cups milk
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 4 cups grated smoked gouda cheese
- 1 lb pasta, cooked according to package directions.
- 1 cup thinly sliced sundried tomatoes
- 1 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
- ¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. In a resealable bag, toss together the chicken pieces, 2 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper until well-coated. Add the chicken to the olive oil and cook, flipping as needed, until golden on each side, about 6-7 minutes.
- Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large pot. Whisk in ¼ cup all-purpose flour until well combined. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden. Whisk in the milk a little at a time until fully incorporated. Heat until just shy of boiling. Whisk in the mustard. Whisk in the cheese until fully incorporated. It should thicken slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cooked pasta, chicken, sundried tomatoes and roasted red peppers. Pour the cheese sauce over and mix well to combine. Spread in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the breadcrumbs until fully moistened. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
- Bake for 24-26 minutes until bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.