Green Chile Chicken Mac and Cheese

green chile chicken mac and cheese shells in a small white ramekin with jalapeno slices on top

Spice up your stove top mac and cheese with this recipe for green chile chicken mac and cheese! It's a complete meal in one easy, 20 minute recipe using only 8 ingredients, and it's perfect for using leftover chicken! (gluten-free option)


  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz small-shaped pasta, such as shells, elbows, or bowties (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour (or 3/4 tbsp cornstarch for gluten-free)
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 4 oz white cheddar cheese, freshly grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles (or a 4-oz can)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped


  1. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add salt and pasta and cook according to package directions until just al dente.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in flour and cook until thickened, golden and bubbly, about 1 minute. Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, whisking to combine, until milk is fully incorporated. Cook over low heat until thickened, but not boiling, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat. Stir in cheese. Continue stirring until you have a smooth sauce.
  6. Drain cooked pasta, but don't rinse. Return to the pot and pour in cheese sauce. Stir to coat. Stir in cooked chicken and green chiles, returning stove to low heat if necessary, until warmed through. Serve immediately.


  • Cook noodles until just al dente so that they hold up to the sauce well.
  • Don't use pre-shredded cheese. Buy the block kind and grate it yourself. You can use white cheddar or regular cheddar.
  • Have your cheese grated and ready to go before you start making the sauce.
  • For gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free pasta, and substitute 3/4 tbsp corn starch for the flour.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can reheat them in the microwave, or in a saucepan on the stove, covered, and adding milk as needed.

Keywords: green chile chicken mac and cheese, stove top white cheddar mac and cheese