Everyone loves mac & cheese, right? I wanted to make a meal out of this well-loved classic and make it a little more grown-up. This recipe is spicy, flavorful, and packs a lot of protein by adding chicken breast and black beans. If you'd rather go vegetarian, you can leave out the chicken and still get plenty of protein from the black beans and cheese. I would leave out the hot sauce if you're serving to kids and save it on the side for adults to add, if desired. I debated adding chopped spinach to the mix at well, but I didn't want to add so many things that it stopped looking like mac & cheese.
As far as wine pairing for the adults, my go-to wine for spicy dishes is a nice Riesling or Gewürztraminer, which are both sweet German wines that work well to balance out the heat of this dish.
What you need:
14 oz elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups black beans (from can)
3 cups shredded chedder & monterray jack cheese blend, plus an additional 1/2 cup for topping
3 cups milk
4 oz neufchatel cheese
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp dried cilantro
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp paprika, divided
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 cup onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup panko
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
8. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes before serving. Enjoy!