Cheesy chicken chipotle shells is a bold meal that with spice up dinnertime any night of the week. This recipe happens to be one of my "lifesaver" dishes because it is familiar with an edge. Mac n' cheese is a favorite all around but this version combines shells with a spicy cheese sauce studded with chiles and tomatoes and chicken. If you are not a fan of heat, I would suggest scraping out the seeds and ribs prior to adding the chipotle chile to the sauce.
Cheesy Chicken Chipotle Shells
1 lb. package small pasta shells
2 large chicken breasts, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
4 ounces sharp cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 plum tomato, seeds removed and diced
1 chipotle chile in adobo, finely chopped
1 tsp. granulated garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Step 1: Heat a large pot of water on high. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set pasta aside.
Step 2: Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a late saute pan over medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook until firm and just beginning to turn brown. Remove from heat onto a plate and set aside. Using the same saute pan, add the cream cheese and evaporated milk. Whisk the two ingredients together until a cohesive sauce forms. Add the cheddar cheese and continue whisking. Add the remaining ingredients to the sauce including the chipotle chile, tomato and garlic. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Add the chicken and pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Serve the pasta hot with extra cheese on top for garnish, if desired.