Cheesy Cajun Chicken Rotel Pasta

My goodness, when your table is calling for something rich, hearty and CHEESY, make this! I halved this recipe and it was plenty for my family of 5. This is also a great make-ahead recipe to pop in the oven later. You can make this as spicy or mild as you like. I hope you enjoy it!

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Sprinkles of:  garlic powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes
1 can Rotel, undrained
Red bell pepper
Green bell pepper
Yellow onion
4 tablespoons butter
32 oz. Velveeta, cubed
Rotini, cooked
32 ounces heavy cream
Cajun seasoning
Shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9×13 greased baking dish place chicken thighs. Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper. Mix spices into the chicken by hand. Bake for 45 minutes. Dice peppers and onion. Saute in the butter. After veggies are soft add cubed Velveeta and heavy cream. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Add Rotel.  Remove chicken from oven and dice. Add to cheese mixture and combine all. Pour cooked pasta into 9×13 dish. Pour chicken mixture over. Top with shredded cheese. Sprinkle with more smoked paprika. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

(Ashley Madden Rowton is a wife, mom and published cookbook author who lives in Minden, La.)

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