Southwest Chicken Pasta

File under: Dinner time secret weapon.
Serves 4 Total 30-60 Minutes


  • Cedar’s Black Bean Salad
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch thick pieces
  • 1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk 
  • ½ cup sharp white cheddar, grated
  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated


  1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken and brown, cooking for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from skillet when done, and set aside.
  2. While the chicken browns, cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  3. Add onions and peppers to the hot skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until they are soft and fragrant. 
  4. Add garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute before adding the butter.
  5. Let the butter melt in the skillet with the vegetables. Stir in the flour to make a roux — it will be thick.
  6. Pour in milk, stir, and let it simmer. Then add the cheddar and Parmesan. Continue stirring the mixture until the sauce is smooth. 
  7. Combine chicken, pasta, sauce mixture and Cedar's Black Bean Salad.