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A serving of king ranch mac and cheese on a plate

King Ranch Mac and Cheese

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  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Tired of your regular mac and cheese recipe? Then turn up the heat a little and try this King Ranch Mac and Cheese, packed with Rotisserie chicken, grated cheddar cheese, bell peppers, creamy pasta, and more! 


  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper. seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10- ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 pound pasteurized prepared cheese, cubed (like Velveeta)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups cooked chicken (I like to use shredded Rotisserie Chicken)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Boil the pasta according to the package directions and drain.
  3. While the pasta is boiling heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the skillet and sauté the onion and both bell peppers for 7- 8 minutes, until they are soft. Add in the garlic and cook for one more minute.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, 3- 4 minutes. Next incorporate the cubed cheese into the mix and stir continuously until the cheese is melted.
  5. Mix the sour cream and half and half into the cheese mixture, season with cumin and cayenne pepper and finally add in the chicken.
  6. In a 3- quart Dutch oven or baking dish combine the chicken/cheese mixture with the cooked pasta evenly.
  7. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake for 5- 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbly.
  8. Serve immediately.

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