Tres Quesos Chicken Pasta
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- 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt plus more for salting the water
- To taste freshly ground black pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup cubed Oaxaca cheese
- 1 cup cubed asadero or muenster cheese
- Fresh cilantro chopped, for serving
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso añejo or cotija for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
- In a medium bowl combine the garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add chicken to the bowl and toss until chicken is coated in the rub.
- Once the water is boiling, cook the spaghetti until al dente, or according to package instructions. Strain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- In a large casserole set over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Once it melts, add the chicken and cook until all sides are browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and continue to brown for another 30 seconds.
- Pour in the milk and cream, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to remove browned bits. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water – or more if desired. Let the liquids come to a simmer and reduce until they begin to thicken.
- Add the Oaxaca and muenster cheese, saving the cojita for the topping. Once the cheese is slightly melted, take off the heat and stir in pasta. Stir until the pasta is completely coated and the cheese is melted. Serve hot. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and cotija cheese.
68comments inTres Quesos Chicken Pasta
I love this recipe, and have made it multiple times before. My family is full of cheese connoisseurs, so this is the perfect recipe. I’m making it again tonight, and this was the first time we were able to get ahold of Oaxaca cheese so it should be better. Thanks so much, Pati!!!
Yay Ellie, Oaxaca cheese is going to be loved by everyone!
Made this recipe for my son,who also loves cheese. Of course helped it. Can only make it once in a while. Too many calories, but really good. Maybe I’ll make it for Thanksgiving, we get together at my oldest sons house. I usually make mac and cheese. This will be a nice change. Thank you.
So glad you are considering this recipe for your Thanksgiving celebration Toni; but if you want to stay closer to Mc and Cheese I have this recipe for mine with a Mexican twist 😉 https://patijinich.com/mac-n-cheese-mexicano/
I’m a late comer to your show and I love it! I saw you prepare this pasta recipe and it looked so yummy that I decided to make it for dinner tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Wish me luck!
Welcome! So, how did you like it?
Saw this on the show last night and made it today for dinner. Que delicioso!
So glad you liked it Nikki 😉
Pati I just love your spirit and personality. Love your show❤️
Thanks so much Martha, un abrazo!
Love your shows!! I can watch you for hours!
Thanks so much Vinny, un abrazo!
I absolutely love your recipes, I wish I’d a known that you were going to be in tijuana. I would of loved to meet you. Saludos pati from San Diego California
Saludos Yadhira! Hopefully I will be able to visit California soon 🙂
I made this recently and it is delicious. My family loved it. I had to use Muenster cheese, but was able to find the Oaxaca and Cotija cheeses. It comes together very quickly. I will add this to our must make dishes. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
My pleasure Rebecca, so glad all the family enjoyed this recipe 🙂
I’ve made this several times. My family loves it. I subbed shrimp for the chicken this time and it was amazing. Thank you again!
I have a question: What is Oaxaca Cheese?
What can be substituted for it
Here you can read a bit more about Oaxaca Cheese Bitsy: https://patijinich.com/oaxaca_cheese/ It is very melty so you can substitute it with asadero, quesadilla, Monterey Jack or even mozzarella 🙂
Today was the first time I watched this. Love it. Plan in making a few of these recipes this week. Always trying to find a good recipe to cook for my large family. Thank you ❤️ will continue to watch you !!
So glad you found me Josephine and that the family approved this Pasta, yay!
My mom and I just watched the episode with this recipe yesterday!! And we plan to make it one of these weekends, too. We were wondering something, though: would a tube pasta, like penne or rigatoni work in this recipe as well?
Absolutely Carlos, go for it 😉
I saw your show on this chicken pasta. It looks fantastic. I will be making it in the near future when I get the ingredients.
Love your show, the food you cook, recipes, and how you present everything with love, and (forgive me) sex appeal. You really know how to turn people on to your food. Sincerely.
So glad you, got interested in this recipe Richard, yay!
I will be enjoying this on Saturday for the 3rd time. Oh so good. Thanks Pati. I enjoy all your recipes
So glad you like this pasta so much Darlene, enjoy!
I made this pasta for dinner last night. My husband said definitely put this in the dinner menu once a week. So, i know it was a hit. So so delicious Patti. You love your show, your recipes are to die for. Thank you for sharing your culinary ability with this world. You are wonderfully talented in fine tastes.
And you guys are very sweet, thank you! 🙂
I made this tonight for dinner and it was great! I will defiantly make this again!
Awesome Cheryl, thanks for the feedback 😉
Could you recommend other cheeses for this dish?
Of course Jennifer, if you cannot find Oaxaca or Asadero, go for Mozzarella, Quesadilla or Gouda. If you don’t have Cotija, you can sprinkle Feta or Queso Fresco. Enjoy!
I saw this show on PBS this past week and I thought this sounds so easy. I was wondering, do you think I could add some vegetables to this dish? Maybe spaghetti squash? or even broccoli?
For sure! Go for it, Toni.
Buenas noches Pati y yo hare esta receta pronto y que que saldra deliciosa. Me encantan todas tus recetas y tu programa en Create. It make me miss my amazing country Mexico. I will love if you could do a section on other parts of Mexico, like Monterrey and Chihuahua, they have amazing recipes to and traditions. Dios te bendiga a ti y tu familia y que a Alan se encuentre bien en la Universidad.
Mil gracias, Ivonne! I hope to do explore those areas of Mexico soon…and my new season will explore Sinaloa.
This is the best pasta ever! I love your show, my son and I watch it all the time! He loves to cook in the kitchen with me just like your boys! Thank you for the cook books and the show and for inspiring a Nebraska farm girl to cook real Mexican food! You are the best!
Beyond happy to hear you are inspired to get in the kitchen and have some fun kitchen adventures with your boys, Kelli! I hope you have many more.
Mmmm I just made this. It was so good. I made it exactly as the recipe said to. The whole family loved it. Even the picky ones. Thanks Pati.
So happy to hear the whole fam loved it, Angie.
I just saw your show for the first time ever accidentally on PBS. I love Mexican food and never managed to find the same food here in the US like I did in Mexico City where I spent a good deal of time in the early 80s!
Anyways, now I will follow your website and other sources…
One question, do you think Tres Quesos could be made in advance? What is the best way to re heat it? I find Chicken in the US to be so bland and chicken breasts get hard and tasteless quite easily….
This is best eaten just made…but it can be made in advance and reheated either on the stove top covered or in the oven, Shireen.
Add some more milk and heavy cream to the pot and heat.
Shawn E Hill
This was easy to make, and turned out so well. I used mozzarella, muenster and feta cheese. So satisfying, and plenty of leftovers for the next day!
I made this and my family loves it. I will add this to my recipe collection.
Yay! I’m so glad your family loves it, Pamela.
what can I substitute for Oaxaca cheese and citija cheese?
You can use mozzarella for the Oaxaca cheese and parmesan for the Cotija cheese.
Can’t wait to make this dish.
Thank you Patti.
I hope you enjoy it Annie!
We made this dish for a special New Year’s meal. Everyone loved it. It combined the best of cheese with a bit of heat.
I was wondering if there are weight measurements for the cheese and the chicken. Our version was great, but the ratio of those ingredients to the noodles seemed a little off. Also, would it be possible to use half and half instead of heavy cream?
I think we’ll make this plate a tradition every year. ¡Muy rico! Gracias, Pati!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it! I don’t have weight measurements…but you can add more or less of the chicken and cheese to meet your tastes (I like it really cheesy) And half and half will work too!
So good! Just made it! My family LOVED it! Thank you Pati.
SO happy to hear that Laura!
Just made this tonight and it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe. Of course we could enjoy this more often if we had the metabolism and calorie burning make-up of your young boys!
It’s good — but way too much heat. I didn’t have ancho chili powder but used chipotle chili powder instead. Is there something I can do to lower the heat?
Oh you can add more cheese! Or next time use less chili powder.
This is delicious! It is not easy to find recipes my whole family likes but everyone loved it! My kids asked me to send the leftovers in their lunches to school the next day. I used muenster for the asadero cheese, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. My husband and I like a little more heat than our kids do, so we sprinkled some red pepper flakes on. But this is definitely becoming a regular in our family.
I’m so glad it is a new family regular!
I am having a time finding Asadero cheese for this recipe. Any subsititutes?
You can also use muenster cheese.
Acabo de ver esté episodio y esta pasta se ve riquísima y creo que la voy a tratar, Gracias Pati me encanta tu programa!
Yum! I would love to try this pasta after watching you and your sweet Sammy cook this. I wonder if I can find Oaxaca cheese where I live…