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Cajun Macaroni and Cheese

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Enjoy a savory twist on the classic comfort food. This recipe features macaroni noodles that are coated in a creamy cheese sauce that has been seasoned with Cajun spices and VALLEY FRESH® chicken garnished with thyme leaves.

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8 ounces uncooked elbow or small shell macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups regular or evaporated milk
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
¾ teaspoon dried Cajun seasoning
½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
2 cups cubed American cheese
1 (10-ounce) can VALLEY FRESH® 100% Natural* White & Dark Chicken, drained
Garnish: fresh thyme leaves, if desired


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain well. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour into pan; cook and stir 2 minutes. Gradually stir in milk, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, and paprika until sauce thickens. Stirring constantly, mix in cheese; continue to cook until melted and smooth.

  3. Stir in cooked macaroni until well coated with sauce. Add chicken, either stirring it in or serving in large spoonfuls on top. Add garnish, if desired.