Sonora Chicken Pasta ~Copycat Ruby Tuesday~
  • 1½ ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 8 ounces penne pasta, cooked and drained
  • 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 ounces Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Seasoned salt
  • Cheese Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half & half cream
  • salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup Velveeta cheese sauce or Cheez Whiz
  • ¾ cup salsa (medium chunky)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  1. Season both sides of chicken with cracked black pepper and seasoned salt and rub into meat. Fry in skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil until tender, lightly browned and internal temp reaches 175° or you can grill it which we did the 2nd time making it.
  2. In a bowl, microwave black beans and diced tomatoes, 3 minutes.
  3. In a pot, boil noodles and drain.
  4. Make cheese sauce. (directions below) After cheese sauce is made add it to the noodles and mix well. After cutting chicken into bite size pieces add it to the top of the cheesy pasta.
  5. After meal is plated, spoon warmed bean and tomato mixture over chicken and pasta mix. You can mix it all together on your plate if you like and we like it both ways!
  6. Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan and add onion and garlic. Saute until onion is transparent. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  7. In a bowl mix the chicken broth and half & half. Add mixture slowly to roux, stirring constantly. Allow to cook 5 minutes. Sauce should have the consistency of honey or a little thicker.
  8. Add salt, sugar, hot sauce, lemon juice, cayenne, and Parmesan cheese to sauce. Stir to blend. Do not allow to boil. Add Velveeta cheese sauce or Cheez Whiz and stir until melted. Add salsa and sour cream to sauce and blend.
  9. Makes 5 cups.
This recipe is the 1st recipe that Joyce (Sassygrits___OH) ever posted for me on TOH and the beginning of our great friendship! I miss her so much! The meaning of Sonora in Spanish is "Pleasant Sounding" Sonora is not popular in the USA! I loved Ruby Tuesday Sonora Chicken Pasta and they took it off of their menu several years ago! I would order it every time we visited Ruby Tuesday! I was crushed when it disappeared from the menu! There was only one thing to do and that was to find a copycat recipe! So now it has re-appeared on their menu but it isn't the same! I make this copycat recipe much better than their creation of it now as of 2016! The directions stated that the cheese sauce would come out like honey but mine didn't! Mine was more like the thickness of mac and cheese but it was delicious! I would of liked it to be a tad thinner so next time I may thin it out with some more half and half! The topping of black beans and Rotel tomatoes are just like Ruby Tuesday! Man, that stuff is awesome good so don't skip the topping! I think it's what makes this dish!