Tuesday, February 12, 2013

King Ranch Casserole Meets Mac and Cheese

Mindy here with a yummy, and hearty, twist on regular macaroni and cheese. I found this in a Southern Living magazine and knew I had to try it. I did, and it was goooooooood.

So here's what you're gonna need:
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni (the boxes are usually 16 oz, so half a box)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (aka Rotel)
  • 1 - 8 oz pkg. pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed (Velveeta, y'all)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
First, we want to preheat our oven to 350 degrees. G'head. I'll wait while you do it.

Now, cook your pasta according to the package directions. Be sure not to overcook.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and saute 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in your tomatoes and green chilies and Velveeta.

And cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts.

Now, stir in your chicken, the soup, sour cream, chili powder, and cumin.
Obviously, I need to keep stirring.
Then we'll add in our pasta and stir until blended.
This is smelling SOOOO yummy.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased oblong baking dish or cast iron skillet and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly.


And serve. Although, I don't recommend a plate the same color as the mac and cheese. As you can tell, it makes it look a little washed out.
I love the bits of red and green in there. And it tastes divine.
Well, my first round of edits have been turned in. Now I'm trying to catch up on things like cooking, cleaning, laundry.... Funny how my guys whine when there's no food in the house. They're so spoiled. Like the pantry just magically refills itself. Maybe they'll appreciate me more now.
What are you up to this week?


  1. Ok, I misread 'hearty' as healthy and my eyes were getting huge as I read the ingredient list! Heaven was here! Chuck that diet!

    Now I see it's not a diet dish. :(

    But I'm still making this. It looks delicious!!!!

    And when my rear end needs its own zipcode, I'm blaming YOU.

    1. LOL! Yeah, I know what you mean, Virginia. Stinks, doesn't it? Guess I'll have to find a way to pare it down. Just as soon as I find a way to pare ME down.

  2. You had me until the chicken!!! LOL -- but I love mac and cheese and I think I could tweek this recipe to be vegetarian friendly. No chicken and substitute the cream soup with cream of celery or cream of mushroom. What do you think?

    Glad your edits are finished and you can get back to life. :-) I'm hanging out at home this week 'cause I'm sick. Achoo...

    1. I'm sorry you're sick, Kav. That's no fun. I pray you'll get well soon.

      You are right, this could easily be tweaked to be vegetarian friendly. Just, please, don't say tofu. I think the texture would gross me out.

  3. First, this looks delicious and not all that hard, and ONE DISH at the end. I'm all over that...

    Second, laughing out loud at the family's realization that Mom actually does something! Hahahahahaha!

    Tuna fish and Bear Creek Soups have become weekly stipends around here because the cook has stepped out of the kitchen half the time... and she's LOVING IT!!! :)

    1. OOooo, I love those Bear Creek soups, Ruthy. Always forget about them, though. Time to revisit.

      But I think this may have been an eye-opening experience for me, though. The way to get their ATTENTION is through their stomachs!

  4. Cooking? Cleaning? Laundry? Hmmm, I think I used to do those things....

    Congrats on getting your edits done!

    This dish looks like something my family would devour - after they pick out the green and red things, of course. Silly vultures.

    And you KNOW it's a Texas recipe when the words "King Ranch" are in the title, don't you? You can't go anywhere in Texas without feeling that King Ranch influence.

    1. You got that right, Jan. And I'd sure love me a black Ford F-150 King Ranch Edition:-)

    2. You know, we have plenty of Ford F-150's, and 250's and 350's around here - but I've only seen one King Ranch edition...and that one had Texas plates on it! :)

    3. LOL! My son has a King Ranch (rust color). So look for one with Georgia plates, Jan! ;)

    4. BTW, it was a hand-me-down from grandparents, the best kind of vehicle! :)

  5. First, yay on completing the edits!! What a great sense of accomplishment. :)

    Second, I'm loving this recipe!!! I can't wait to try it. What chicken did you use? Frozen, already-cooked? Did you boil a chicken??

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Missy, I can't remember if I boiled a chicken or bought a rotisseire (I can't ever spell that word) one at the store. Come to think of it, I may have boiled some bone-in chicken breasts I bought on sale. But either way. You could even use leftover chicken. Oh, and what a great way to use turkey leftovers too.
      Ah, yes, the wheels are turning now:-)

    3. Rotisserie sounds like the perfect solution!