King Ranch Mac & Cheese

Southern Living is a name that I trust when reading recipes.  I have several of their cookbooks and have subscribed to the magazine for years.  When I recently saw an email from them promoting chicken recipes, I saved several that I knew I would want to try.

For this one, King Ranch Casserole meets Macaroni & Cheese.  If you aren’t familiar with that casserole, it is very much like this recipe except that instead of pasta, it uses some kind of corn chips or corn tortillas.  My kids have a major love of mac & cheese, so this was worth trying.  This recipe really bumps up the flavor with the extra spice of the Rotel, chili powder & cumin.  Adding the chicken makes it more of a main dish rather than just a side of mac & cheese.

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Ingredients:
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package pasta (macaroni or any type you like)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel)
  • 8 ounces prepared cheese product, cubed (Velveeta)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, cooking about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes with green chiles and Velveeta cheese; stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 11- x 7-inch baking dish Sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.   Adapted from: Southern Living Magazine January 2012  
King Ranch Mac & Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • ½ (16-oz.) package pasta (macaroni or any type you like)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel)
  • 8 ounces prepared cheese product, cubed (Velveeta)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  3. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add onion and bell pepper, cooking about 5 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in tomatoes with green chiles and Velveeta cheese; stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
  6. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended.
  7. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 11- x 7-inch baking dish
  8. Sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.
  9. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.