Friday, January 13, 2012

Fab Food Friday: King Ranch Chicken Mac & Cheese

Let me start with an, "OH MY HEAVENS this is good!" Yes, that was my first reaction. 

When I was flipping through my December Southern Living I came across this recipe and knew it would be a hit, especially with my hubbs (the ultimate Tex-mex fan himself). I immediately scanned my pantry and figured out we had all the ingredients needed to make it, so I added it to our meals this week. 

This got a big thumbs up AND let me also say that even our VERY picky boys loved this meal....

Ok, on with the show.....and again, I forgot to take a ton of pics, so put on your thinking caps and imagine the first part of this. I did change part of the recipe to suit our tastes, and I put that in parenthesis. 

King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese


Makes 6 servings


  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package cellentani pasta (I used 8 oz of elbow pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (I used olive oil)
  • medium onion, diced
  • green bell pepper, diced
  • (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • (8-oz.) package pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed(I used 2% Velveeta)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup (can use reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can use light)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a little less because of the little fellas in the house and it was perfect)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup of Sharp Cheddar)
The How-To
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • 2. Meanwhile, melt butter(olive oil) in a large Dutch oven(since I was just going to bake it in a skillet in the oven anyways, I went ahead and sauteed everything in the skillet to save a dish!) over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper(I also added the diced chicken here to give it more flavor), and saute 5 minutes or until tender. 
  1. 3. Stir in tomatoes and green chiles and prepared cheese product; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until cheese melts. 
  2. 4. Stir in chicken(unless you add it earlier like I did), next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended. 
  3. 5. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch(we used 12 and pretty sure it was way to much food to fit in a 10 inch!) cast-iron skillet or 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.
  4. 5. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

And another shot....

Ok, and another....... :)
I HOPE you chose to make this for your family. It was E-A-S-Y and made for a wonderful comfort food on this chilly night. 

Enjoy Ya'll!

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