Saturday, October 13, 2012

Comfort in a Casserole

Even though it is still in the 90's outside here in Corpus Christi, I have been craving fall foods.  Nothing is better than a bubbling casserole in the oven and the aroma filling the house.  I love to buy rotisserie chickens from the grocery store.  When my husband is gone, Little Man and I usually eat a quarter of it and then I bone the rest and freeze it for later.  It usually yields about 3 cups.  Yesterday I decided come hell or high water we are acting as if it is cooler weather.  So, I pulled out a bag of frozen rotisserie chicken and went to work.  At the end of last year, I was flipping through my Southern Living Magazine (January 2012) that had come in the mail (a mail highlight!).  There was a recipe for King Ranch Chicken Macaroni and Cheese....WHAT?!?!?!?  Hello, jackpot!!!!  Living 45 minutes from the King Ranch, you find King Ranch Chicken everywhere!  Now let's talk mac and cheese.  Is there a better comfort food out there besides mac & cheese.  No.  So, when I saw that they had combined the two, I knew it would be heaven on a plate.  The first time I made it I went by the book.  It was good.  I decided the second time around I would make a few changes....and make it mine. ;)  So, here is my version:

3 Tbs. butter
8 oz. pkg of cavatappi or your favorite short pasta
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 (8oz.) package Mexican Velveeta
3 cups rotisserie chicken chopped
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2-3/4 c sour cream
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare pasta according to package
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium- medium high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and saute 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in Mexican Velveeta, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.
Stir in soup, sour cream, chili powder, and cumin.

Add chicken and hot cooked pasta and mix together.
Spoon mixture into a greased casserole dish.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden bubbly!

This is yummy and comforting.  You will love every bite that crosses your lips.  Don't worry about the extra calories.  It's fall after all!

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