Friday, December 21, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

It's all about the simple stuff right now. Who has time to worry about dinner when there are presents to be wrapped (and bought), decorations to be hung, and carols to be sung?  And who has time to worry about dinner when there are cookies and other holiday sweets to eat?  Well, since cookies do not constitute dinner (apparently, according to my husband), you may find yourself in the position to cook an actual meal. So may I recommend this quick and hearty casserole with Mexican flavor and lots of pasta?  I love the sweetness of the corn coupled with the spice from the enchilada sauce, chiles and chili powder.  Plus, it's cheesy pasta, so you've got to love that.  I pulled this together in just over 30 minutes for a quick meal, complete with a salad I made while the casserole baked, before I had to run out for errands.

When I saw this recipe on Pinterest during my "I must pin every Mexican flavored dish I see" phase, this one from Buns in My Oven made the cut (ok, really, every recipe made the cut--I wasn't that picky).  But upon further exploration, this one was particularly exciting because it was so easy and full of flavor.  I was super busy when I made this the other night, but still got a wholesome, flavorful dinner on the table quickly and got the rest of my stuff done that night.  I used a cheddar jack cheese blend (rather than just cheddar and just monterey jack) and a little less cream cheese than the original recipe.  Too bad I didn't have any cilantro on hand, because I know that would have been an excellent addition.  Next time I might use a little more chili powder because I wanted a litte more heat, but this was still very tasty.  This weekend, I hope you get everything done you need to before the holidays and if you forget to plan dinner, remember this recipe and get it together quickly.

Enchilada Casserole


16 ounces wide egg noodles
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
10 ounces enchilada sauce
2 cups cheddar jack cheese blend, divided
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
4 ounces green chiles
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to instructions.

Brown the ground beef and drain off excess fat.  Add chili powder, cumin and cream cheese.  Stir to combine and cook over low heat until cheese is melted.

In a large bowl, combine sour cream, enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheddar jack cheese, corn and green chiles.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Add seasoned beef to sour cream mixture and stir.

Drain off noodles and add to beef mixture.  Stir to incorporate.

Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes until cheese is melty.

Serve with a side salad.

Makes 8 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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