I knew when I saw this King Ranch Macaroni & Cheese recipe in Southern Living, I would have to make it. King Ranch Chicken Casserole was a staple in our house after we first got married, as I’m sure it was for a lot of you. We loved the cheesy layers of tortillas with chicken and a creamy sauce. I think everyone has had a version of it at some time or another. It was the casserole that everyone took to a new neighbor, to a friend who had a baby, or to a potluck dinner. As I began to limit canned soups in my cooking, I didn’t make it for a long time. Now Julie and I make a from-scratch version for our clients that is pretty yummy if we do say so ourselves! When I saw this version with pasta, I knew my macaroni-and-cheese-loving family would think it was great. I adapted the recipe a little to our tastes and didn’t want to use canned soup, so I made my own cream sauce. If you are a fan of this old classic, I don’t think you will be disappointed in this updated variation.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living
- 12 ounces of your favorite macaroni pasta, cooked until just shy of al dente. (I used bow-ties)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion diced, (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons jarred pickled jalapeno chiles, diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream or ½ and ½ (can substitute milk, but won’t be as creamy)
- 3 cups (12 ounces) Shredded Colby Jack Cheese, divided
- 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup (2 ounces) queso cheese (Kroger sells a shredded queso quesadilla cheese, which is what I used.)
- In a Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion, jalapeno chiles, cumin and chili powder, cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the Rotel tomatoes and continue cooking for about 5-8 more minutes until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the chicken broth and heavy cream.
- immer for about 3 minutes until thickened.
- Remove from heat.
- Add 2 cups (8 ounces) of the cheese a handful at a time.
- Stir each addition until melted before adding the next handful.
- Stir in the cooked chicken and sour cream.
- Add the cooked pasta and stir gently to combine.
- Pour into a lightly greased baking dish.
- Top with remaining cup of Colby Jack Cheese and ½ cup of queso cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Linked to the following parties:
Our very own Weekend Potluck
White Lights on Wednesday Wednesday Whatsits
Walking on Sunshine Foodie Friends Friday
Carole’s Chatter Food on Friday Pasta & Noodles
Six Sisters’ Stuff Strut Your Stuff Saturday
Addicted to Recipes Scrumptious Sunday Link Party
Everyday Mom’s Meals Church Supper