Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mexican Mac n Cheese

K and I have recently started working two jobs. She works early mornings (like 4am) and I work nights (until about 10pm). I am the house chef (scary, I know), so with me not being home in the evenings to cook, we'd both go hungry if I didn't figure something else out. My sister suggested casseroles because they keep well and are an easy nuke-when-we-get-home kind of meal. So lately, I have been making a casserole Sunday night that we eat at the beginning of the week and then hope I have a night off half way through the week to make another one for the end of the week.

Last week's casserole was a fluke, so I haven't bothered blogging it. It was just a tuna casserole.. nothing exciting, but I put frozen peas in it that were so frozen (and by frozen I mean old and freezer burned) that they were almost freeze dried. The peas ruined the whole dish. Sure, you could eat around them, but that was too much work for my liking.

Anyway, back to this dish.

I found the recipe on Better Homes and Garden. I may have mentioned it before, but I love Mexican anything. (OK... don't take that too far, we are just talking food, here!) I think maybe I was Mexican in a past life, but wouldn't that mean I would be good at cooking Mexican and not just good at eating it? 

Here it is:


12 ounces dried mostaccioli or rigatoni pasta (3 cups)
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 - 16 ounce jar green medium-hot salsa
2 - 8 ounce package shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 cups)
Tomato wedges, sliced jalapeno peppers, and chopped fresh cilantro
Salsa (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in large skillet cook sausage and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain fat, Return sausage and onion to skillet. Stir in green salsa.

3. In prepared baking dish layer half of the cooked pasta, half the sausage mixture, and half the cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Top with tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro. If desired, serve with additional salsa. Makes 12 servings.

The Review:

Well, it was good. Not spectacular, but good. In typing this blog and reviewing the ingredients (and cooking a second casserole that I didn't have the right ingredients for, but swore I bought them), I realized I messed up on the cheese. :o| You see, I'm tired. Working two jobs is tiring. I went to the store and got the ingredients for two different casseroles. One called for mozzarella cheese and... You know, as I try and make sense of this, it baffles me even more so let me spare you the baffle and just move on.

So here's what I did, I grated an entire small block of mozzarella and quite a bit of cheddar. I thought the recipe called for a cup of each (which I didn't think was enough, but whatever. I rarely do the exact amounts of cheese the recipe calls for anyway.) As you can see, this recipe calls for two (2) 8 ounce packages of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Idk how I missed that. Maybe this is why it didn't turn out spectacular?

Whatever. Outside of the cheese screw up, and the optional Tomato/Jalapeno/Cilantro/Salsa garnishes, I followed the recipe as is. I was thinking maybe next time instead of so much green salsa, I would do half the salsa and 8 oz of cream cheese to make it more creamy and more cheesy. However, perhaps next time I will just do the right kind and right amounts of cheese the stinkin' recipe calls for. :o\

P.S. Teenah this blog is for you. ;o)


  1. Do you want some casserole recipes/easy reheatable dishes?

    1. YES! Please send them my way!

    2. Ok, while I look through my stash...

      When you're cooking a casserole on Sunday make 2 and freeze the other! Wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil, write the recipe, date, cooking temp, and time on it. Then put it in the fridge that morning to thaw (unless your freezer/fridge is like mine and then take it out 2 days in advance). If you already know this, ignore me.

      I'll be back with links and recipes.

  2. YAY! well just think of it this way, with less cheese it was healthier! :) I would love to hear what you think about it if you try it again with the modifications you said...

    1. It's definitely worth trying again. Stay tuned for a possible update.

  3. OMG it looks amazing! It reminds me of the spaghetti pizza... i think the cheese on top of noodles deal is amaaaaaazing!! and i am really curious about the cream cheese! You should definitely try it!

  4. I'm back!

    Josh and I LOVED this. Mine was not that creamy/saucy/cheesy but I put in more spaghetti than I should have because I can't follow recipes, apparently. Next time I do this I'm going to put more cheese in it and season more as well.

    This is not a casserole but it reheats beautifully. If you make a lot you can eat leftovers for a few days.

    Dr Martin's Mix

    1/2 pound of pork sausage (up to 1 lb) (I use 1 lb)
    1 green pepper, chopped
    2 green onions, chopped
    2 celery stalks, chopped(up to 3) (I do not add these)
    2 cup chicken bouillon or consomme (I used one can chicken broth and then about 1/4 can of water)
    1 cup raw rice
    1 T Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp Salt

    Method of Preparation:
    Crumble sausage into a skillet and brown it. Drain, then add remaining ingredients, put a lid on and let simmer at low heat for about 1 hour.

    I'm not done, be back with more.

    1. This is the only one I tried so far, but OMG it was GOOD!

  5. http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2010/04/skillet-tuna-casserole.html

    A bit time consuming but worth it:

    This tastes better the next day (IMO):

  6. One more. This is a favorite. Annie likes it too.


    A few notes:
    -we leave out the pimentos
    -I poach chicken breasts or use a rotisserie from the store
    -It's freaking fantastic