Friday, January 25, 2013

Ultimate Nacho Mac & Cheese Dinner

Seriously delicious

Have you ever looked a recipe and said, "yum"?  You have?  I know me too! This is how this recipe came about.  
My friend Dana created this amazing Nacho Mac & Cheese - original recipe found HERE.
Then my friend Linda "tweaked" Dana's recipe for lack of a better word, creating the Ultimate Nacho Mac & Cheese - original recipe found HERE.

Loving both these recipes, I added my own "little spin" on it as well.  Voila, the "Ultimate Nacho Mac & Cheese Dinner".
The base is pretty much the same with little additions added in here and there.  Isn't that how most recipes are created anyway? Do you agree?  

I'm still trying to figure out why this picture is so dull, I think it was tired, it needed olives I say!!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

1(1lb) uncooked elbow macaroni
1lb ground beef
1 can Rotel original diced tomatoes and chilis
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 can refried beans (I used fat free)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
11/2 cups shredded Pepperjack cheese
1/2 block (4 OZ) cream cheese cubed
1 small can (4.5OZ) crushed green chilis, undrained
3 cups crushed tortilla chips
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder

Sour cream
Sliced olives
Diced tomatoes

-Place stockpot with water and salt on the stove to boil for pasta. 

-Meanwhile, in a small bowl, empty contents of refried beans along with cumin, salt and chili powder.  Stir till thoroughly incorporated, set aside.

Using a large skillet, brown ground beef  till no longer pink.  Add taco seasoning mix.  Mix thoroughly.  Add your refried beans and continue mixing, cooking till all are combined.  At this point I highly suggest taking a wee taste of the filling.  Look around the kitchen, since you're alone, grab another clean spoon and go ahead and take another small taste.  What??  OCD you say?  <sigh>
I can't double dip, I just can't do it, even with my own family.
I know, another group therapy session...

-Preheat oven to 350F.  Using a 13 X 9 pan, pre-spray with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

-Cook your pasta till al dente.  Strain and return back to stockpot.
Let's add in that scrumptious cream cheese - you know the one where you have to reprimand yourself for taking off small hunks? Oh wait, that's me!  Let us continue.

-Start incorporating the cheese into the hot pasta, add in the shredded Cheddar cheese till the cheese is about melted. Now we add in the diced tomatoes & chilis, undrained. 

-Next comes the crushed chilis, and then finally that amazing seasoned ground beef, mix well.

-Pour pasta into baking pan.  Sprinkle the crushed tortilla chips.  Top with the Pepperjack cheese.

-Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes till everything has warmed through and you can barely stand it!

-Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Top with your favorite sides.  I love tomatoes, olives and sour cream, you know the "other food group"...

However, you can use whatever toppings you like, just make sure you don't leave out the sour cream! *grin*

Are we heading to the pantry for a box of pasta?  Can you taste it? 

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi


  1. Looks wonderful Didi!! Now if I could only get you to come to Florida to make it for me! ;)

    1. I would love to come to Florida baby girl, geesh the cold were having? I'm packing as we speak!! ♥

  2. That is a wonderful looking dish of pasta Didi and the spins on the recipes are just great. Yes we all take a base recipe and make it our own been done since cooking was created lol

    1. I agree Jamie my friend regarding recipes, and thank you my sweet Southern doll!!

  3. Didi doll- You really took this one over the edge. My mouth is watering. And thanks so much for the shout out. love you

  4. And I forgot to mention- the cream cheese addition is simply brilliant!

    1. My Linda!! ♥♥♥
      I loved your rendition of the refried beans and the crushed chilis, LOVED IT!!

  5. I Love reading your blog make me the cream cheese and sour cream bit...I'm as bad as you!!! lol

    1. Wendy you mean the "other food group"? The one were having love affairs with? *grin*