Mexican Cornbread Casserole

Mexican Cornbread Casserole platedHappy Cinco de Mayo! This recipe is like a mash up of my Mexican Casserole and a tamale pie recipe I’ve tried in the past. And for my fellow home cooks who like quick recipes, the 35 minutes baking time is the longest you have to wait.  I love shortcuts, so if you do not have all the required spices in your cupboards you can also use a packet of taco seasoning. Since there is only two of us at home to eat this, I used half the meat and only one box of the Jiffy cornbread mix and an 8×8 baking pan. Otherwise I used the same amount of all the other ingredients. For my vegetarian friends, omit the ground beef and add pinto beans.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (8.5 ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend; separated into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans (15 ounce)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (10 ounce) Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
  • 1 1/2 cup chunky salsa

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Meanwhile in a large bowl, prepare Jiffy cornbread mix by combining mix, eggs and milk. Stir well then add 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese blend. Set aside. (If you like some extra spice, add a small can of diced green chilies to the cornbread mixture.)
  2. In a skillet add olive oil and cook ground beef over medium high heat until cooked through. Drain any grease. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are tender.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the meat mixture in skillet. Mix well and remove from heat.
  4. In a 9X13 baking pan, add meat and vegetable mixture. Top with 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese.
  5. Add prepared cornbread mixture on top of cheese layer. Be sure to spread out evenly.
  6. Bake in oven for 33-35 minutes or until cornbread turns golden.  Enjoy with your favorite beverage.

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

Quinoa Fiesta Casserole

Quinoa Fiesta Casserole PlatedI must admit it is hard to make (somewhat) vegetarian meals with a meat and potatoes loving son in my house. And I’m pretty sure I cannot give up chicken. But in my efforts to try to eat healthier, I decided to give quinoa a try. Yes, I know I am late to the quinoa party and there is probably some other grain that is more popular now.

This casserole came out pretty tasty and I didn’t miss having any meat in it, well not too much. And I know, it’s not truly a vegetarian dish since I used cheese in it. But will you give me a pass on this? This would make a great Meatless Monday meal for those of you that participate in that.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (I used defrosted frozen ones, but you can use canned or fresh)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided in half
  • 1 avocado, diced for garnish
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray or oil.
  2. Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water according to package directions. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, onion, bell pepper, 2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, black beans, sliced olives, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, can of Ro*Tel, and 1/2 cup of both cheeses. Reserve the other 1/2 cup of cheeses for top.
  4. Add quinoa mixture to prepared baking dish. Smooth out into even an even layer.
  5. Add enchilada sauce to cover the quinoa mixture.
  6. Add the other half cup of cheddar and mozzarella cheese to the top of casserole.
  7. Cover casserole with foil. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Uncover casserole and garnish with avocado, reserved cilantro and tomatoes.

 

Don’t let the cheesy goodness fool you. There’s healthy stuff hidden under the cheese layer!

Quinoa Fiesta Casserole

 

 

Loaded Mexican Chicken and Potato Casserole

Mexican Chicken and Potatoes Casserole PlatedBrrr! It’s getting chilly outside. I love this time of year because making casseroles in a hot oven not only gives you a belly full of goodness, but the heat from the oven helps make the house nice and toasty. This recipe is yet another,”What can I make with the ingredients I have on hand?”  I really need to go grocery shopping soon.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 5 medium russet potatoes, diced into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika (or regular)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (14.5 ounce)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • sour cream for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large plastic container with lid (or 1 gallon Ziploc bag) add paprika, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix well.
  4. Add diced chicken and potatoes. Seal container. Shake well so all the seasoning cover the chicken and potato pieces.
  5. Add seasoned chicken and potato pieces to baking dish in an even layer.
  6. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and add diced tomatoes over casserole. Sprinkle cheese, bacon and green onions over casserole.
  8. Bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  9. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Mexican Chicken and Potatoes Casserole

Baked Penne Casserole

Baked PenneI was really in the mood for lasagna tonight. Then I checked my cupboard and refrigerator and soon discovered I was lacking lasagna noodles and a few ingredients. I also discovered that I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. So, I decided to make do with what I had and came up with this baked penne casserole. Don’t laugh, but I had to use provolone and mozzarella cheese slices that I normally would use in my sandwiches. I told you, I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. In the end it still worked out nicely.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 1/4 cup your favorite marinara or one 24 ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 container low fat cottage cheese (32 ounces)
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese slices (about 10 slices or enough to cover casserole)
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese slices (about 10 slices or enough to cover casserole)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, coat your 13 x 9 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, brown your ground beef and mince it down to your desired size.
  3. Add diced onions and mushrooms to the ground beef and cook for 3-5 minutes until onions are tender.
  4. Next add the wine, sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper. Stir to mix well. Sauce should be a little watery, not thick.
  5. Once the sauce is mixed and comes to a boil, turn off the heat.
  6. Add a layer of sauce to the bottom of casserole dish.
  7. Then add half your uncooked pasta to layer the casserole dish. (Yes, uncooked. Let the meat mixture you just made do the work for you.)
  8. Next layer the cottage cheese over the noodles.
  9. Now add the provolone cheese slices to cover the casserole dish.
  10. Add the rest of the penne noodles. Be sure to make an even layer.
  11. Add the rest of the sauce mixture over the penne noodles.
  12. Finally, arrange the mozzarella slices over the top of the sauce layer.
  13. Cover loosely with foil. (Tip: spray foil side that will be in direct contact with casserole with cooking spray, so the cheese does not stick.)
  14. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Penne plated

Meatloaf and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Casserole (Or Cowboy Meatloaf version 3.0)

Cowboy Meatloaf With Cheesy Mashed PotatoesSo I was reading What’s For Dinner Moms? blog recently. And she had created a version of Cowboy Meatloaf from the Ore-Ida recipe. And suddenly a mishmash of both recipes plus a little change-up came to my mind. Thus, Cowboy Meatloaf Version 3.0 came about.  In my version, I added spicy Italian sausage to the ground beef and like What’s For Dinner Moms?  I made my own mashed potatoes. Here is a link to What’s For Dinner Mom’s? recipe: Cowboy Meatloaf With Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole. And here is the Ore-Ida recipe: Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole. Both are great recipes. Be sure to check them out.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 cups potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup cooked bacon bits
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, coat a 13 X 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine: ground beef, Italian sausage, diced onions, Panko bread crumbs, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, eggs and chili powder until well mixed.
  3. Gently press meat mixture to the bottom of the baking dish. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the hot, boiled and mashed potatoes with butter, milk, garlic powder, bacon bits and 1/2 cup of Mexican blend cheese.
  5. When meatloaf is finished cooking, drain any excess grease from baking dish.
  6. Spread the mashed potatoes mixture over the meatloaf evenly. Add the remaining 1 cup of Mexican blend cheese over the potatoes.
  7. Place baking dish back in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.  I like my cheese just melted, but if you want your cheese browned, you can turn up the oven to broil and place the casserole under burners for 2-3 minutes instead.
  8. Remove the casserole from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes before serving.

Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole platedEver have one of those days when you just don’t know what to make for dinner?  To be honest, I’ve had more than one of those days. I find myself gazing into my cupboard waiting for some magic cupboard elves in there to pop out and say, “Here make this.”  Instead I take inventory to see what I have and I find I have almost all the ingredients to make a tamale pie. Almost being the operative word. So instead, I decided to compromise and this recipe was born. I’m calling it a Mexican casserole for lack of a better name. (Almost tamale pie? Nah…)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans (15 ounce)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (10 ounce) Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves (plus additional tablespoon for garnish)
  • 4 corn tortillas (6-8 inch)
  • 1 can (16 ounce) refried beans
  • 1 can (10 ounce) mild red enchilada sauce; or your favorite taco sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (Colby and Monterey Jack cheese)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When oil ripples, add ground beef.

Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until meat is browned and vegetables are tender.  About 3-4 minutes. Stir in black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and chiles along with cilantro and stir. Set aside. Mexican Casserole 3

Place tortillas evenly into baking dish. I cut mine in half to cover my baking dish.Mexican Casserole 2

Next drop spoonfuls of refried beans on top of tortilla layer. Spread evenly. Mexican Casserole 4

Follow by layering the meat and vegetable mix over the refried beans. Mexican Casserole 5

Then layer with enchilada sauce. Mexican Casserole 6

Finally, cover with shredded cheese. Mexican Casserole 7

Place in oven for 20 minutes. Mexican Casserole 8

Garnish with cilantro. Allow 5 minutes to set up and cool down before serving. Mexican Casserole

Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes

Crock Pot Chessy PotatoesNow this may not be the healthiest recipe, so I am not encouraging you to eat this casserole all by yourself. As with everything in life, serve in moderation. But are you looking for a side dish for an office pot luck or your family dinner? With just a few ingredients and your crock pot you can put out a tasty, cheesy side dish that can feed 10 people easily. And if you want to kick up this recipe even more, try adding some cut up cooked bacon pieces and some green onions or chives to make this a fully loaded cheesy potato casserole. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bacon handy when I made this, so I stuck to the basics.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 30 ounce bag frozen, shredded hash browns
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, 10.75 ounces
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spray the sides of your crock pot with cooking spray. (You will thank me later for reminding you.)
  2. Add sour cream, cream of chicken and cheese to your crock pot and mix well.
  3. Next add frozen hash browns and combine with sauce mixture. (I loosened the hash browns by squeezing them in the bag because mine were frozen solid.)
  4. Cook on High for 3 hours; or on Low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes 2