I love recipes that combine two of my favorite foods into one dish. This recipe, which I’ve adapted from Southern Living, does a wonderful job of blending two southern favorites- mac and cheese and King Ranch Casserole- into one delicious meal.
I actually had very low expectations for this King Ranch Mac and Cheese recipe. I think something about the idea of tomatoes in my mac and cheese put me off. And a can of cream of chicken soup in my mac and cheese? That really raised an eyebrow. But my friend Stephanie of Plain Chicken did her own version of this recipe and she raved and raved about how good it was.
So I knew I had to keep an open mind and give it a try.
And boy was I glad I did. I can honestly say it was one of my favorite meals in recent memory. It is cheesy, creamy, and spicy with a crunchy Dorito topping and diced chicken really makes it feel like a full meal.
There are seriously so many flavors going on in this King Ranch Mac and Cheese – tomatoes and spice from a can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies (I used hot Rotel which gave the mac and cheese a fairly high spice level), but you could use mild instead.
There are southwestern flavors from chili powder and cumin, plus plenty of cheese flavor from cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and Velveeta cheese.
Sour cream and a can of cream of chicken soup help keep King Ranch Mac and Cheese super moist, even after the cooked dish cools down.
If you love the flavors of southwestern food, this spin on mac and cheese is sure to be a favorite!
King Ranch Mac and Cheese Recipe Tip
Any pasta shape can be used for this recipe. Large elbow, cavatappi, and shells also work well.
For more Mac and Cheese Recipes follow my Mac and Cheese- The Ultimate Comfort Food Pinterest Board.
More Mac and Cheese Recipes
- Super Creamy Mac and Cheese
- Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
- Bourbon and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Chicken Bacon & Ranch Mac and Cheese
- Breakfast Mac and Cheese
- Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese
- 1/2 (16-ounce) package pasta, I used Gemelli
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles, spicy
- 1 (8-ounce) package Velveeta pasteurized prepared cheese, product cubed
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup crushed Dorito chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in Rotel tomatoes and Velveeta cheese. Cook, stirring continuously until cheese melts.
- Mix in chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, ancho chili powder, and cumin.
- Add pasta and half of both cheddar cheese and Monterey cheese.
- Pour into a greased or 11X9-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and crushed Doritos.
- Bake until bubbly, for 25 to 30 minutes.
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Adapted from Southern Living
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Originally published April 1, 2015.