Diced tomatoes and green chilies give this hearty mac and cheese casserole its distinctive Southwestern appeal.
What You Need
Original recipe yields 12 servings
1 pkg. (16 oz.) elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 each green and red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing
2/3 cup flour
1 qt. (4 cups) milk
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp. GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cans (10 oz. each) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
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Ro*Tel is a product of ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Let's Make It
Heat oven to 350°F.
Cook macaroni as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, brown meat with bell peppers in large skillet; drain.
Heat dressing in large saucepan. Add flour; cook and stir 1 min. or until bubbly. Gradually whisk in milk; cook and stir 6 to 8 min. or until thickened. Add cheese, mustard and black pepper; cook and stir 2 min. or until cheese is melted and mixture is well blended.
Drain macaroni. Add to cheese sauce; mix well. Stir in meat mixture and tomatoes and green chilies. Spoon into casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake 25 to 35 min. or until golden brown and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 2 min. before serving.
Add a few drops of red pepper sauce to the cheese sauce before stirring in the macaroni.
Thawing Ground Beef Safely
To thaw ground beef safely, keep the meat wrapped and thaw it in the refrigerator -- not on the countertop. Store on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent any drippings from cross-contaminating other foods. Use thawed meat within 2 days.
Storing Ground Beef
Store ground beef in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (The refrigerator temperature should be no higher than 40°F.) For longer storage, wrap the meat tightly in foil or freezer-weight plastic wrap and store in the freezer. When thawing, place the meat on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent any drippings from cross-contaminating other foods.
Calories From Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g
Saturated Fat 11g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrates 42g
Dietary Fibers 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
12 servings, 1-1/3 cups each
* Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.