Friday, December 7, 2012

Southwestern Chili Con Queso Bake {by Rachel Ray}

 **Today on Huckleberry Love I'm sharing my homemade Advent Calendar with our readers. I'd love for you to stop on over and check it out!**

One of my recent foodie pins is from Living Light blog. She shared an awesome Rachel Ray recipe on Pinterest and the name caught my attention.... Chili Con Queso Bake. Sounds pretty delicious, am I right?


Well, I thought I'd share it with you all. It was an awesome combination of ground turkey, pasta, cheese and just the right amount of spice to make your mouth, but not your eyes, water! Jason, Aidan and I all loved it. :)

Chili  Con Queso Bake from Rachel Ray

1 pound whole wheat penne
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon roasted ground coriander
2 tablespoons chili powder Coarse black pepper
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

 1. Preheat the broiler to high and position the rack 8 inches from the heat.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta until slightly undercooked--a little chewy at the center.
3. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the turkey.  When the turkey is almost finished, but still a bit pink, add the garlic, jalepeño, and onions. Finish cooking until the turkey is browned and the onion is translucent.  Drain the grease from the skillet and mix in the cumin, coriander and chili powder.  Take off the heat or turn heat down low.
4. In a medium sauce pot, melt the butter and add the flour to it.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat and then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheese, cilantro and parsley with a wooden spoon.  When the cheese has melted, stir in the tomatoes.
5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it back into the large pot.  Add the contents of the hamburger and all of the Cheddar sauce, and stir to combine.  Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish, sprinkle with more cheese and place under the broiler to lightly brown.

You can find a printable version of this recipe here.


 A few tips: This recipe originally called for ground beef regular penne pasta. I decided to make mine a bit healthier and opted for ground turkey and whole wheat pasta. I also didn't have any fresh parsley or cilantro on hand, so I opted for the dried versions that were in my pantry. It still tasted wonderful! :)

This dish makes enough for 4 people, plus plenty for leftovers for the next few days. I hope you enjoy it!

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