Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mexican Casserole

We had a potluck dinner with our Sunday School class the other night, and as usual, I fretted over what to make. I wanted to do something that was easy, could feed a large crowd and most importantly—really, really yummy. I curled up on the couch surrounded by my cookbooks, magazines, recipe cards and a glass of wine (I find that wine always helps in any cooking process). Husband looked at me at one point and said “I think you’re over-thinking this”. Duh.

I finally settled on a new favorite in our house—Mexican Casserole. My sister gave me the recipe a few weeks ago and it was a big hit. You can’t go wrong with this one—cheese, rice, ground beef, Rotel and Doritos. What’s not to love (although, it tastes better than it looks!).

I think I might experience with the topping to see if I can get it to look more like "Gourmet Casserole al la Mexicana" and less like “Congealed Cheese Mess”. I added a little garnish to the top, but you can see what good that did. ;) Luckily, no one seemed to mind. I even heard one guest say it was his “favorite dish by far”. Maybe that will keep me from freaking out the next time I need to cook something…but probably not.


1 Family Size package of Saffron Rice (gold package)
1 ½ lbs. of lean ground beef
1 lb. of Velveeta cheese
1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can of Rotel Tomatoes and Diced Chilies (I used Hot for an extra kick, but Mild still adds good flavor)
1 bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese (a Fiesta blend works great as well)


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook rice according to package directions.
3. Brown ground beef and drain the fat.
4. Cut the Velveeta into cubes so it will melt easier.
5. Combine the cooked rice and meat with the cheese, mixing until well blended.
6. Add soup and Rotel, stirring until blended. Pour into 9x13 casserole dish.
7. Crush Doritos and spread on top of casserole. Add shredded cheese over Doritos.
8. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, or until heated through.

The Doritos really make the dish, believe it or not. I’m thinking of creating a similar recipe using my favorite Doritos-Cool Ranch. Maybe a Chicken, Bacon and Ranch Casserole? I’ll keep you posted.