As one of my absolute favorite cooking seasons is coming to a close; I’m sure as heck getting in as many casseroles & soups as possible before it gets too hot to eat heavy! This dish screams spiced up comfort for a crowd. Even though it’s just The Farmer & I, I make the full portion (approx. 6-8 servings) because…
More bang for your buck; Sunday night’s dinner = Tuesday night’s dinner & Thursday’s lunch @ work #budgetfriendly
It freezes super well & can be defrosted overnight & reheated in the oven at 350° for 20 ish minutes – with loads more cheese on top of course. (Hey – I said this was Farmhouse food, not Whole30!!)
Here’s What You’ll Need:
✅1 pound Penne Pasta (sub your favorite “tube-like” pasta of choice)
✅1.5-2lbs of Ground Beef (farm fresh dontcha know!)
✅1 medium/large Vidalia (Sweet) Onion; chopped
✅1 Jalapeño; finely chopped (seeds in, seeds out – your choice)
✅2 TBSP Chili Powder
✅1 TBSP Cumin
✅1 TBSP Coriander Seeds; grounded fresh if you can!
✅1/2 TBSP Garlic Powder
✅1 TSP Black Pepper
✅2 TBSP Butter
✅2 TBSP Flour; All Purpose
✅2 Cups Milk (REAL Milk y’all!)
✅2.5 Cups Cheese; grated. (We like using Jalapeño Monterey Jack, however a Sharp Cheddar would work here as well)
✅1 Can (14oz) Fire Roasted Tomatoes or 2 Cans (10 oz) Rotel
✅1 bunch Cilantro; chopped
✅1 Poblano; charred & chopped
✅1 Bell Pepper, chopped
Let’s Get Started:
1. Let’s start with some easy stuff we can knock out before diving into our mis en place; go ahead & start preheating your oven to 350° and bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta.
2. Now that you’ve got that out of the way, let’s organize everything else. Start by chopping up your onion & jalapeño.
3. Next, bring together your spice mix into a bowl & set aside. As noted above; if you’re able to grind your coriander fresh I would highly recommend it!
4. Last bit of prep, measure out your butter, flour & milk. Grate your cheese & open your can of fire roasted tomatoes (or Rotel).
5. Ok, let’s ACTUALLY get started 😉
6. While your water is coming to a boil; preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat & brown off your ground beef. When it’s almost finished, I tend to drain off any excess grease before tossing in anything else, so if you’re like me – go ahead & do that now.
7. Once drained, add the onions & jalapeño to the ground beef & mix it up.
8. Once combined, go ahead & toss in that spice mix as well, taste for seasoning, adjust & turn off the heat.
9. Next up we’ll focus on getting that pasta in the water (you’ll want to cook it a few minutes less than the recommended cooking time since it’ll be finishing off in the oven) & making your pan sauce. Yikes, there are a lot of dishes here – where’s The Farmer, I need someone on clean up duty! Better yet… cocktail duty!
10. Okay, Okay – back to business. I like using a larger sauce pan than you think you’ll need because this can get messy. Start by melting your butter & adding in your flour; if you wanna get all fancy – we’re creating a roux here.
11. Allow the roux to cook for a few minutes (1-3) over medium-low heat & then start whisking in your milk. Bring this mixture to a low boil & then stir in your cheese. Once the cheese has melted, add in your chopped cilantro & fire roasted tomatoes (or Rotel!) Stir Stir.
12. By now your pasta should be just about ready; drain & toss into your casserole dish. Now grab the cooked hamburger we set aside earlier & add it to the mix.
13. Next up, pour in that glorious cheesy sauce & stir to combine. Go ahead & add some extra cheese on top too – let’s be naughty!!
14. Finally we’re ready to pop this baby in the oven! Cook for about 15 minutes & then finish under the broiler until the cheese is gloriously gooey & golden brown.
15. Woof, I think this is the most steps ever (lol!) – y’all we’re finally ready to eat!!!
Enjoy every bit of this gloriously naughty meal y’all!
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or your variations, I would love to hear from you!
Until next time,
Adapted from: Rachael Ray