I have never forgotten it. A lot of things I ate in Arkansas had Rotel in them, which was a foreign ingredient to me at the time. I couldn’t figure out what was giving everything a little heat and awesome flavor. My mama never used that there Rotel stuff, but my kids mama sure does. That stuff is delicious!
Anywho, I did some investigating and found out who had made the casserole of which I speak. It was a sweet little older women and she was more then happy to tell me what was in it.
Ground Beef, Pinto Beans, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Rotel, Cheese and Crunched up Chips. Wow, easy enough.
I made it that way a few times, but you know how I just can’t leave anything alone. (I like to add a finely shredded carrot, for a little more veggie-ness, a little smoked paprika and cumin for a little more flare and I have found that my family likes it just as well with ground chicken or turkey.)
I try not to use canned cream soups, but this is one of a few recipes that I just can’t give up, so I cave and use it. Hawaiian Haystacks and Chicken Chili Casserole are the other two meals I just can’t live without.
When I’m real ambitious or have the right ingredients in my fridge I whip up my own version of cream soup to add, but I keep a secret stash in the pantry for days where that is just not going to happen.
My family loves this casserole and always gobbles it up. It’s definitely a keeper. We serve it with Spanish Rice, Salad and Corn.
- 1 lb ground chicken or turkey (ground beef works great too.)
- 1 cup finely grated carrot
- 1 can rotel (use mild if your kids don't like a little heat)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans (sometimes I use 2)
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded mild or sharp cheddar (colby jack works great too)
- 2 cups crushed corn chips (Nacho flavored Doritos taste awesome)
- Cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350
- In large frying pan, brown ground meat with finely shredded carrot until meat is completely cooked, don't forget to salt and pepper at this stage
- Add rotel, cream of chicken, drained beans, smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic powder, mix well and heat through
- Pour meat mixture into a 9x13 pan and top with shredded cheese
- Cook in 350 oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is completly melted
- Sprinkle crushed chips over melted cheese and return to oven for 15-20 minutes or until casserole is bubbling.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes
- Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired