In the past, I was using more ground chicken in our meals instead of ground beef, primarily for health reasons. Then, when I was grocery shopping I could rarely find it at the store, and slowly but surely I started slacking on my ground chicken purchases and going back to ground beef.
Turns out that ground chicken needs to be my ‘regular’ instead of ground beef since I have issues with cholesterol. Seriously it’s just not fair to have high cholesterol when you eat healthy…ugh stinking genetics!
So, as I was venturing out on my latest grocery store trip, I found ground chicken at Walmart! Even better…it was cheaper than the ground beef! That’s a win in my book!
I decided that for dinner, I really wanted a comfort type meal. I’m not sure why when I think of comfort meals I think of pasta but it’s filling! I love that I can make a casserole style meal with some pasta and have enough to feed a large family or feed my family multiple times over!
This dish easily could feed at least 10! We have enough to last us a week, but I’m sure I’ll be eating it for lunch and dinner, so maybe not quite that long. I also enjoy adding a Mexican twist to give it a little spice…not too much of course but just enough!
I added a little taco seasoning to our ground chicken, then I mixed those into the noodles along with a few other ingredients and assembled my layered casserole! The chicken is delicious and honestly I can’t even tell the difference between it and the ground beef. My husband and I loved the taste and the texture of this ground chicken.
This is a great dish for a pot luck too since it has lots of servings. As we head back to school this week, I’m so happy that I made this because it also gave me a night off from cooking and allowed us to focus on all the back to school fun activities!
For this recipe, I adapted my Mexican Lasagna. I knew that since the lasagna was a hit this would be too and it sure was! We paired it with a side salad for the perfect dinner!
Mexican Chicken Macaroni Bake
- 1 Lb Ground Chicken
- 1 Package Taco Seasoning or Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
- 1 12-16 oz Package Elbow Macaroni or Gluten Free Elbow Macaroni
- 2 8 oz Cans Tomato Sauce
- 1 14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies Drained
- 1 15 oz Can Ranch Style Beans
- 1/2 Cup Sliced Black Olives
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
- 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- 1. In a large skillet, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, cook the ground chicken until well done.
- 2. While the chicken is cooking, prepare and cook the macaroni as instructed on the package. Drain and return to the bowl.
- 3. Once the chicken is done, drain it and return to the skillet adding in the taco seasoning and preparing as it is indicated on the package.
- 4. Add the cooked and seasoned chicken to the macaroni pasta along with the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes with chilies. Mix this until all the pasta is well coated.
- 5. Spray a 9x13 dish with non stick cooking spray, then place 1/2 the pasta mixture on the bottom of the dish evenly.
- 6. Top it evenly with the ranch style beans, half of the olives and onions, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- 7. Place the remaining pasta on top of this layer.
- 8. Top with the remaining black olives, onions, and cheese.
- 9. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Serves 8-10
Now, I’m hungry! Are you?
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