Hey, y'all! So... the other night I was left with a predicament. After our Publix run, we came home and unpacked the groceries. Ashley left out some chicken tenders thought I thought we were going to use for dinner. I planned on making my Better Than Take Out Orange Chicken...but she had other plans. Before I knew it, the chicken was being boiled and turned into chicken salad for our lunches. Yay for having our lunches packed but crap! What was I going to make for dinner? We had zero meat defrosted, no sauce for pasta and as much as I wanted to just dive into a bowl of boxed macaroni and cheese, I decided to turn this into a challenge.
I threw my hair up into a ponytail (a la Violet Baudelaire), grabbed my cast iron and decided to play Chopped. I threw open the pantry door and found my main ingredient: canned chili. Yeah... seriously. We picked up a case of 10 cans at Sams to whip a few batches of my favorite football dip- Warm Chili Cheese Dip. I used this BOMB dip as inspiration for dinner. I also used one of the cans of Rotel we bought for my famous Slammin' Queso Dip in this concoction. Nothing like throwing a bunch of appetizer ingredients together to form dinner to eat during the big game!
3 cups chicken stock
1 15 oz can chili (I use Hormel)
1 10 oz can Rotel
9 oz Penne pasta
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar.
1. Add stock, Rotel, spices, pasta and chili to a large cast iron. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
2. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. After 30 minutes, add cream cheese cubes. Be sure to spread them out--- do not stir... yet! Replace the lid and let the mixture continue to cook for 5 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat. Add shredded cheese to the top of the pasta. Allow the pasta to sit until the cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately.
Yes! It's truly that easy! What makes the meal so perfect (aside from the fact that I had all of these ingredients on hand) is that this is a one pot meal! You can practically throw everything into the cast iron and forget about it for half an hour while you watch football. Clean up is a breeze and can easily be done during a commercial break! This dish tastes like football! It pairs incredibly with an ice cold glass of beer (where are my beer fans at??). I'm pretty sure I scored a game winning touchdown with this dip inspired one-pot pasta dish!
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