Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spicy Spaghetti

(This recipe was originally posted in conjunction with the Meijer Ad week of 12/30/12 - 1/5/13)

We were staying at the home of my cousin in Colorado when we enjoyed this yummy casserole for the first time.  We weren't planning to stay for supper, but changed our minds...and she whipped up this casserole on very short notice!  Basic ingredients create the Mexican twist on an Italian dish.  It comes together quickly, and is easily customizable to your family's tastes.  See the options and tips for ways to make it less (or more) spicy. 

1 lb ground beef
1/2 C diced onion
1  16 oz box of spaghetti noodles, broken in half
1  24 oz jar "zesty" spaghetti sauce
1  16 oz jar of salsa (pick your heat)
1 1/2 C cottage cheese
1 1/2 C sour cream
1  4oz can diced green chilies, drained slightly
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef with onion.  Drain and set aside.  Boil spaghetti noodles for 10 minutes and drain.  Mix cooked spaghetti noodles with ground beef/onion, spaghetti sauce, salsa, and half the green chilies.  Spread mixture in a greased 9x13 pan.  Mix together the cottage cheese, sour cream, and remaining green chilies.  Spread mixture on top of spaghetti noodles.  Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.  Serve with breadsticks or garlic bread.  Serves 10 adults. 

Options and Tips:
  • To increase the heat of this casserole:  Use "hot" salsa, or use a can and a half of Rotel instead of salsa.  You could also use 2 full cans of green chilies (put one can in the noodle mixture, and one can in the topping.)  To decrease the heat, leave out the green chilies.  OR, to make part of it spicy and part of it mild, just use mild salsa, divide the casserole into two 8x8 pans, then add all the green chilies to one pan and don't put any in the other pan. 
  • Optional add-ins:  diced green pepper, olives, pepperoni
  • Optional substitutions:  use cream cheese instead of sour cream, use shredded Mexican blend cheese instead of mozzarella 
This recipe was given to me by Catherine Cammenga.  I made some changes to the ingredients and instructions.

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