Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mexican Sausage Cheesy Noodle Casserole

I know my food photos are ironically unappetizing.  I'm a children and family photographer...food isn't my forte.

Oh my word, this is delicious.  Like, my husband declared its supreme deliciousness, and proclaimed that it shall be in the regular rotation.  Yup, you want to make this.

I have been getting sick of ground beef.  I make so much Mexican food, and I'm starting to feel like it's all the exact same ingredients just arranged in a different order.  So, I decided to see how sausage would taste instead.  Um, wonderful, that's how.  Thanks to the seasoning in the sausage and salsa, this dish ends up being really spicy and flavorful without having to add any spices or seasoning powders!

1 lb ground sausage (I used regular, but this dinner is SPICY, so go with mild if you want to tame it a bit)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 16-oz jar green salsa (I love the Herdez brand)
2 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained
4 cups shredded cheese, divided (I like colby jack)

optional toppings: tomatoes, sour cream, black olives, jalepenos

1.  Preheat oven to 350. 
2.  In large skillet, brown sausage with garlic and onion until cooked through and onions are tender.  Drain any grease, then stir in cilantro.
3.  Once cilantro is wilted, add entire bottle of green salsa, stirring to coat sausage.
4.  Stir in cooked pasta until well mixed, then add two cups of the cheese, stirring until cheese is melted and mixed in well.
5.  Add mixture to lightly greased 3-qt casserole dish.  Spread remaining 2 cups of cheese evenly over top.
6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.
7.  Garnish with optional toppings, if desired, then serve!

We divided this dish into four equal servings, which ended up being right about 30 carbs each.  Not too shabby for a pasta dinner! 

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