Black beans and chicken added to macaroni and cheese make a full and hearty meal. The jalapeños add heat for extra flavor. This recipe makes a double batch which is perfect for busy weeknight meals. Make one for now and freeze the other one for later.
- 1 package (40 ounces) STOUFFER'S Family Size Macaroni & Cheese
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken breast meat
- 1 cup canned black beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, drained
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons southwest seasoning*
- Garnish: Fresh cilantro leaves and chopped tomatoes (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
BAKE Macaroni & Cheese according to package directions for 45 minutes or until just thawed and can be easily stirred. While macaroni is cooking, proceed with recipe.
HEAT oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat; stir in chicken, black beans, chiles, jalapeño and southwest seasoning.
REMOVE Macaroni & Cheese from oven; remove clear seal and empty into a large bowl. Gently fold in chicken mixture. Divide mixture into two 8-inch-square casserole dishes. Cover one dish with plastic wrap and foil; freeze for up to 2 months.
BAKE remaining casserole dish for 25 to 30 minutes or until fully heated and bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro and tomatoes, if desired.
*Southwest seasoning can be replaced with 1½ teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper and salt.
TO BAKE FROZEN CASSEROLE: Thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375° F. Remove plastic wrap and foil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until fully heated and bubbly.