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My Stick Family from

Dec 24, 2015

Mac and Cheese with or without a Southwestern Twist

The original recipe from Hillshire Farm:


  • 4 Hillshire Farm® Turkey Pepper Jack Links
  • 1 pkg. (7.25 ounces) macaroni and cheese mix
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • ½ cup prepared salsa
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup corn chips, crushed (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut links into 1-inch pieces; set aside. Cook macaroni in a large pan of boiling water for 7 minutes or until tender; drain well. 2. In medium bowl combine cooked macaroni, contents of cheese sauce packet, milk and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Stir in salsa, corn, links and ½ cup of the cheese. 3. Place mixture in a greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack cheese combined with corn chips, if desired. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until hot.

This is how I changed it.
We buy a variety of Hillshire smoked sausage pretty regularly, so I just sliced up half of whatever I had on hand.  Rather than a boxed mac and cheese, I just cooked half a pound of rotini (or spiral, or whatever you call it in your area!).  I used a can of Mexican corn instead of frozen corn.  Lastly, I added more cheeses since I didn't make boxed macaroni.  It turned out pretty good, actually.

Now, recipe reviews where people say, "This recipe is amazing.  Here is how I replaced or omitted every single ingredient..." drive me up a tree.  That's why I'm not rating or reviewing the Hillshire recipe.  I'm posting for two reason.  1) I can find it again.  2) To encourage you to try a new recipe even if you don't have what seems like required ingredients.

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