Cheesy Southwest Deer Macaroni


Cheesy Southwest Deer Macaroni


  • 2 cans of mild Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 cans of corn (you can use frozen or fresh corn as well)
  • 2-3 lbs of deer meat (or substitute with hamburger meat)
  • Seasonings of your choice (salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, etc.)
  • 2 boxes of elbow macaroni
  • 2-3 jars (adjust to your preference) of medium Tostitos cheese dip


  1. Prepare the Meat Mixture:
    • In a large pot or skillet, brown the deer meat or hamburger meat over medium heat.
    • Once the meat is browned, add the cans of mild Rotel and corn (drain excess liquid if using canned corn).
    • Season the mixture with your preferred spices. Stir well and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  2. Cook the Elbow Macaroni:
    • While the meat mixture is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    • Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente.
    • Drain the macaroni and set aside.
  3. Combine Macaroni and Meat Mixture:
    • Add the drained elbow macaroni to the pot with the meat mixture.
    • Stir everything together, ensuring the macaroni is well coated with the meat and vegetable mixture.
  4. Add Tostitos Cheese Dip:
    • Pour 2-3 jars (adjust to your desired cheesiness) of medium Tostitos cheese dip into the pot.
    • Stir the cheese dip into the macaroni and meat mixture until it’s evenly distributed.
  5. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once the cheese is fully melted and everything is well mixed, your Cheesy Southwest Deer Macaroni is ready to be served.
    • Serve hot and enjoy this hearty and flavorful dish with family and friends.

This recipe offers a delightful blend of flavors with the kick from the Rotel, sweetness from the corn, savory deer meat (or hamburger), and gooey cheesiness from the Tostitos cheese dip. It’s a budget-friendly option that can feed a large group, making it perfect for gatherings or family dinners

To ensure your Cheesy Southwest Deer Macaroni turns out delicious and satisfying, here are some tips to consider:

  1. Seasoning is Key:
    • Don’t be afraid to experiment with seasonings. Consider using a blend of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to enhance the flavor profile of the dish. Taste as you go and adjust the seasonings according to your preference.
  2. Lean Deer Meat:
    • If using deer meat, which tends to be lean, you may want to add a bit of olive oil or butter while browning to prevent the mixture from becoming too dry. Alternatively, you can mix it with a small amount of ground pork or beef for added moisture and flavor.
  3. Mixing Cheese Varieties:
    • Experiment with different cheese varieties or a combination of cheeses to add depth to the flavor. For example, you can mix sharp cheddar with the Tostitos cheese dip for a richer taste.
  4. Fresh Ingredients:
    • If possible, use fresh corn instead of canned corn for a crisp and sweet texture. Additionally, consider using fresh tomatoes and chilies for a more vibrant flavor.
  5. Garnish for Freshness:
    • Add freshness to the dish by garnishing with chopped cilantro, green onions, or a squeeze of lime juice just before serving. This can balance the richness of the cheese and add a pop of color.
  6. Consistency of Cheese Dip:
    • Adjust the consistency of the cheese sauce by adding a small amount of milk or cream if needed. This can help achieve the desired creaminess without becoming too thick or clumpy.
  7. Customize Toppings:
    • Allow individuals to customize their portions by setting out optional toppings like diced avocado, sour cream, or hot sauce. This adds a personal touch and accommodates different preferences.
  8. Make-Ahead Option:
    • Prepare the meat and vegetable mixture in advance and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, reheat the mixture and then add the cooked macaroni and cheese dip. This can save time, especially when hosting a gathering.
  9. Serve with a Side:
    • Consider serving the Cheesy Southwest Deer Macaroni with a side of salad or steamed vegetables to balance the richness of the dish.
  10. Keep it Warm:
    • If serving for a party or gathering, keep the macaroni warm in a slow cooker or chafing dish to maintain the gooey and melty consistency of the cheese.

Remember, cooking is a creative process, and these tips are meant to be a starting point. Feel free to adjust and tailor the recipe to suit your taste preferences and dietary requirements. Enjoy your Cheesy Southwest Deer Macaroni

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