***Disclosure: This recipe is sponsored by DataRank and Hidden Valley. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
This time of year, the last thing I want to do is spend hours and hours slaving away in the kitchen. There are much better things to do, like watching the kids play outside on their playground, taking a dip in the pool, or even just walking around my quiet little NE Ohio neighborhood with the family. Cooking? Who has time for that? Not me!
While I may not want to spend hours and hours cooking during the summer months, I still want my family to enjoy from-scratch meals that are made with love. No hot dogs or frozen meals here. That's not how I roll.
Of course, even though I prefer making meals myself rather than rely on convenience foods, I love it when I find a recipe that's super-simple and absolutely delicious. A meal that has my entire family licking their plates clean and begging for seconds. Or in the case of my "Bottomless Pit" of a teenage boy, thirds or fourths!
Recently, we were shopping at Walmart and I saw the brand new flavors of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressings. Roasted Garlic, Sweet Chili, Cucumber, Avocado....Is your mouth watering yet?
My family absolutely loves Ranch dressing, so seeing such inventive flavors on the shelves inspired me. Maybe I could use this family favorite and make something creative and unexpected. After all, Ranch dressing works for so much more than salads!
I picked up several of these great new Hidden Valley flavors, including the Roasted Garlic, the Sweet Chili, and also the Fiesta Salsa Light Dressing pictured below. Don't these sound amazing?!
After getting home from our shopping trip, I took a look at what I had available and started brainstorming. How could I incorporate Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing into our meal in a creative and unexpected way?
I saw some Russet Potatoes and some juicy red peppers. Hmmm...What could I do with these ingredients?
Then I saw a nice Beef Polska Kielbasa, and it hit me. I would make a simple casserole using these ingredients as well as Hidden Valley's Roasted Garlic Ranch. Who doesn't love a good casserole, after all? Sure, there's some prep work involved, but then you can pop it in the oven and walk away.
To make my casserole, I did have to spend a bit of time chopping the potatoes, peppers, and Kielbasa. This only took about 10 minutes, and was definitely worth the effort.
Once my ingredients were chopped and ready to go, I threw the potatoes and peppers into a 9"x13" baking dish. I seasoned them with some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and some Italian herbs.
After everything was seasoned up, it was time for my super-secret, extra special ingredient: Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing. I did this in stealth mode. No one saw me add this, and I didn't bother to mention it. I wanted to see if my family could tell there was a flavorful difference in this casserole.
I just squirted about 1/2 cup of the Roasted Garlic Ranch on top of the potato and pepper mixture. You could add more or less to your tastes. I just kind of eye-balled it until it looked like enough.
Then I stirred my casserole gently, making sure that each chunk of potato and pepper were coated in the dressing. You don't need a thick coating, of course. Just a little bit will add tons of flavor!
Then I added my sliced Kielbasa, and gave it another quick stir.
I tossed this into the oven, which was preheated to 400°, and I set the timer for about 55 minutes. This is enough time to make sure the potatoes come out nice and tender. Because.....well.....Undercooked potatoes are pretty nasty! I did stir the mixture at about the 30 minute mark, just to prevent some of the potatoes from overcooking while others didn't cook enough.
After the timer went off, I took my casserole out of the oven. No, it's not time to dig in just yet. Now comes the fun part!
I added a nice, heaping handful of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to the top of the dish. I also decided that some French Fried Onions would make a nice addition, since they offer a bit of crunch.
I put the casserole back into the oven and set it to broil. Please note: It is very important to keep a close watch on foods that are under the broiler. This is some serious, serious heat, and food can get scorched rather rapidly. It only took about 3 or 4 minutes on Broil for the cheese to become gooey and slightly browned. This was perfect.
This casserole is nice and hearty, offering more than enough to feed a family of 5. (Yes, even the teenage boy got full.) The potatoes were nice and tender, and the Kielbasa and peppers were the perfect companion to them. Of course the addition of Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch added some amazing flavor, making this every day dish anything but ordinary. The Ranch flavor wasn't at all overpowering, but it added a nice tanginess to the dish that was completely unexpected. Add to that the crispy fried onions and the cheese? Heaven on a plate. Literally. This stuff is AMAZING. And so easy, too!
There's really no way to screw up this casserole. You can adjust the seasonings to your taste, or even try different flavors of Hidden Valley Ranch to change things up a bit. Here are some basic instructions, but please feel free to have fun and play around with this recipe. Make additions, substitute seasonings....The sky's the limit, folks!
Cheesy Kielbasa Ranch Potato Casserole
How do YOU incorporate Hidden Valley Ranch into your family's meals? Do you have any creative recipe ideas? I'd love to hear them!
In the meantime, please head to your local Walmart stores and grab some of these new Hidden Valley Ranch flavors.
CLICK HERE to download a valuable $1,00 coupon good on any Hidden Valley Flavored Ranch Salad Dressing!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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