So! The other day, I posted about menu planning for the week, and so far, I am ahead of my game! I made the taco pasta bake, and it came out really well! I'm even posting it in the same week that I made it!
Steve really enjoyed it, and we had some leftovers for the next night, which was really nice. I will admit, I'm not always very good about eating leftovers...but, this time, we did!
I found the Taco Pasta Bake from a foodie blog called Iowa Girl Eats. She has some great recipes- this wasn't the first I tried, but the first I am sharing, I think. Kristin's photos are much nicer than mine are, and far more colorful, but mine still tastes quite good!
As always, I didn't follow the directions to the letter- I rarely do that when it comes to recipes. I like to mix them up a bit, to make them my own. Of course, there are sometimes items in some recipes that I don't like (example, mushrooms. blech!), so I omit things like that. Steve is also pretty picky, so I will remove things that I know that he won't like either, such as peppers. He's a bit weird ;)
I didn't take step by step photos this time, but this is the finished dish.
Taco Pasta Bake
1lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 recipe homemade taco seasoning + 1/2 teaspoon salt
14.5oz can tomato sauce
14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
few dashes hot sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (frozen, fresh, or canned)
4oz can chopped green chilies
8oz macaroni shells, cooked and drained
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Toppings: chopped tomatoes, salsa, sliced olives, green onions, sour cream
1. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain, then return to the skillet. Add water, homemade taco seasoning, salt, tomato sauce, petite diced tomatoes, and hot sauce then stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook macaroni shells in salted, boiling water until just under al dente, then drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Turn stove off then add 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese to the tomato mixture and stir until smooth. Add corn, chilies, and cooked shells, then stir to combine. Pour mixture into a non-stick sprayed 8×8 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Top with crushed tortilla chips and remaining cheese then bake for 10 more minutes. Serve with toppings, if desired.
I did not use an onion. Another thing I dislike!
I used whole stewed tomatos in Mexican spices.
I didn't make my own taco seasoning, but used a package of pre-made. Someday, I will try making my own- I keep hearing how much better for you it is!
I didn't use the green chilies.
I baked in a 9x13 pan.
I forgot to buy sour cream, so didn't have that as a topping. So sad. I did buy salsa, but forgot to use it. Ooops. Next time, I'll try with both, along with black olives. YUM!
I did top with tortilla chips and cheese for the final ten minutes of baking. So good!
It tastes better than it looks, I promise!
We loved it! Such a great dinner.
What are you cooking up this week? Anything amazing that I should try?