Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Taco Pasta Bake!

Now that it is FINALLY getting cooler, this means that it is time to make comfort foods again! I love warm and hearty dishes, but when it is 103*, I really don't want to be baking! This weekend was in the 50's, and frankly, I'm okay with it, and I'm ready for it!
This week, I am sharing a new recipe I tried, called 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, and we really enjoyed it! In fact, there are leftovers for tonight!





Taco Pasta Bake

Ingredients:
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
Directions:
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.


My notes/edits:

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?  Share your recipes with us! We'd love to feature you on an upcoming Tasty Tuesday! 


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