Friday, April 5, 2013

Taco Pasta Bake

Oh my!  I've been MIA from this blog for over a month!  My apologies for those of you that actually read this blog!  March was so hectic with family events that it flew by so quickly for our family.  I'm back though, and have plenty of pins to test out and post.  :)


I bring you a pin that I've been curious about since I saw it last year; the Taco Pasta Bake.  The only time I've really tasted something like this was when the mister brought home a taco type Hamburger Helper meal home because it was on sale.  I don't remember if we liked it or not (it was so long ago and we usually avoid HH so that we cook more from scratch-nothing against it!), we only had it that once.  Yesterday while running errands, I browsed through my food board and cam across the pin and figured it was time to test it out.

The original pin had an incorrect link to "Cole World" blog, which doesn't have any recipes whatsoever!  I Google'd and corrected the link for the pin on my food pin board.  :)
 

You may have seen the pin with the entire recipe listed out in the description.  As you can tell in the photo, I just put the dish name and that it's already been tested by me ;)

Here is the recipe as found on Claudia's Recipes website:

Taco Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

1/2 - 3/4 of a bag of ziti
1lb of ground beef
1 envelope of taco seasoning
1C water
1/2 pkg of cream cheese
1 1/2C shredded cheese (Mexican style or Colby Jack)

Directions:
Boil pasta until just cooked, drain, rinse with cold water.

Brown ground beef, mix together taco season and  water, pour over cooked beef and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced.

Add the cream cheese to the beef mixture, stir until melted and combined, remove from heat.

Add pasta to the casserole dish and mix in 1C of the shredded cheese.

Top pasta and cheese with beef mixture, gently mix until the pasta is coated, top with remaining shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 uncovered for approx 30 minutes.  



It is as simple as it reads.  There were only a few things I did differently compared to the original; I didn't use Ziti noodles, but Penne since we usually have a lot in stock in our pantry (I also used the entire box instead of 3/4),  and I used 1 cup total of shredded cheese.

I used a 7 x 11 dish when I made this pasta bake.  It was actually a perfect size IMO.  It was a bit tough mixing, but it all fit!  Here are the cooked noodles (only to al dente) and 1/2 cup shredded cheese, mixed in the pan.

 I melted in the cream cheese with the taco seasoned meat and then combined it with the pasta...


Added1/2 cup shredded cheese on top (we used a fiesta blend), and baked uncovered for 30 minutes.


 The finished Taco Pasta Bake, fresh from the oven!  Also a picture of a serving in a bowl, waiting to be devoured by our oldest kiddo!
 


Another pinterest recipe success!  A definite hit with the kiddos and the mister found it tasty as well!  He did mention that the next time we make it, he wants to experiment with adding another spice or something to it to bring more flavor to the dish.  Gotta love someone who loves to try and improve on things, right?

Hope y'all enjoy this dish!  Cheers!

6 comments:

  1. I bet it would be good too, if you added black olives, some chopped tomatoes and maybe some banana peppers. YUMMY.

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    Replies
    1. We tried your suggestion of black olive and tomatoes and it was a HIT with our eldest (she loves olives and tomatoes) but not the younger two. :) we'll have to make it half and half from now on! :)

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  2. Just finished making this and my daughter says it smells yummy. Now to just pop it in the oven.

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  3. I am always looking for new recipes for my residents I am the chef and they are hard to please, but this they should enjoy they love casseroles and Mexican style taste. I'll keep you posted how they lied it I know I will love it.
    Chef Ernesto`

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  4. I wonder instead of tomatoes if you could use rotels instead and it would be good in it. When you added the tomatoes did you use can or fresh?

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