What do you do when you want to make something Mexican-themed for dinner but you don’t have tortillas or tortilla chips? Can’t make nachos or burritos or enchiladas. That’s pretty much all I know how to make. And I wasn’t about to look up a recipe for making tortillas – if I’m too lazy to go to the grocery store 1.5 miles away, I’m also too lazy for that. But hubby really, really wanted Mexican food.
Solution: taco casserole. I know this sounds weird. Roll with it.
Well, the recipe was actually called taco bake, but there were a lot of similar recipes called taco casserole and that’s more descriptive for me. I chose this one because I had the ingredients, mainly.
Also, it looked simple enough. Sauté ground beef and chopped onion.
Get some taco seasoning ready. If you don’t have any, make your own.
When the beef is done, drain it and then add water and tomato sauce. I also added diced tomatoes, and instead of canned tomato sauce, I used leftover sauce from the other night.
Also add your taco seasoning. This is important!
Stir it up and then cover and let simmer for a while. While it’s simmering, cook some pasta.
And grate some cheddar cheese.
Mmm, the sauce is looking and smelling good.
Stir in the pasta, cheese, and also a can of chopped green chilies.
Pour it all into a greased 9x13 pan.
Top with cheese and toss it in a 400 degree oven.
[I accidentally typed “400 degree onion” and then sat there staring at it, trying to figure out why that didn’t look right. Got it now'!]
And when it comes out, it’s hot and bubbly and delicious.
My pictures make it look more yellow than it really was.
Nor do they capture how delicious this was. Really. It tasted nothing like your traditional baked pasta dishes because of the addition of the taco seasoning. It tasted like a baked taco with pasta in place of the tortilla.
And the leftovers are so, so satisfying.
Make it, and enjoy it.
Best part: dishes were done before it was even finished cooking. Cleanup was a snap!