Taco Pasta Casserole

The comfort of a casserole meets my love for tacos. My recipe is way and economical. Can’t get much better than that. Most of the items used in this recipe you probably have in the pantry or refrigerator.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef

1 diced onion

Garlic salt and pepper to taste

1 package of taco seasoning mix

7-8 ounces Velveeta cheese

2 16 ounce jars of salsa or picante sauce, divided

1 pound box of seashell macaroni, cooked to package directions

2 or more cups of grated Monterey Jack and cheddar or your favorite cheese

Garnish (optional)

Sour cream

Pico de Gallo

Scallions

Olives

mmmm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef and onion. Season meat with garlic salt and pepper. Boil pasta while beef is cooking. Drain beef. Add taco seasoning packet, Velveeta cheese and a cup of salsa. Keep warm on stove. Drain pasta and add beef mixture. Stir to mix. Add salsa to the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Add additional salsa to beef and macaroni mixture so it is not dry. Pour beef and macaroni mixture in casserole dish. Generously cover top with grated cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Serve with refried beans and rice. Enjoy!

Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Recently I made a delicious casserole from Plain Chicken. I made her Taco Spaghetti which is made with pasta. As I ate it, I thought I bet this would be delicious with spaghetti squash. My recipe is based on her recipe with just a couple of changes.

Ingredients:

4 – 5 large spaghetti squash

1 1/4 pounds ground chuck

1 onion chopped

Garlic salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 envelope of taco seasoning mix

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 can of Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, do not drain

1 8 ounce box of Velveeta, cut into cubes

2 cups of grated cheese, I used a Mexican blend

Sour cream, optional for garnish

Chives, optional for garnish

To cook spaghetti squash, I poked holes in it and microwaved each one for 2-3 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, I was able to cut them in half easily. Once in half, I removed and discarded the seeds. Next I placed the squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish with half inch of water. I cooked two halves at a time for 8 – 10 minutes.* Once cooked tender, and cooled, I shred the inside of the squash and placed it on paper towels to absorb the liquid from the squash.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Cook ground chuck with onions and season with garlic salt and pepper. Drain meat and onion mixture and place in a large bowl. Add cans of soup and Rotel, taco seasoning mix and the drained spaghetti squash. Mix and combine all ingredients. Place taco squash mixture into the baking dish and top with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and chives if desired. Enjoy!

*Cooking times will vary according to size of the spaghetti squash.

Recipe inspired by Plain Chicken’s Taco Spaghetti.

Cool Chicken Taco Pizza

I love pizza. I love tacos. Today I created a cool chicken taco pizza. Everything you love on a taco but made on a pizza crust served room temperature. Make the crust ahead or buy a premise crust and assemble in less than 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

Pizza dough or use a pre-made crust

I purchased pizza dough at my grocery store bakery. I rolled it out on a lightly floured surface. I sprayed Pam on the pizza dough (or brush with oil) and baked it in a 400 degree oven on a stone for 15 minutes.

Cool completely. Make it the day or evening before.

Pizza Toppings:

1 8 ounce container of whipped cream cheese

2 Tablespoons of sour cream

1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning

Mix together and spread on cool pizza crust.

Shredded iceberg lettuce

Rotisserie chicken, shredded or cut in bite size pieces

Mexican cheese, grated

Pico de Gallo, I avoided adding the liquid

Chipotle Ranch Salad Dressing

Assemble pizza in layers, beginning with the shredded lettuce. Press down after adding each layer. Add chicken and Mexican grated cheese. I used fresh Pico de Gallo scattered on top of the cheese. I also added a drizzle of Chipotle Ranch Salad Dressing. This dressing some might consider spicy, you can substitute sour cream or guacamole or not use a topping on top of the Pico de Gallo. Enjoy!