Sunday, December 12, 2010

Taco Pasta Casserole

Brrr!  This weekend's winter storm left me unwilling to leave the warmth of my house.  Weekends like this one are a good time to make comfort food.  Although my husband tolerates casseroles, he doesn't love them nearly as much as I do.  He was out of town this weekend, so I went casserole crazy!  This pasta casserole was delicious, and it led to even more delicious leftovers.  This recipe is a must-make for those cold winter nights!

Source:  Joelen's Culinary Adventures


1 1/2 cups dry penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef (80/20)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (homemade or packaged)
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup multi-colored bell pepper strips
1 cup salsa (your preference - mild, medium, hot)
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
fresh parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot, fill with water and let it come to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente - 10-15 minutes. Drain and place in a baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan, add the oil and saute onions until softened. Crumble in the ground beef and brown. Add the taco seasoning, tomatoes, and bell pepper strips. Saute until vegetables soften. Add salsa then add salt & pepper to taste.

In the baking dish with pasta, pour over the ground beef and vegetable mixture. Toss lightly to incorporate. Top the pasta with shredded cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and lightly browns.

Before serving, top with chopped fresh parsley for garnish. Serve hot and if desired, serve with guacamole and/or sour cream.

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