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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Easy Cheesy Taco Bake

If you’ve ever cast about the kitchen at the last minute, panicking about what to make for dinner (and who hasn’t) here is a good recipe to save you from peanut-butter-and-jelly night.  My husband, his two brothers, and his father devour this dish like it’s going out of style and are always asking for more.  It’s easy to make from things you have in your cupboard and fridge, and is fantastic leftover. The best part is, if you’re missing something, you can improvise, or omit it altogether.  It’s a flexible recipe. 
Easy Cheesy Taco Bake
1 box shells and cheese dinner
1 lb ground beef
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1 T fresh parsley
1 pkg taco seasoning
½ c water
½ c sour cream (I’ve used cream cheese in a pinch, same result)
¾ c shredded cheddar (more if you like)
¾ c salsa
¾ c coarsely crushed tortilla chips (this is a good use for those end-of-the-bag staleys)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown meat, add onions halfway through.  Drain fat, add seasoning and water, cook until completely incorporated, about 3-5 min.  Prepare shells and cheese according to box directions.  Stir in sour cream with cheese sauce mix.  Spoon half of mac and cheese into an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.  Top with half of meat, half of tomato, and half of shredded cheese, half of parsley, and half of green onion.  Spoon rest of mac and cheese on top and add the rest of the ingredients, ending with cheese.  Spread salsa on top of cheese, and cover with foil.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until bubbly, then uncover.  Top with crushed tortilla chips, bake another 5 minutes, until chips just start to brown.  Serve with hot sauce and a dollop of sour cream.    

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