Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Recipe Time: Taco Bake!

Everyone has that go-to meal, right?  Like when you're planning your weekly menu, and you've got that one night to fill, but you're drawing a blank.

This Taco Bake recipe that I'm going to share with you today is one of my go-to's.  You can check out the original source here.  It's so good, and pretty quick and easy too - double bonus!

First, gather your goods!

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 an onion, diced
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilis
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can of refried beans [or pinto beans, read on.]
2 cups shredded cheddar, or whatever type of cheese you prefer
Fritos chips [or taco shells, read on.]
Any additional toppings you might want to add (guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, etc.)

Then, get to work on this deliciousness!
First, brown your burger with about 1/2 a white onion, then drain.  Season with the taco seasoning, according to the package directions.  (Turns out I actually forgot the taco seasoning step this time around.  It was still delish!)

In the mean time, puree your pinto beans.  The recipe calls for refried beans, which you can definitely use.  I prefer to buy a can of pinto beans and puree them in my little Silver Bullet thingy.  I think they taste infinitely better than canned refried beans.

Along with the pureed pintos (or refried beans - your choice), you'll need to gather your tomato sauce and green chilis.

Mix together the ground beef and onion, beans, tomato sauce, and chilies.  Simmer this mixture for 5 minutes or so, until heated through and bubbly.

When it's heated through and bubbly, pour it into an 8x8 baking pan.
For the next step, I usually use Fritos.  But, we've had this unopened box of crunchy taco shells sitting in our house since July, so I decided to use them instead.  Got rid of them and saved me about $3 on the Fritos!  (Yes, folks, I really am that cheap.)

I used about 5 shells, and crunched them up.  I broke them with my hands, then used a cup to crunch them even smaller.

Pour the crunched shells (or Fritos) on top of the meat and bean mixture, then top with shredded cheddar (not pictured).

Then, bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. 

In my hurry to devour this yummy dish, I totally forgot to get a picture of my dinner plate! 
This is seriously one of my favorite meals.  It's quick and easy, and so delicious!
What's your "go-to" meal?
Please let me know what you think if you try this dish!

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