One Pot Taco Pasta

It’s a New Year, which means most of you are trying to eat healthier. So, this pasta recipe may have you clicking elsewhere for meal ideas.

However, I like to be realistic when trying to eat healthier and know that I’m still going to want a big bowl of pasta every now and then. And you know what… that’s OK! Nutrition is all about balance, in my opinion.

So, for those of you who want to stick around and find out what this dish is all about, welcome to the carb side! (see what I did there?)

One pot meals have quickly become a favorite of mine. I mean, only one pan to clean after making dinner? Sign me up!

This recipe combines  an indulgent bowl of pasta with the mouth-watering taste of tacos. The combination may sound weird at first, but trust me, you won’t regret trying this recipe. My hubby and toddler gobble it up every time I make it!

You can adjust the heat level of this dish to your preference. We use a mild salsa since my toddler eats this with us. However, if you like it spicier then I say go for a medium, or even hot, salsa.

Adding some sour cream and crushed tortilla chips on top is the way to go for us! But feel free to add taco sauce, jalapeno, extra cheese, whatever your taco loving heart desires.

Hope you guys enjoy the recipe!

 

One Pot Taco Pasta

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. small pasta noodles (I used Medium Shells)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Packet of taco seasoning (or you can use a homemade recipe like this one)
  • 1 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot)
  • 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Additional toppings: Sour cream, jalapeños, tortilla chips, etc.

Directions

  1. In a large skillet (that comes with a lid), brown ground beef on medium high.
  2. Once cooked, drain grease.
  3. Add the ground beef back to the pan and stir in taco seasoning, water, salsa, pasta, and green chilies. Note: Be sure the noodles are covered in the liquid so they cook properly. Push them down a bit if needed.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer on medium low heat for about 15-17 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  5. Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.
  6. Serve with desired toppings.

 

*Recipe adapted from Mother Thyme*

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Beef & Bean Chili

The weather here is insane this week! It’s the middle of January and there should be snow and cold temps. Instead we’ve had lots of rain and temps as high as 70 degrees! Cray cray I tell you.

Even if it does feel like spring outside, I still have winter on the brain. And winter means comfort food. And comfort food means chili. Yummmm!

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Beef & Bean Chili. It’s hearty and comforting, and perfect on a cold winter night. Serve it up with grilled cheese for a filling dinner.

Have a great weekend!

(Ignore the butter in the background. I needed it a room temp for a cake I was making. The stove was warming it up, hehe)

Beef & Bean Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 15 oz. can diced “chili ready” tomatoes (or regular diced tomatoes)
  • 1 16 oz. can mild chili beans (I use Brooks brand)
  • 1 40 oz. can hot chili beans (I use Brooks brand)
  • 1 10 oz. can original Rotel
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 packets chili seasoning mix (I use McCormick brand)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, oyster cracker, saltines

Directions

  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet on medium. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Mix 1 packet of chili seasoning into beef.
  2. Wipe down skillet with a paper towel to remove any excess grease. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and heat on medium. Add in diced onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper, about 1 tsp. each. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  3. In a large pot, add beef, onion, tomatoes, beans, Rotel, brown sugar, chicken broth, the other packet of chili seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste (you will want to start with a couple tsp. of each and add more as needed after the chili is warmed through).
  4. Heat chili on medium until bubbling, then reduce to a simmer until ready to serve.

The chili will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Its great having it for leftovers! You can also mix it up a bit by making hot dogs or baked potatoes to serve it over. Delish!

Note: You could also make this chili in the slow cooker. Follow steps 1 and 2, then instead of adding the ingredients to a pot on the stove, put them in your slow cooker and set to low for 2 hours. After that, it can sit on warm all day and will taste better the longer it sits! I would stir it a few times through out the day to keep it from sticking to the sides of the cooker too much.

Beef & Cheese Quesadillas

The hubby will be gone this weekend as he preaches a revival for a church a couple hours from where we live.

Its going to be a lonely weekend for baby girl and I…

But, I’m sure we will find some fun things to do to fill the time. Like shopping, of course!

Any time my husband has to go out of town, I hardly ever cook a meal. Its just not worth the effort when Emma and I can eat cereal and everyone is happy (just a joke, I feed my kid more than cereal; although it is her fave!).

However, on the off chance I do decide to cook something, its usually quick and easy (like most of our meals!).

Beef & Cheese Quesadillas are no exception to this! I ALWAYS have the ingredients for this recipe on hand and its one of our staple meals. It also makes plenty of leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day, so that’s always a plus for me.

I’m sure a lot of you already have your own recipe for these types of quesadillas. And of course Pinterest is probably loaded with similar recipes, but this is how I make them  🙂

Have a great Friday and weekend guys!

 

Beef & Cheese Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • Packet of taco seasoning (or 2-3 tbsp of a homemade version)
  • 8-9 taco-sized flour tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (or whatever you prefer)
  • Olive oil
  • Sour cream, taco sauce, shredded lettuce (optional toppings)

Directions

  1. Cook ground beef on medium to medium-high heat in a large skillet until no longer pink. Drain excess fat and wipe the skillet clean.
  2. In a small bowl, mix ground beef and taco seasoning. Add a splash of water if it seems a bit dry.
  3. Drizzle 2 tsp. of olive oil in your skillet and heat over medium.
  4. In each tortilla, sprinkle 1 tbsp of cheese, 2 tbsp of meat, and another tbsp of cheese on half of the tortilla. Fold over and press the top gently with your hand to help keep it closed.
  5. Once your oil is ready, lay two filled tortillas in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the tortillas are crispy, browned and the cheese is melted.
  6. Serve with Mexican rice or refried beans.