April 1, 2012

Taco Bake

This is a recipe from Kraft Food & Family Magazine that Matt and I have loved for years. It's a quick and easy casserole full of the yummiest flavors, and it has Kraft Mac n' Cheese in it...who wouldn't love it?!

Often when I make recipes, I'm looking to lessen the calorie count wherever possible and this recipe is no exception. I use lean ground beef, prepare the mac and cheese with skim milk and less {unsalted} butter, use either low-fat or non-fat sour cream, and reduced fat shredded cheese. It makes a big difference in calories and I truly believe that the difference in taste is undetectable.

Taco Bake

1 pkg. Kraft macaroni & cheese
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream {I use less...not a huge fan of sour cream, so I use about 1/3 to 1/2 cups}
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese {or I used "Mexican" shredded cheese...a blend of four cheeses}
1 cup salsa
*coarsely crushed tortilla chips {optional}

Preheat oven to 400 degrees {F}. Prepare macaroni dinner as direction on package. While macaroni is cooking, brown the meat; drain. Add taco seasoning mix and water to the meat; simmer for 5 minutes.

When macaroni dinner is complete, stir in the sour cream. Spoon half of the macaroni dinner into an 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking dish; top with layers of meat mixture, one cup of the cheese, then one more layer each of macaroni dinner and meat mixture to finish.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes.

Top with salsa and remaining 1/2 cup cheese {I usually add more than that}. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

*For extra crunch, prepare and bake as directed, topping with about 1/2 cup of coarsely crushed tortilla chips along with the salsa and cheese. {We always add these}.

Serve hot and get ready for some cheesy, crunchy, taco-y goodness! Enjoy!


Jamie said...

Easy and I think this would go over well in my house. Definitely going to try this!

Rebecca Maier said...

I'm totally making this tonight for dinner! Except I'm adding corn too!


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